The Jewish Film Institute’s Completion Grants Program provides finishing funds to emerging and established filmmakers for original stories that promote thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture, and identity. Launched in 2020, these juried Grants have awarded more than $250,000 to nineteen projects to date. Projects of interest are united by fresh, nuanced, and thought-provoking explorations of Jewish themes and their potential to entertain and engage us, turn conversation into action, and reframe understanding of Jewish cultures and identities. Projects may be features, shorts, episodic programs, or web series, with works in fiction, documentary, and animation eligible for consideration.
The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) champions bold films and filmmakers that expand and evolve the Jewish story for audiences everywhere.JFI celebrates the spirit of film, inquiry, independence, collaboration, community, and inclusion to support film’s evolution on big and small screens as an indispensable form of cultural communication that inspires personal and societal change. JFI’s annual public programs, which serve thousands of individuals in the Bay Area and the United States, include the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the first and largest Jewish film festival in the world, WinterFest weekend series, online film offerings, and special events with filmmakers, artists, and culturally-diverse thought leaders. JFI’s Filmmaker Services support emerging and established filmmakers worldwide through the JFI Completion Grants, which provide finishing funds to feature and short films of all genres, and the JFI Filmmakers in Residence program, which provides documentarians with a year-long, community-driven program to enhance their creative, marketing, business, and production skills.
Grants are given only for completion. To be competitive, projects must be in post-production with a strong rough cut. Projects in development, script-development, pre-production, production, or early post-production will not be considered.
Applicant must hold artistic, budgetary, and editorial control and maintain copyright of the proposed project. Grants are given only to filmmakers with creative and financial control of their projects.
In case of collaboration, a sole project director must be designated as the applicant.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Submitted cuts must be in English or subtitled in English.
Applicants do not need to be Jewish but projects must reflect thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture, or identity.
Make a unique contribution to the body of films on Jewish history, life, culture and/or identity.
Have high production values and reflect excellence and originality in storytelling and craft.
Showcase contemporary relevance.
Demonstrate a realistic schedule, fundraising plan, personnel, and budget to bring the project to completion.
Identify a realistic strategy for reaching its intended audience.
Show that the grant will make a critical contribution to the project’s completion.
Reflect the Jewish Film Institute's mission and values.
JFI pre-screeners will review all applications, preview sample works, and select finalists. An independent panel of media professionals including producers, directors, programmers, academics, distributors, or other experts in the field will convene to collectively select the grant recipients. The names of the panelists will remain confidential until after the awards are announced in early fall 2023.
JFI does not provide critiques, screening notes, or individual reviews of any films not chosen for completion grants.
Grant finalists will be asked to submit an invoice and sign a Letter of Agreement that requires:
The Jewish Film Institute will have the first option to present the Bay Area Premiere of the film.
The grantee will acknowledge funding by the Jewish Film Institute and any JFI named Completion Award on screen, in web, pitchbook, poster, and printed credits for the completed project.
The grantee will update JFI staff on the status of the film at milestone moments for JFI to report to stakeholders and elevate in its communications.
In addition to funding, grantees are entitled to:
Recognition in JFI's institutional and marketing materials year-round and at the annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Invitations to live and online filmmaker events year-round.
Request feedback on their project from JFI staff.
All applicants receive a one-year JFI Filmmaker Membership which affords discounts and pre-sales on tickets, passes, and Jewish Film Institute merchandise. The FilmFreeway application fee is applied to the memberships, which are automatically processed at the close of the application cycle.
Grantee may not be a Jewish Film Institute employee or board member.
Grantee may not be a full-time student.
The project cannot be a work for hire.
Only one application per project will be accepted.
Industrial or promotional projects are ineligible.
This grant application is not an entry form for the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. If you would like to submit your project to the upcoming festival, visit this page.