Film Grant Program

2021 Application Goes Live in May 2021

“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


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 have US Citizenship.

Award Benefits

  • Cash amounts between $5,000 and $15,000 are awarded to each category.
  • 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

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 videos, commercials, 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.