Film Grants

The 2019 grant cycle has closed. 

Applications will re-open in April 2020 

Click to read about the 2019 Film Grant Recipients 

The Islamic Scholarship Fund began awarding film grants in 2014 and through 2017, we awarded $30K each year in film grants. In 2018, $35K was awarded in film grants. The 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.The Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grant specifically aims to facilitate and support Muslims entering the world of film, who intend to create artistic, engaging and positive stories about Muslims.  The chosen recipient will receive a grant, which allows them to focus their energy and attention entirely on the creative process.  Grant recipients will also receive mentorship and/or networking opportunities from an industry professional to help further the advancement of their script and film.  The grant will be split into two categories: narrative and documentary.


This year we have opened up the application process to ensure that 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 must be Muslim
  • The content must have Muslim characters or themes
  • Filmmaker must have US Citizenship. 

Award Recipient will receive:

  • Cash grant up to $20,000 to be awarded for each catergory.
  • 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:

  1. Submission of Letter of Interest 
  2. Submission of Round 2 Application 
  3. Remote Interview 
  4. Final Announcement  

Each applicant will be asked to submit a one-two page letter of interest.  The judges will review these letters and choose the strongest stories to advance to the next round: application. During the application stage the applicant will be required to submit a written proposal, a 3-4 minute pitch video, work sample, script or outline. The judges will review these applications and will choose 3 applicants to advance to the interview stage. Contact with any questions about the grant or application process.

Round 1

April 29th 2019,- July 5, 2019 at 11:59pst

 Letter of Interest

Applicant will submit a one to two-page letter of interest introducing themselves and their project.  The application letter will be broken up into two section: the artistic statement and project synopsis. (500 words each) This should include background of the applicant,  description of your project, how this project aligns with the goals of ISF, and how this grant will help you make this film.  There is an optional, and highly encouraged, submission for work sample as well.

Documentary Synopsis

Narrative Synopsis

Round 2

 Video Pitch

Applicant will submit a 3-4 minute video pitching their project. This video should take us on a visual journey of your film. Make sure to discuss the characters, story, obstacles, goals and resolution.  Also discuss why you deserve the grant and how it is in line with ISF’s mission and goals.


The applicant will submit a one-page proposal to accompany their pitch video. This proposal should include a synopsis of the project, the proposed budget, shooting location and days, as well as distribution strategy.

Work sample

The applicant must include one short 2-4 min work sample, such as a short film, music video, commercial, screenplay, etc.  You may take an excerpt from a previous project or current project. If you do not have a sample we encourage you to film one.  Please include a link to the work. DVDs and non-online samples will not be accepted.


If the applicant is submitting a feature length script, they must submit the first 10 pages of the script with their application. If submitting a short film they will submit the entire script.  For documentaries an 1-2 page treatment/outline.

Round 3

The top three applicants will be contacted for remote interviews.

What the judges are looking for?

  • Strength of script  (Is the story compelling and unique?)
  • Strength of work samples (Can applicant execute the proposed project?)
  • Strength and confidence in video pitch (Does the applicant create a visual story and is passionate about the project and its goal?)
  • Strength of production plan (Is the grant right for the applicant? Is the production plan well thought out and realistic?)
  • Original subject matter and a unique vision creating a positive light for Muslims.