Application Guidelines: 2024 JFI Completion Grants

Applications for the 2024 JFI Completion Grants are now closed.

Applications are submitted via Film Freeway. Note there is a custom form with additional questions. You can download a PDF of the additional questions here. Finalists will be asked for additional materials. 

Early Bird Deadline: February 9, 2024 at 12am Pacific Time.
Final Deadline: March 1, 2024 at 12am Pacific Time.

Have questions about your application? Join Filmmaker Services Director Marcia Jarmel for online Office Hours on January 25February 8, and February 22The 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.

The Jewish Film Institute Completion Grants provide 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 $325,000 to 27 projects to date. Projects of interest are fresh, nuanced, and thought-provoking explorations of Jewish themes, selected for 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, hybrid, 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 across the United States, include the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the first and largest Jewish film festival in the world, JFI WinterFest, online film offerings, and special events with filmmakers, artists, and culturally-diverse thought leaders. In addition to the Completion Grants, the JFI Filmmakers in Residence program offers documentarians a year-long fellowship, helping them to build community and enhance creative, marketing, business, and production skills.

Get Help with Your Application

Eligibility Guidelines

Grants are given only for completion expenses. To be competitive, projects must be in post-production with at least 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. 
    • Sample work must be in English or subtitled in English.
    • Student, educational, and promotional projects are not eligible for consideration.
    • Films cannot be finished at the time of application. Films can be eligible if they premiere before grant determinations are made, if they can document a need for support to cover finishing expenses. 

Applicants do not need to be Jewish, but projects must reflect thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture, or identity.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects Must:

  • 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.
  • Have potential to entertain and engage, turn conversation into action, and reframe understanding of Jewish cultures and identities.
  • 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.

Review Process

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 during the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival in August of each year.

JFI is not able to provide critiques, screening notes, or individual reviews of any films not chosen for Completion Grants.

Grantee Requirements

  • 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 designated/named Award or Grant on screen, in web, pitchbook, poster, and printed credits for the project, or wherever else such credits appear. JFI staff has the right to review credits before post-production is complete.
  • Grantee will provide a MP4 file of the finished film and trailer for JFI’s archive, not to be shared without the filmmaker’s express permission.
  • 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.
  • The funded project must reflect the values and principles of the Jewish Film Institute’s mission statement.

Grantee Benefits

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.
  • Host a work-in-progress screening virtually or in the Ninth Street Independent Media Center’s Screening Room, under JFI’s auspices.


  • 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, educational, 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.

Resources and Opportunities To Help You Tell Your Story.

The JFI Filmmaker Services newsletter is tailored to filmmakers working with Jewish themes. Join our community today.