Guidelines  - Philadelphia Independent Media Fund

What organizations are involved in administering this grant?

The Philadelphia Independent Media Fund is administered by Scribe Video Center. Evaluation of proposals and selection of grant recipients is made collectively by members of media arts organizations in the Philadelphia area who are involved in media making, educating and supporting local artists, as well as by individual members of the independent film and digital media community. Organizations who have participated in the selection committee include BlackStar Film Festival, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, PhillyCAM (Philadelphia Community Access Media), University of the Arts, WHYY, and Scribe.

Support for the Philadelphia Independent Media Fund is provided by the Wyncote Foundation and the Independence Public Media Foundation.

Who can apply?

A producer/director who is a current member of Scribe Video Center and whose primary residence is in Philadelphia or the surrounding region including residents of Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

All applicants must be at least 18 years old.

What projects are eligible for Funds?

Planning Grant
Project must be in the research and development phase. Principal photography and production must not have taken place. Projects that have completed significant production are not eligible. We welcome time-based visual media works (including works for broadcast, screenings or gallery exhibition) and audio projects that are created for public audiences. Web-based art projects that have a clear strategy of reaching a broad public audience are also eligible. Projects should demonstrate solid access to the story, characters and locations necessary for production. Examples of pre-production costs include but are not limited to: travel in connection with filming or recording for research of story elements; writing, shooting and editing of a sample reel; grant writing consultants for fundraising; story development consultants; website construction lookbook; other activities prior to principal photography and production start. Planning Grants cannot be used for equipment purchases or supplies. Although these grants are not intended to complete the media project, you will be asked to describe in the grant application what will have been created with the Planning Grant funds?  What is the deliverable? What will be the evidence that the Planning Grant work has been completed and will help move you forward with your project?

 Next Level Grant

Project must be in the post-production phase. These works are shot and edited, but may need assistance in getting from a rough cut to a fine cut. Next Level Grants may allow an independent producer/director to hire a consultant to help a project move forward to a fine-cut. We welcome time-based visual media works (including works for broadcast, screenings or gallery exhibition) and audio projects that are created for public audiences. Web-based art projects that have a clear strategy of reaching a broad public audience are also eligible. Applications for Next Level Grants should describe how the project will be transformed as a result of the funding. What work will be accomplished?

Finishing Grant

Project must be in the post-production or distribution phase. Only projects that are close to completion or expect to be completed within twelve months of the award date are eligible for funding. We welcome digital video works (including works for broadcast, screenings or gallery exhibition) and audio projects.
What projects are ineligible?

Commercial projects produced for organizations; student projects created for completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees; and works created for promotional or advertising purposes. Your application will not be considered if you have received a grant in the same category (Planning, Next Level, Finishing) for the same project in any previous Philadelphia Independent Media Fund or Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund funding cycle.

Who retains the copyright of the funded projects?


The filmmaker retains all rights to the project. The Philadelphia Independent Media Fund and Scribe Video Center must be duly credited in the end credit of the work and in all marketing materials. The copyright of the finished project must not be shared with any academic organization.

What services do the Funds cover?

Planning Grant:
We cover pre-production costs. These costs include travel and filming for research of story elements; writing, shooting and editing of a sample reel; grant writing consultants for fundraising, story development consultants, website construction; lookbook; other activities prior to principal photography and production start.

Next Level Grant:
We cover consultancies that will bring the project to the next level of completion. These services include editorial consultations, narrative restructuring, and story development. Next Level Grants are paid directly to the consultants chosen by the independent producer/director.

Finishing Grant:
We cover post-production services. These services include editor consultations; fine cut editing; sound mixing; scoring, color correction; Title design; Graphics/Animation/Illustration; dub titling; close captioning; DVD authoring; DCP conversion, archival footage rights; master dubs; and duplication. Finishing Grants are paid directly to the vendors chosen by the independent producer/director.

In order to promote a more robust local community, we encourage the use of local vendors. Please explore the Greater Philadelphia Film Office’s directory of vendors here.

What process is used to select the projects?

Scribe Video Center and members of the Philadelphia Independent Media Fund assemble a rotating panel of local indie filmmakers and representatives from non-profit independent media organizations to review all written and audio/visual application materials.

What does the panel consider when evaluating my application?

The panel prefers projects that are at a critical juncture where the award will have a real impact on the mediamaker’s ability to begin, continue or complete the project.

Planning Grant:
The panel awards projects they consider to be feasible in scope and scale based on the mediamaker’s access to the proposed story; be creative and compelling in technique; have a reasonable expectation to have a public exhibition in the Philadelphia area; and have the potential to generate public discourse and social engagement through broad, intentional distribution.

Next Level and Finishing Grants:
The panel awards projects they consider to be an aesthetically engaging work of art, have a reasonable expectation to have a public exhibition in the Philadelphia area, and have the potential to generate public discourse and social engagement through broad, intentional distribution.
How much money can I apply for?

Planning Grant:
Filmmakers can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to be paid to the producer/director or vendor providing services. Mediamaker must provide proof of work completed or invoice from vendor. 

Next Level Grant:
Mediamakers can apply for a grant of up to $500 to be paid directly to a single service provider. All money will go to the vendor with Scribe Video Center disbursing the funds directly to the vendor upon receipt of the invoice and proof of completion of work.

Finishing Grant:
Mediamakers can apply for a grant of up to $3,500 to be paid directly to service provider(s). All money will go to the vendor(s) with Scribe Video Center disbursing the funds directly to the vendor(s) upon receipt of the invoice. You may submit for up to, but no more than, three vendors.

We encourage the use of local vendors, please explore this link for some ideas.

What are my obligations upon receiving a grant?

Planning Grant:
The grant money must be used within six months of receiving the award letter.

The grant recipient must provide evidence that the work funded is complete including a copy of the Planning Grant deliverable described in the grant application. 

The grant recipient must provide a narrative and financial report nine months after receiving the award letter.

Next Level Grant:
The grant money must be used within six months of receiving the award letter. The grant recipient must provide evidence that the work funded is complete.

Finishing Grant:
The grant money must be used within twelve months of receiving the award letter.

The work must be completed within twelve months of receiving the award letter. The grant recipient must provide the Philadelphia Independent Media Fund with a copy of the finished work and any other evidence that the work funded is complete.

Because we want these works to be seen by local audiences, the completed work must be offered to and available for exhibition or screening by a non-profit media arts organization in the Philadelphia area including festivals, public media broadcast or cablecast, media arts centers, and gallery exhibitions within eighteen months of the work’s completion.

What should be included in the work sample?

Planning Grant:
A sample of the filmmaker’s past work that best represents their abilities. We will accept past work, stills, drawings or narrative scripts. We will also review work samples (including outlines, scripts, research footage) from the proposed project. 

Next Level Grant:
A portion of, or a full-length rough cut that best represents this current film project.

Finishing Grant:
A full-length rough cut that best represents this current film project. Submitting raw unedited footage is not appropriate, you should have at least a rough edit of your material.

When am I notified of the panel’s decision?

Notification is usually within 90 days of the deadline.
How do I send in my work sample?

You may upload a document that includes your sample or a link to your sample that has been uploaded to your favorite video server. 

PLEASE TEST YOUR LINK BEFORE SENDING IT TO US!

Please make your link public or remember to share the password.
The Philadelphia Independent Media Fund, a program of Scribe Video Center, is made possible with support from the Wyncote Foundation and the Independence Public Media Foundation
Founded in 1982, Scribe Video Center is a nonprofit media arts center that provides an opportunity for adults and young people to produce digital media under professional instruction. Projects exploring personal visions, social issues, and community life are of particular interest to Scribe.

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