ISF is proud to sponsor the first American Muslim Film Grant supporting Muslim filmmakers to change the narrative and tell their own stories.
Film has an undoubtedly powerful influence on society's perceptions and beliefs about the subjects portrayed.
ISF initiated our Film Grant program in 2014 to create a stronger narrative of Muslim stories and support Muslim filmmakers. The program has continued to grow and since its founding has awarded $365,000 to promising filmmakers. ISF is now working with a pipeline of over 70 American Muslim filmmakers.
The grant specifically aims to support emerging Muslim filmmakers, who are creating artistic, engaging, and positive stories about their community. The grant is split into two categories: narrative and documentary. In addition to funding, grant recipients will also receive mentorship and networking opportunities from industry professionals to help further the advancement of their script and film.
All Muslim filmmakers are eligible for consideration. We review and consider the submission of all candidates regardless of experience, career status, or individual achievements.
- Project may be a narrative feature length, short film, animation, or documentary. Web series are not accepted.
- Filmmaker must film at least 50% of the project in the U.S.
- At least one member of the creative team (producer or director) must be Muslim
- The content must have American Muslim characters or American Muslim themes
- Filmmaker must be a U.S. citizen
Grant amounts ranging between $5,000 and $15,000 are awarded to each category (narrative, special projects, and documentary)
- Creative support from an industry professional during creative process
- Networking opportunities with industry professionals
- ISF screening after completion of the film
"In the representation of Muslims today in pop culture and the media we are either depicted as invisible or were monsters and there's a whole generation of American Muslim artists that's trying to do something about that by creating culture and a representation that better reflects us and all of our nuances and complexities and dimensions."
- Assia Boundoui, ISF 2016 Film Grant Recipient
ISF FILM GRANT Selection Process
There will be three rounds for the selection process.
Submission of Letter of Interest
Submission of Round 2 Application
Each applicant will be asked to submit a one-to-two page Letter of Interest. Our judges will review your letter and select the strongest stories to advance to the application. During the application stage, the applicant will be required to submit a written proposal, a 3-4 minute pitch video, work sample, and script or outline. The judges will review these applications and choose 3 applicants to advance to the interview stage. Please contact Film@IslamicScholarshipFund.org with any questions about the grant or application process.
ISF x Rifelion Writers Access Initiative
ISF is partnering with the production company Rifelion on a new initiative for writers. This year's theme is stories that take place during Ramadan or Eid. Writers are encouraged to create 10-20 page scripts on these themes to apply to the grant. Scripts can be any genre. Rifelion will buy these scripts from the writers for $1,000, and possibly produce them as part of a feature anthology. We will select a number of writers to attend workshops with industry mentors as part of this program.
- Screenwriting Call for Ramadan/Eid themed scripted shorts (10-20 pages)
- Must be written or co-written by a Muslim
- Must feature Muslim characters
- Scripts can be any topic, genre, or subject matter, but must take place during Ramadan or Eid
- No use of existing characters, logos, brands, etc
- No previously produced material or adaptations
- Open to anyone from North America who self identifies as a Muslim
- No complicated sets or substantial animation/CGI
What you get:
- Finalists can attend a screenwriting lab over the summer
- Selected winners receive $1,000
- Selected winners will transfer all scripts rights to Rifelion with the goal of having their script produced for the anthology
"For filmmakers, one of the things that is so important to us is knowing that someone is interested in our stories, knowing that someone can benefit and learn from our stories because I believe as a film director that there is no such thing as pure entertainment there is always a learning aspect. In today's mainstream entertainment we have to change that."
- Queen Ali Muhammad, 2017 ISF Film Grant Recipient