Film Grant Program

This year's application will open April 26, 2021.

ISF is proud to sponsor the first American Muslim Film Grant supporting Muslim filmmakers to change the narrative and tell their own stories.


All Muslim filmmakers are eligible for consideration. We review and consider the submission of all candidates regardless of experience, career statues, 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 Muslim characters or themes
  • Filmmaker must be a U.S. citizen

Award Benefits

  • 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

Selection Process

There will be three rounds for the selection process.

  • Submission of Letter of Interest

  • Submission of Round 2 Application

  • Remote Interview

  • Final Announcement

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 with any questions about the grant or application process.

"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

Mass media has an undoubtedly powerful influence on society's perceptions and beliefs about the subjects portrayed.  While the spread of Internet media sources and social networking sites provide outlets for alternative voices, traditional mass media still reaches a larger number of people and holds substantial power in determining what information is deemed important.

ISF initiated the film grant program in 2014 to create a stronger narrative of Muslim stories and supporting Muslim filmmakers. The program has continued to grow and since it's founding has awarded $220,000 dollars to promising filmmakers.

The Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grant specifically aims to facilitate and support Muslim emerging and professional filmmakers, who are creating artistic, engaging and positive stories about Muslims.

The grant is split into two categories: narrative and documentary. In addition to funding, grant recipients will also receive mentorship and/or networking opportunities from an industry professional to help further the advancement of their script and film.

"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 isn o 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 

Program Timeline

  • Applications

    ISF will start accepting online applications in the beginning of December of each year.

  • Deadline

    The deadline to apply for an ISF congressional internship is typically in early January.

  • Acceptance

    After applying, selected candidates will be given a conditional acceptance by ISF, and ISF will use its Congressional connections to place candidates in Congressional offices.

  • Interviews

    Candidates will interview with offices. Once an office extends an offer, a final acceptance will be given to the candidate by ISF.

  • June 1 - Internship Begins

    Exact internship dates will be negotiated between the candidate and the office but must start by early June and end no sooner than the end of July. Interns will work full-time hours with Congressional offices (as set by the office) and are not permitted to have any other internships or employment. Interns will be provided with a stipend. Half will be awarded at orientation, and the other half will be given an exit interview, provided interns have attended all sessions.

  • Sessions & Workshops

    Interns are required to attend ISF-hosted sessions and workshops throughout their time in D.C.

  • August 1 - Exit Interview

    Interns will end the program with an exit interview. Upon completion, participants can join the ISF alumni network and continue to receive mentorship and support.