Media – Feature Guidelines

Application Deadline: Monday, November 1, 2021 5PM EDT  

NYFA only accepts application submitted online at: https://nyfawomeninfilm.submittable.com/submit

OVERVIEW:

Administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in partnership with the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the NYC Women’s Media, Music and Theatre Fund (“Women’s Fund”) is the latest in a groundbreaking series of initiatives by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) that address the underrepresentation of women in film, music, television and theatre. The Fund provides grants to encourage and support the creation of content that reflect the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women.

The program will provide finishing funds for film, television, and digital projects. Recipients will be selected from the following categories:

• Fiction Feature 

• Documentary Feature

• Fiction Short (running time of 59 minutes or less)

• Documentary Short (running time of 59 minutes or less)

•  Fiction Webisode/Webseries (all forms)

• Documentary Webisodes/Webseries (all lengths and forms)

GRANTS TIMELINE:

Applications open: Monday, July 26 at 10 AM EDT
Applications close: Monday, November 1 at 5 PM EDT
Recipients notified: March, 2022
Funded Project completion: March 31, 2023

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR DOCUMENTARY AND FICTION FEATURE CATEGORIES:

• Projects must be made by, for, or about women and female-identified individuals and/or feature a strong female or female-identified perspective; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified producer credit; and/or include a meaningful female or female-identified writing credit; and/or include a female or female-identified protagonist(s).

• Projects must be completed by March 31, 2023. “Completed” means ready to be shown theatrically, on television, through a streaming service or online. Projects can be either commercial or not-for-profit in nature.

• Projects must have wrapped principal photography and must be able to submit a timeline that outlines final cut and distribution that meets program deadline of March 31, 2023.

• Eligible projects can be live action or animated.

• The applicant can be either the filmmaker or a producer.

• The applicant (or, if different, recipient of funds) must reside in any of the five boroughs of New York City.

• All recipients must complete a final report clearly outlining how the NYC Women’s Fund was used to complete the project along with sharing information on attendance numbers and public access plans or outcomes.

• Funds must be used to complete the project outlined in the application form. Funds may be allocated as the applicant needs to complete the project. However, funds cannot be used to purchase capital goods.

• Must follow at least one of two criteria: (i) 75% of its total shooting days take place in New York City, or (ii) 75% of its production costs are “qualified production costs”*. Funds can be used for any purpose critical to the completion of the project.

*”Qualified production costs” means the below-the-line production costs only to the extent such costs are incurred directly in New York City and are attributable to the use of tangible property or the performance of services within New York City directly and predominantly in the production (including pre-production and post-production) of a qualified film.

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE:

To request an accommodation or assistance in applying, please email [email protected].

We ask that requests for accommodation be made as soon as possible, and no later than October 18, to allow adequate time for staff to support the applicant before the deadline.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTARY AND FICTION FEATURE CATEGORIES:

• A detailed synopsis of the full project.

  • Please give an overview of your project’s themes and overall storyline. 
  • What is the work about? 

• How the project represents a strong female or female-identified perspective.

  • Please provide a statement detailing how your project represents voices, experiences and perspectives of all who identify as women.

• Biographies of the applicant and key artists involved in the project.

• Current state of the project and plans for completion by March 31, 2023.

  • The NYC Women’s Fund is a finishing grant for media. Please include a narrative or calendar of events/key milestones.

• Amount of funding requested, description of anticipated use of funds, and how they will move the project to completion.

  • Note: Purchases of equipment and other physical items are not an appropriate spend of the NYC Women’s Fund. This includes harddrives, lighting, and camera equipment. Artist or service fees, rentals, and subscriptions for the length of the project only are accepted.

• Completed budget template.

  • Complete the budget table in Submittable outlining proposed totals of artist fees, equipment rentals, marketing, and other production costs. Clearly show only the proposed spend of the NYC Women’s Fund award. If a full project budget is included, please highlight where the NYC Women’s fund will be used. Full project budgets are not necessary.

• Support for meeting New York City criteria regarding production or post-production.

Distribution/exhibition plan.

  • We understand that there may not be any commitments at this point, but please describe your plans: festivals to which you will submit; exhibitors and streaming services you will contact.
  • All projects must include a public access component as detailed below.

•  A description of the target audience.

  • Who are you hoping to reach with your project? Are there race/ethnicities, ages, genders, or geographic locations for your audience? 

•  Marketing plan.

  • How do you plan to market your project to your target audience?
  • Note that no more than 20% of the award funds may be used towards marketing.

•  Work samples as detailed below.

WORK SAMPLES FOR DOCUMENTARY AND FICTION FEATURE CATEGORIES:

Applicants should include two work samples from the project for which they are seeking support

  • One short clip up to 10 minutes in length
  • One longer sample between 45 – 60 minutes, which gives a sense of the overall scope and trajectory of the film

There will be a comments section to provide context for the clips. For the short clip, do not submit a trailer.

Quick Tips for Video Work Samples

  • Submitting video samples comprised of multiple clips from different projects is not recommended. “Sizzle Reels” and Trailers should be avoided. Titles and credits should not be included in excerpts.
  • When editing your video it is important to ensure your file is formatted correctly so that your video will play across a range of platforms whilst maintaining quality. Therefore it is important to choose the right codec and container for your file.
  • A codec is a method for encoding and decoding data and is used for compressing data, particularly video. Choosing the right container can depend on several desired outcomes, file size, playback quality, capabilities for re-editing etc. There are many codecs to choose from but h.264 is the preferred format for its versatility and superior quality.
  • A container is typically associated with file format and what is used to “contain” and package the data as compressed by the codec. The container is indicated by a file extension: .mov or .mp4 (MPEG4). There are many codec and container combinations but h.264 and .mp4 are preferred as they are supported by a wide range of media players with little loss of quality.
  • Uploading video files can take more time than expected. Do not leave the uploading of your work samples to the last minute. Once you know what Work Sample excerpts you will be submitting, upload them to the application form. You can always save and close your application form and go back to it at a later date.

PUBLIC ACCESS:

The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre is a government-funded program. Accordingly, recipients will be required to propose a meaningful way to provide free public access to New York City residents to the project for a limited period of time. Possibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Presenting a public presentation with free admission for New York City residents at an approved location within the five boroughs.
  2. Granting a three year term, non-exclusive, royalty free license to the City to air programming either in its original state or edited version, starting up to four years after original release date.
  3. Other means mutually agreed to by MOME and NYFA.

Anyone can apply and be awarded a grant regardless of actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, partnership status, marital status, disability (including use of a service animal), race, color, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, military status, or any other class protected by City, State, or Federal law.

Read NYFA’s DEIA statement on our website: https://www.nyfa.org/about/

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION GUIDELINES AS A PDF