Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the current deadline to apply?
A: We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. There is no strict deadline, however we do do have a funding cap for the year. The applications will remain open until we reach that cap. For that reason we encourage filmmakers to apply as soon as they are ready because once we reach our limit we will close the applications for the year.
Q: Am I eligible for a grant is my story takes place outside of the United States?
A: Currently, we only fund projects within the US, so a short film shot in another country would not be eligible for our grant. In rare cases, we will consider special circumstances where a scene or piece of the story takes place outside of the country, but it would require further conversation. If the bulk of your film is shot outside the country, we are unable to make an exception to this rule. We know there are lots of amazing stories that need to be told outside of the US, but there are restrictions on our ability to do this.
Q: If my budget is over $150,000, will you consider my application?
A: Most likely, no. As filmmakers ourselves, we understand how expensive making a film can be, and how hard it can be to secure funding sometimes, however the films that qualify for our grants specifically are the ones that fall within this budget. This is one of the big reasons that we specialize in documentary shorts, where a $150k budget goes a much longer way! In light of this, we understand that there are many incredible films outside our reach. We shed a few tears each time this happens. The only time we can make an exception for this is in very rare occasions, typically when the budget is close to $150k.
Q: I'm part of a co-directing team. Can we apply as a team?
A: Yes. If you are a team of two (or more) women you can absolutely apply. If you are part of a team of directors with men, know that we prioritize teams with high representation. We are not against working with men-- we work with lots of men on many different projects, but we only fund projects that are women led.
Q: I'm not a US citizen. Am I eligible for a grant?
A: Anyone with authorization to work in the US is eligible for our grants. We do not have the ability to sponsor filmmakers.
Q: Do you fund shorts shorter than 40 minutes and for less than $150k?
A: Yes! We fund shorts of all different lengths, and many that are well below the maximum budget. We encourage filmmakers with projects of this nature to apply.
Q: What are you looking for in my portfolio?
A: We're looking for demonstrated ability to tell the story you are pitching. The biggest advice I can give on portfolios is to submit work that is representative of what you want to do. We would rather see a short piece that you had a primary role in, than a longer or more professional film that you played a small role in. Since we are a funding source for documentary work, portfolios should reflect the ability to work in nonfiction. Scripted, narrative films, music videos, etc. alone don't provide us with enough context. For early career filmmakers, keep in mind that the pieces in your portfolio do not have to be published by big outlets, or even any outlet at all. We've been wowed by 2-3 minute videos, shot on no budget and only published on a filmmaker's personal Vimeo page. What we're looking for is storytelling ability, style, audio and visual quality, and potential.
Q: What type of sample do I need to apply for a WID grant?
A: The main thing we are looking for with a sample is to get a glimpse of your characters, story, and style. We're not looking for a trailer, and we're not looking for a rough draft. We also know that the sample is a work in progress. Demonstrate that you know where you're going with the film, and make us want to see more.
Keys to a good sample:
- Audio and Visual Quality-- this does not mean the piece needs to be composed and professionally color corrected. It means a demonstrated ability to collect strong visuals and sound. If you are working with a specific DP, it should be shot by that person if possible.
- Strong moments-- we don't need to see every strong moment, but having one or two strong moments in a sample can be key for drawing us in and making us want to see more
- Less is often more-- Similar to the last point, we don't need to see everything you've shot. It's better for us to see a well edited, well composed, controlled sample that includes a few key scenes. Building scenes shows your ability to tell a story, even if it's just a glimpse at the story.
- Character Identification-- The main character of your story should draw us in. Help us get to know.
Other things to know:
- If you are pitching a short that is 10-20 minutes, your sample might be shorter than 5 minutes. That's ok. Don't get stuck on the number. It's more about the essence. If you can pull us in and give us enough in two minutes, then two minutes is enough.
- If your budget is below $50k, we will sometimes waive the sample requirement. This is rare. Typically we still ask to see something. However, if you find yourself in this situation, it's best to apply and make a note of it so that we can discuss.
- If you do not have a sample but you feel you have an incredible story that fits into all of our other requirements (shot in the US, under 40 minutes, total budget under $150k) you can reach out to us. We occasionally provide filmmakers with the opportunity to receive seed funding to produce a sample and then reapply for their full budget.
Q: I submitted my application! When will I hear from you?
A: Hooray! Congrats on finishing and submitting your application. We know how much hard work goes into each submission and we can't wait to review it. We try our best to respond to every application within two months of submission. Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by our staff, and then brought before a bigger committee. As with every process, the timeline for this varies depending on a number of circumstances. If you have any major updates or changes to your film after you apply (major being things like your main character drops out, or you received significant funding from another organization, not just the natural progression of production,) feel free to reach out to us, otherwise we appreciate your patience and want you to know that if we have any questions we will contact you.
*** Update-- due to the large volume of applications received, and the detailed review process, the turnaround time is now currently closer to three months in some cases.
Q: Should I apply?
A: Yes! A lot of people reach out to us with information and clips about their film to see if we think it would be a good fit for us. While we applaud the initiative, the best way to have your idea reviewed is to apply.
The biggest factors for eligibility are our requirements. Nonfiction. Within budget. Shot in the US. Led by womxn. Beyond that, we'll consider pretty much everything.
We have an incredible gift thanks to Helen Gurley Brown in that we are able to provide transformative funds to filmmakers of different backgrounds and experiences. If you are worried that you don't have enough experience, take a chance and apply. If your idea for a film is different than anything we've done before, take a chance and apply. If you really, really want to work with us but your project is outside our requirements, we encourage you to think about creating another project that fits with us... and then take a chance and apply. Our grants are incredibly competitive, and we understand that applying takes a lot of time and energy. We can't guarantee that your film will be selected, but we do believe that you should try and are excited to review your ideas, because again, the best way to have your idea reviewed is to submit.
Q: Are you on Instagram?
A: Yes! Follow us @glassbreakerfilms
We're on Facebook too if you want to give us a like. :)