Filmmakers Fund

The 2020 Filmmakers Fund Is Currently Accepting Applications.

The Rooftop Filmmakers Fund seeks to aid alumni filmmakers as they make new films. Since our inception in 1997, the mission of Rooftop Films has been to support independent filmmakers from production through exhibition. This year, Rooftop Films will award nearly $300,000 in cash, equipment, and service grants to help alumni filmmakers produce their next short or feature film.


Only directors who have previously had their work screened during the Summer Series are eligible to apply and only if they are directing an upcoming project. Producers and other collaborators may submit the application, but only if the director (or co-director) of the film for which they are applying is a Rooftop alumni. We appreciate that film is a collaborative medium, and respect the contributions of all, but with over 2,750 directors who have now screened at Rooftop Films, we must limit the grant eligibility to that pool. Producers and writers on a film that screened at Rooftop are not eligible at this time. If you have not screened a film in our festival, you are not eligible.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please email before applying.

FIRST STEP: Let us know You’re Interested!

If you are an eligible filmmaker and plan on applying, please let us know as soon as possible by filling out this quick and simple form (response time: under one minute). This way we can gauge how many applicants to expect and will know to look for your application. Read more about how to apply below.


  • Applications must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Friday December 11, 2020.
  • Applicants notified: no later than April 15, 2021.

The Grants

The Rooftop Filmmakers Fund has eleven grants available:


Please read the Short Film Guidelines and FAQs before submitting your application. A link to submit a short film application is located at the bottom of that page.


Please read the Feature Film Guidelines and FAQs before submitting your application. A link to submit a a feature-length application is located at the bottom of that page.

Rooftop Films has opted into the Documentary Core Application. Fiction and non-fiction films of any genre or category can apply using these application form pages, but to make the application process as convenient as possible for all filmmakers, we have updated our application questions to comply with the Documentary Core Application guidelines. Learn more.

Good luck! We’re excited to hear about your films, help them get made, and screen them on the roof!