Filmmaker Fund

The 2019 Filmmakers Fund Opens in September

The goal of the Rooftop Filmmakers Fund is to help our filmmakers make creative, intelligent, low-budget films. Since Rooftop Films inception in 1997, the mission of the organization has been to support an independent filmmaking community, and to help filmmakers at all stages of the process, from production to exhibition. Annually, Rooftop Films will award nearly $300,000 in cash and service grants to help alumni filmmakers to produce and promote 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 apply, but only if the director (or co-director) of the film for which you are applying is a Rooftop alumni.  We appreciate that film is a collaborative medium, and respect the contributions of all the collaborators, but with over 2,500 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 us or call 718-417-7362 before applying.

FIRST STEP: Let us know You’re Interested!

If you are an eligible filmmaker and plan on applying, please RSVP as soon as possible by clicking on this link and filling out a simple form. 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 11:59pm on October 16, 2019.
  • Applicants will be notified no later than December 31, 2019.

The Grants

The Rooftop Filmmakers Fund has twelve grants available:


If you are eligible for a grant, please read the Short Film Guidelines and FAQs before submitting your application.


If you are eligible for a grant, please read the Feature Film Guidelines and FAQs before submitting your application

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!