More than Just Funding: How Film Grants Help You Build Important Relationships

There's more to be gained from film grants than just money.
by Ken Miyamoto - updated on December 19, 2023

Filmmaking isn't easy. It takes time and effort. And when you're trying to create something worthwhile for the distributors, film festival judges, and audiences, filmmaking also requires a fair amount of money.

Film budgets afford filmmakers:

  • Skilled crewmembers
  • Film and audio equipment
  • Transportation
  • Sets
  • Catering for cast and crew

Film grants are one of the many ways to find the necessary financing for your cinematic projects. But that's not all that film grants can do for you, the filmmaker, and your projects.

Here we share three additional ways that film grants can help you in your cinematic storytelling journey.

3 Ways Film Grants Help Filmmakers Beyond the Financing

Free Publicity

Short films and indie features are a dime a dozen throughout the world. Any film festival director and judges panel will tell you that the indie field of content is very dense and unending. It can be difficult to find worthy projects to consider for submission into film festivals.

And it goes beyond that as well. Distributors (including major and mid-size studios) are tasked with finding credible films to acquire and distribute for the many content platforms — festival screenings, theaters, television, streaming channels, etc.

When your film is awarded a notable film grant, that project is offered free publicity. And publicity helps to legitimize your work (read below).

Publicity is key to your relevance as a filmmaker, as well as the relevance of your project. It's what will create a buzz for you and your film, which means that audiences will be looking for ways to experience what you've created. And that is a desirable aspect that distributors look for. They want butts in those seats or clicks on those streaming platforms.

If you and your film have any publicity, it's that much easier to succeed in your filmmaking endeavors. Being awarded a film grant means that you and your film will be mentioned in trade articles, website articles, press announcements, email chains, etc.


Hollywood and the film festival circuits require filtration systems to find worthy films.

Hollywood uses script readers, development executives, production companies, and film festivals to find worthy screenplays and filmmakers.

Film festivals use submission applications, submission readers, interns, assistants, festival directors, and judge panels to find worthy entries.

When you are awarded a film grant, that means you, the screenplay, and the project has already been vetted. And that stamp of approval can prove to be invaluable to you and your project.

Awarded film grants can:

  • Make the choice of whether or not to accept your submission that much easier.
  • Entice distributors to choose your project amidst the hundreds upon hundreds of others in contention.
  • Be used as free publicity and validation for additional funding or distribution.

And it's not just about your film receiving credibility. When you have been awarded a film grant, you have been vetted as a worthy filmmaker deserving of valuable funds. That says a lot for you as a filmmaker.

It shows that:

  • You have survived and thrived through an elaborate submission phase.
  • You have the skills to convince people to invest in your work.
  • You have the talent that makes your work stand out.
  • You have the vision necessary to prove that you can use a given budget productively.

Read More: How This ScreenCraft Winner Launched a Grassroots Oscar FYC Campaign

Industry Connections

The doors opened for you and your film allow you to grow your film and television industry network.

Every film festival director, judge panel member, and festival sponsor is now a festival circuit connection you can utilize for your current and future projects. When you apply to future festival submissions, that film grant stamp — and the festival success that it may have led to — is another green flag that can help you in your filmmaking ventures.

Every film, television, or streaming connection you've made because of the free publicity and instant credibility garnered through past film grants — and the projects they gave birth to from publicity and financial standpoints — can and will stay with you during your filmmaking journey.

Most notable film grants — like ScreenCraft's very own — are connected with financiers and production companies. And what do filmmakers need most when it comes to realizing their cinematic dreams? Financiers and production guidance.

Connections are everything in the film and television industry. Film grants are attainable opportunities that help filmmakers fund their films and build publicity, credibility, and industry connections necessary to the success of all filmmakers.

ScreenCraft's Film Fund Connections

Here's a prime example of the connections that can be made through being awarded film grants.

ScreenCraft's Film Fund has been partnered with BondIt Media Capital and Buffalo 8 Production for years.

BondIt Media Capital

BondItMedia Captial is a world-renowned film, television, and media financier. Based in Santa Monica, BondIt has completed over 250+ film and television financing transactions resulting in $60M+ of invested capital and over $200M+ of aggregate production spending. Recent credits include the Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent, the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring Aftermath from Lionsgate, the Netflix original film To The Bone starring Lily Collins, and the cult hit horror film The Invitation.

Buffalo 8 Productions

Buffalo 8 is a full-service film and media company focused on production, post-production, design, and finance based in Santa Monica, California. Buffalo 8 projects have been premiered and been awarded at Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and SXSW. Their recent projects include:

  • Ira Sach’s Little Men, starring Greg Kinnear and Alfred Molina, was released by Magnolia Pictures theatrically across the US.
  • As You Are, which was acquired for release by Amazon Studios.
  • The Brits Are Coming starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Sofia Vergara, Parker Posey, and Stephen Fry, was co-produced with legendary producer Cassian Elwes.
  • Rodney King starring Buffalo 8 Management client Roger Guenveur Smith and directed by Spike Lee.

On the digital and creative services side, Buffalo 8 has produced creative content for brands such as VH1, Viacom,, PetNet, Dolby, Love Begins At, Sony Studios, and Sniff and Barkens, releasing both national campaigns as well as branded content.

As you can see, being awarded a film grant with companies like these involved can do wonders for a filmmaker's career, as well as the potential success for their awarded projects.

Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.

He has many studio meetings under his belt as a produced screenwriter, meeting with the likes of Sony, Dreamworks, Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers, as well as many production and management companies. He has had a previous development deal with Lionsgate, as well as multiple writing assignments, including the produced miniseries Blackout, starring Anne Heche, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Zane, James Brolin, Haylie Duff, Brian Bloom, Eric La Salle, and Bruce Boxleitner, and the feature thriller Hunter’s Creed starring Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, Wesley Truman Daniel, Mickey O’Sullivan, John Victor Allen, and James Errico. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenMovies

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