NewFest’s New Voices Filmmaker Grant, in partnership with Netflix, supports emerging LGBTQ+ directors by providing funding to make new work, assisting in getting their work more widely shared, and propelling their careers forward through mentorship, networking and professional development opportunities 🎬
The Grant seeks to support underrepresented voices in the film industry, and provides a $25,000 unrestricted grant to 4 emerging directors.

In addition to the $25,000 grant and industry mentorship, fellows will also participate in events and have their work showcased at NewFest’s New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival, one of the largest queer film festivals in the world. Fellows will also have the opportunity to travel as guests of NewFest to other North American film festivals.

Submissions are accepted from emerging LGBTQ+ directors who make documentary/nonfiction, narrative, and/or animated film/episodic projects for and about the LGBTQ+ community.

Applications for the 2024 cycle of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant are now closed. All applicants can expect to receive notification of their application status by mid-June 2024.

2023 Grantees

Learn more about them!

The 2023 recipients of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant are Terrance Daye, Drew de Pinto, Emily May Jampel, and LaQuan Lewis.

2022 Grantees

Learn more about them!

The four recipients of the 2022 New Voices Filmmaker Grant were Blanche Akonchong, Livia Huang, Rodney Llaverías, and Nyala Moon.
Eligibility Requirements

– Are at least 18 years of age.
– Identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
– Currently live in the US, have resided in the US continuously for at least the past two years, and plan to reside in the US for the full duration of the grant period (through June 2025), regardless of the filmmaker’s citizenship or immigration status.
– Have previously directed at least one (1) short film or episodic inclusive of LGBTQ+ content that was completed within the past 5 years (January 2019).
– Have not previously directed a completed feature-length film (over 60 mins), even if self-funded or without distribution.
– Must not have formal representation (i.e. are not currently signed with an agent and/or manager).
– Must not have entered a distribution deal for any of their directorial work in which they both received monetary compensation and granted exclusive North American distribution rights to a third-party distributor.
Application Guidelines

All applications must include:

– Resume/CV
– Links to 1-3 completed work samples (totalling no more than 25 minutes)
– Artist Statement (max 600 words): Tell us about yourself and your directorial vision. Please provide a statement that includes your (1) background, (2) reflections on your previous experience(s) directing and/or working on additional film/media projects, and (3) artistic approach to LGBTQ+ storytelling.
– Statement of Intent (max 400 words): What are your goals as a filmmaker, and what would you plan to do with the grant funds should you be selected as a recipient?

Applications for the 2024 cycle of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant are now closed. All applicants can expect to receive notification of their application status by mid-June 2024.

For all queries, please reach out to newvoices@newfest.org

Frequently Asked Questions

No, this grant does not support first-time filmmakers. You must provide at least one fully completed short film work sample in your application.

Eligible filmmakers must have directed and completed at least one (1) short film or episodic work that includes LGBTQ+ content at the time of application. That work sample must also have been completed within the past 5 years (in January 2019 or later).

If your feature project will not be completed as of the application deadline (February 22, 2024), you would remain eligible. Applicants currently working on a feature-length film beyond the development stage and/or have already received significant support for a feature project may not be eligible for the grant. To inquire, please reach out to newvoices@newfest.org to share information on your project and its status/tentative timeline so we can best advise on your eligibility.

Yes, non-U.S. citizens who are U.S. residents are welcome to apply.

This grant supports U.S.-based filmmakers, and is available to all qualifying residents of the United States (including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands), regardless of immigration/citizenship status. Eligible applicants must have resided in the U.S. continuously for at least the past two years and will reside in the U.S. for the duration of the grant period (June 2024 to June 2025).

If selected, grant recipients must provide a completed form W-9 for tax purposes to receive funds, including providing their Social Security Number or tax ID number.

We encourage applicants to reapply, particularly if they have at least one new work sample to include in their application this year. We recommend that returning applicants submit materials (such as Artist’s Statement and Statement of Intent) that are not entirely duplicative of their application from the previous year.

Please note that due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide specific feedback on any previously submitted applications.

Yes, if you do not actively have representation at the time of application, you would be eligible to apply.

We welcome co-directing teams to apply so long as the applying filmmakers have a history and general practice of creating work collaboratively, and all work samples provided should be of works that the team have co-directed together. Co-directing teams should submit one joint application, with a jointly written Artist’s Statement, and any projects described in the Statement of Intent should be projects the team intends to co-direct. If awarded to a co-directing team, please keep in mind that co-directors will share the $25,000 grant funds.

The grant’s funding is unrestricted, and will not be tied to a future project, or a current project in development.

Applicants are not permitted to provide pitch decks or other supplemental materials, though we strongly encourage applicants to include background info/details on any upcoming projects–short or feature-length–in their Statement of Intent, which asks: “What are your goals as a filmmaker, and what do you plan to do with the grant funds should you be selected as a recipient?”

We strongly encourage submitting only links to completed short films and episodic pieces as work samples. However, you may provide a link to a work-in-progress so long as the work is a final cut/picture locked version with minimal need to fix color, sound, and/or VFX. If submitting unfinished work, we recommend the applicant note the status of the project in their Statement of Intent.

No, only full and complete creative pieces (i.e. short films and episodic pieces) will be evaluated as work samples. Please do not include directing reels, trailers, or teasers in your application.

Tiktok videos, Instagram reels, “talk show”-style clips, trailers, teasers, sizzle reels, and demo reels are not acceptable as work samples. If you are considering including a work sample that is not a short film or episode of a series in your application, please email newvoices@newfest.org to discuss your work sample so we may advise.

In the case that work sample(s) exceed 25 minutes total, we cannot guarantee the evaluation committee will view or consider your work beyond 25 minutes. Therefore we encourage applicants to submit their strongest work sample as Project 1, as they will be watched in the order that the work samples are listed in the application.

All applicants will be notified by mid-June 2024 of their status.

The New Voices Filmmaker Grant is presented by

“By empowering the next generation of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, NewFest and Netflix will work to increase queer representation and support authentic stories that showcase the talent of queer storytellers”

– David Hatkoff, NewFest Executive Director