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South Shorts Grant & Residency 2021

A post-production residency and fund for four filmmaking teams living and working in the American South.

IF/Then Shorts, now in its fifth year of partnership with New Orleans Film Society, invites diverse stories and storytellers from the American South to apply for a virtual residency to take community conscious and cinematic short documentary films from the edit to reaching audiences.

Four selected film teams will receive a $5,000 post-production grant and participate in a five week online editing residency: working with industry professionals, editing mentors and their fellow filmmakers to fine tune their rough cut. Filmmakers will benefit from not only the resources of their esteemed mentors, but also work to build strong creative relationships while providing feedback and support to their fellow Southern filmmakers.

 After the lab, the films will be shown at an invitation-only rough cut screening as a part of the 2021 New Orleans Film Festival. Following the residency and festival, filmmakers will receive distribution consultation and festival strategy to help get their film out into the world. 


The projects should explore a range of socially, politically and culturally relevant topics that are rooted in the region.

Projects should be in post-production with a rough cut or strong assembly to be completed by September 10, 2021.

Films should have a minimum 3 minute work sample or reel that demonstrates strong understanding of content and style. 

Filmmakers should be available to participate in weekly creative feedback sessions through September and October, which may include time during conventional business hours, although best efforts will be made to accommodate schedule conflicts. Filmmakers should anticipate a commitment of up to 20 hours over the course of five weeks.

This opportunity will be open to individuals living and working in the American South, with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ folks, recent immigrants, undocumented persons, persons with a disability, and/or women. We welcome applicants regardless of immigration status, including applicants who are born abroad and are not U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents.

Submissions shall be in the form of community-inspired, short-form storytelling coming from the American South, with filmmakers interested in building their Southern creative collaborative community. These states and one federal district include: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Eligible IF/Then Shorts projects must meet the following criteria:

● Be an original short documentary with a final duration of 10-30 minutes

● Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be designed for a U.S. audience

● Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured

● Be presented in English or subtitled in English

● Have no prior distribution attached and be able to participate in the IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative



June 30, 2021: Call for Submissions opens

August 4, 2021: Submissions Deadline (11:59 PM ET.)

September 7, 2021: Selections Finalized, Selected Projects Announced.

September 10, 2021: Program Kickoff

Mid-September - November 2021: Virtual Residency and Work In Progress Screening at New Orleans Film Festival.

November/December 2021: Distribution Mentorship

Please direct any questions regarding this program to ifthenshorts@fieldofvision.org