U.S. film festivals get $450,000 from Academy

Oct 23, 2008 by Ian Evans

As the awards season begins to percolate it’s easy to forget that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is about more than the Academy Awards. As I’ve mentioned in this space before, AMPAS spends the whole year presenting and supporting cultural and educational activities.

Today, Festival Grants Committee Chair Gale Anne Hurd announced that the Academy Foundation has awarded $450,000 to 24 U.S. film festivals for the 2009 calendar year.

Two festivals, the Nashville Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival will each receive a total of $75,000 over a three-year period to help develop long-term projects. The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Virginia Film Festival are each in the second year of a multi-year grant. The San Francisco International Film Festival will receive $50,000 as part of multi-year grant awarded in 2007.

While the grants are awarded for a variety of programs, film festivals are encouraged to submit proposals that make festival events more accessible to the general public, provide greater access to minority and less visible filmmakers, and help strengthen the connection between the filmmaker and the general public.

The 2009 film festival program allocations are as follows:


  • San Francisco International Film Festival


  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • Heartland Film Festival (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Mill Valley Film Festival (San Rafael, CA)
  • Sarasota Film Festival (FL)
  • Seattle International Film Festival


  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (Durham, NC)
  • Nashville Film Festival
  • New Orleans Film Festival
  • Virginia Film Festival (Charlottesville)


  • Portland International Film Festival
  • Native American Film & Video Festival (New York City)
  • Roger Ebert’s Film Festival (Urbana, IL)
  • Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (Birmingham, AL)
  • Woodstock Film Festival (NY)


  • Asian American International Film Festival (New York City)


  • Arizona International Film Festival (Tucson)
  • BAMKids Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival (AZ)
  • Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (WY)
  • Olympia Film Festival (WA)
  • Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival (Colorado Springs)
  • San Francisco Black Film Festival
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival (D.C.)

Since its establishment in 1999, the Academy’s Festival Grants Program has distributed 198 grants totaling $3.5 million in funding. For more information on the program, visit www.oscars.org/grants/filmfestival.

The program is one of the many activities of the Academy Foundation — the Academy’s cultural and educational wing — which annually grants more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Foundation also presents the Academy’s rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year.