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Cucalorus Opens Application Period For Independent Film Grants

By Jenny Callison, posted Dec 4, 2015
Independent filmmakers with strong ties to North Carolina can now apply for grants from the new “Filmed in NC” Cucalorus Indie Filmmakers Fund. Formation of the fund was announced last month during the 21st annual Cucalorus Film Festival.

Cucalorus’ executive director Dan Brawley said this week in a news release that the application period had opened and his organization will accept proposals until Jan. 5.

“Cucalorus is excited to be entering the funding side of the creative process,” he said in the release. “Funding emerging filmmakers and low-budget projects is essential to developing a healthy creative eco-system and builds on our continued commitment to supporting the development of bold new works by artists working here in North Carolina.”

At present, the grant fund consists of $10,000 provided by the N.C. Film Office. Guy Gaster, the film office director, said Friday he feels the grant program “matches with our overall goal of promoting the film and entertainment industry in North Carolina.”

Both Brawley and Gaster have said they are looking for companies to step up with matching funds to augment the film office seed money. Cucalorus, however, will proceed with allocating the original $10,000. Funding will range from $500 to $3,000 per project, according to the release.

The program will fund projects by emerging and established artists with a proven record for producing singular and original work, according to the release. Those “emerging and established artists" must either be permanent residents of North Carolina or be full-time students at a college or university in the state, according to the release. In addition, their project “should exhibit potential for generating meaningful community impact and substantial economic activity in North Carolina," the release stated.

Applicant projects must have budgets of no more than $250,000, according to funding guidelines.

Gaster said that, while independent projects often have much smaller budgets than studio-driven projects, they contribute to the industry by patronizing small businesses, keeping crews at work and helping crew members improve their skills.

“Plenty of folks that are making their own projects locally are part of the overall crew base,” he said. “This gives them a chance to hone some skills and step up … so they can add to their resume and prepare for a lead position with a larger project.”

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