INDUSTRY: Trends in Global Film, by Way of GFI’s Granting Program

A quick look at the facts, figures and forward movement of our program, after ten years of international film funding…

BUFFALO BOY (Vietnam) was one of four grants we provided to filmmakers when we began our Granting Program almost ten years ago!

Every granting cycle has its own personality, and this Summer’s cycle was no exception (“bad hair,” good politicians—we had it all this round, so read the press release and our blog for the scoop!).  But, unlike other cycles, this one also had a bit of “extra” personality…For you see, this year marks our tenth year of awarding grants to filmmakers from around. And oh, how the times have changed…

During our first-ever Granting Cycle in 2003 at our small New York office, we awarded production funding to a total of four projects from four countries. That’s a far cry from the now 132 grants to-date that we’ve awarded to filmmakers from 56 countries!

In addition, we’re now funding annually almost triple the number of projects we funded during our first year of granting, and have been working hard to ensure more participation from underrepresented constituents and nations. We’re happy to report that in 2012, we awarded seven (out of 20) grants to films directed by women, and six grants to films from countries not yet represented among our grantees (Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Serbia and Venezuela)! Take a look at some of the stats we’ve collected from this most recent cycle of granting:

Summer 2012 Granting Highlights:

Total countries represented: 44
Country with most submissions: India and Turkey tied!
Country we’re most excited to receive an application from: Guinea-Bissau

Regional representation of all applicants:
33% from Latin America
29% from Asia
12% from Africa
11% from Central & Eastern Europe
11% from Middle East
3% from Caribbean

It’s big shift from the humble origins of both GFI and its reflection of the world of film at-large. But why the shift? It’s a good question, and the answers lie in some of what we’ve said over the years. About AfricaIndia. And what our friends, like Bruno Bettati in Latin America, are saying about the shifting face of film funding and cinematic expression.

So what of the next ten years, and beyond? Only time will tell. But, as always, we yell “onward!” as we venture forth, and you can surely count on us to continue our ongoing pursuit of our mission to change the way you see the world.

The Granting Program awards fifteen to twenty grants per year, of up to $10,000 each, to filmmakers whose work exhibits artistic excellence, accomplished storytelling and cultural perspective on daily life. Funds received from grants are used to subsidize post-production costs such as laboratory and sound mixing fees, and access to advanced editing systems. 

The Global Film Initiative’s next granting cycle is Winter 2013. Applications may be submitted from November 15, 2012 until the submission deadline on January 15, 2013. For more information on applications, eligibility and guidelines, please visit the Global Film Initiative’s website:

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