Minnesota Film, Video and Digital Production & Artist Development Grants

Offered every two years, this program provides early career filmmakers Production Grants of up to $30,000 for all stages of production. This year, as a new grant program, the Foundation is also offering Artist Development Grants of up to $7,000.

Minnesota Film, Video and Digital Production Grants support Minnesota-based directors, early in their careers, who generate and create bold, innovative and risk-taking new work that explores and/or expands conventional artistic forms.

The eligibility requirements are the same for both the Production Grant and the Artist Development Grant. Filmmakers may apply to one but not both of these opportunities.

Filmmakers applying as part of a co-directing team should skip ahead to the next section, titled CO-DIRECTOR ELIGIBILITY.

Individual Artist Eligibility

In order to determine your eligibility as an individual artist, please answer the following questions under each of the eligibility criteria (yes=eligible, no=ineligible):

  • Did (or will) you file your US federal taxes as a resident of Minnesota in 2020? 2021? 2022?

Jerome does not require citizenship, but does require residency and a social security number or ITIN number for tax purposes.

COVID-related temporary relocation: If you filed your federal taxes for 2019 as a MN resident and have spent most of 2020 away from MN because of COVID-related circumstances (whether economic or medical), but plan to re-establish residency in Minnesota or New York City before July 1, 2021, you may apply to the appropriate program.

Because the Foundation funds artists who are residents of New York City as well as Minnesota, artists who were residents of New York City in 2020 who have moved or who move to Minnesota before July 1, 2021, are eligible for the program. Minnesota artists who plan to relocate to New York City before July 1, 2021, should apply in the New York City program. Please note, the New York City grant requirements are different than those of the Minnesota program.

  • If you have chosen to pursue formal education in any degree-granting program, arts-related or non-arts related (e.g., BA, BFA, MA, MFA), have you completed your coursework and graduated (or terminated your enrollment), if applicable?
  • If you have chosen to pursue a PhD, have you completed all course requirements except your dissertation?

Formal training in degree granting programs is neither expected nor required, but applicants who do seek such training cannot be enrolled in a degree program, with the exception of doctoral candidates who have finished all coursework and are working on their dissertations.

  • Are you generating and creating entirely new work (rather than solely interpreting, translating, performing, developing/producing the work of others) as a director?
  • Do you have at least 1 work sample of a completed (versus rough cuts or works-in-progress) work that you have conceived and generated as a director?
  • Do you have at least 1 completed work listed on your resume/CV that has been supported by a presenting organization (e.g., film festival or screening series) or funder (for a project grant from either a foundation or a federal, state or local arts agency)? This includes work that has been featured in online screening platforms as long as there is a competitive selection process.

As a reminder, the Foundation defines generative artists as those who conceive and create new original work and does not fund artists who solely interpret or perform or develop/produce the work of others. Jerome does not fund actors, editors, cinematographers, screenwriters and producers who are not also film directors.

The Foundation supports new original artistic work that has been created and developed by the artist from concept to completion and is not a remount, revival or interpretation of previously existing material.

The following are not eligible to apply:

  • artists whose primary goals and practice are to interpret the works of others
  • artists whose primary goals and practice have been and will be as actors, cinematographers, editors, screenwriters, critics, producers or scholars
  • artists working in other artistic disciplines who want to make film or video versions of their work, such as choreographers or composers, who do not also have a history as a director of new original film or video work
  • arts administrators
  • producers
  • managers
  • artist representatives/agents
  • current Jerome grantees who are not up-to-date and compliant on reporting requirements
  • filmmakers who have already received a Jerome production grant support for a project and are looking for additional support for that same project
  • an applicant appearing on more than one application
  • full-time tenured faculty at any college, university or institution of higher learning
  • filmmakers who have completed, released and have in distribution more than two feature-length films (running time of 50+ minutes or more). As a general rule, completion, release and distribution of two feature films will be an indication that a filmmaker may be too far advanced to qualify for Jerome early-career support.  Artists who have completed/released two features should talk to Jerome staff to discuss eligibility more fully before submitting an application.
  • Is generating such new work your primary career goal for the future?
  • Do you have between 2 to 10 years of experience as a film or video director of animation, documentary, experimental, and/or narrative films, videos or digital production, excluding:
    • any time in a degree-granting program;
    • as a director creating industrial / educational / commercial work-for-hire over which you did not have final creative control
    • time focused on shooting, editing or producing the work of other filmmakers;
    • or time away from working as an artist due to personal circumstances–e.g., having children, caring for family members, long-term illness, etc.).
  • Do you have at least 1 work on your resume/CV that has been completed and publicly screened/delivered? Work that has screened only on an online screening platform is eligible as long as there has been a competitive selection process. Work that has been screened publicly only through your own platforms or through un-curated, “sign up” or “first come first served” formats is not eligible.
  • Do you have a work sample of at least one completed work (i.e., beyond drafts, rough cuts, works in progress, etc.)? Ideally this is recent work, preferably within the last 3 years though older work may be considered. Work created and presented while in a degree-granting program, however, is not eligible for this requirement, but may be used as an additional work sample.

This is not a first-time filmmaker opportunity. Eligible filmmakers have generated at least one new work that has been publicly screened or funded. Panels want to know that you have an artistic investment as a filmmaker and want to view multiple work samples to evaluate your artistic development over time.

Filmmakers who have been directing films for more than 10 years (excluding any time spent in a degree-granting program) are generally not eligible, even if they feel under-recognized.

Filmmakers beyond 10 years in the field who wish to discuss eligibility—based on personal or on specific creative practice considerations (i.e., the scale of work and/or extended creative timeline necessary to complete a single work)—should contact Lann Briel before April 1, 2021 to discuss eligibility in advance of submitting an application.

Age is not a factor in determining eligibility or career status.

  • Have you yet to receive major prizes, awards or consistent institutional support for multiple projects in any field—either as a generator of new work or as an interpreter of the work of others?
  • Have you been generating and creating new work for less than 10 years?


Directors will be considered beyond early career and ineligible if they have:

  • Received consistent significant financial support for their artistic work from foundations and/or federal, state or local arts agencies for multiple different projects.
  • Completed, released and have in distribution more than two feature-length films (running time of 50+ minutes or more) and are receiving consistent production opportunities. (As a general rule, completion, release and distribution of two feature films will be an indication that a filmmaker may be too far advanced to qualify for Jerome early-career support. Filmmakers who have completed and released two features should talk to Jerome staff to discuss eligibility more fully before submitting an application).
  • Garnered significant regional or national prizes or awards in recognition or support of the creation and/or public presentation and/or distribution of multiple different works, including but not limited to:
    • National film festival award (from grand jury or audience)
    • Award from the Directors Guild of America
    • Receipt of an Oscar or a National Emmy Award
    • Regional awards, such as McKnight Artist Fellowship Award, Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Awards, Regional Emmy Award, etc.
    • National merit awards, such as Sundance Juried Awards, National Film Awards, United States Artist Award, Creative Capital Award, Princess Grace Statue Award, Guggenheim, etc.
    • Commercial distribution including but not limited to online distribution such as Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, etc.

Receipt of any one of these grants and awards does not make an artist ineligible—it is the receipt of multiple grants and awards for multiple projects that, taken as a whole, move an artist to mid-career or beyond.

  • Achieved significant commercial success.
  • Received recognition in the form of awards, commissions, residencies or funding opportunities that are specifically categorized as mid-career.
  • Received awards or prizes based on or in recognition of significant cumulative career achievement (including but not limited to the Director’s Guild of America, Independent Spirit Awards-Bonnie Award, American Film Institute Award or the MacArthur Fellowship).
  • Have a full-time tenured faculty position (or the equivalent).

Recognizing that different funders may define “mid-career” in different ways, artists who have received mid-career awards but believe they should still be considered by Jerome should contact Lann Briel before April 1, 2021, in advance of submitting an application.

Producers, editors or those in other development or technical roles with substantial recognition and lengthy careers supporting the films of others will also generally be considered ineligible. Artists who want to discuss eligibility should contact Lann Briel before April 1, 2021, in advance of submitting an application.

Mid-career or established artists from other fields will not be considered early career based on a recent shift to filmmaking. For example, a composer with a substantial career in music who is now moving into filmmaking will not be considered an early career film/video/digital production director for the purposes of this grant.

  • Are you currently (at the time of application) working on a new project?
  • For those applying to the Production Grant: Will you go into the production phase prior to April 13, 2023?
  • For those applying to the Artist Development Grant: Do you have both a project and clear goals you want to pursue to advance your career?

Applicants are urged to think carefully about their schedules before applying. The production grant is awarded to a director only once per project and the artist development grant will be awarded to artists only once.

  • Does your work push beyond conventional mainstream aesthetics and strive to be bold, innovative and risk taking or to deepen or expand traditions?

Innovation and risk-taking are Jerome Foundation values that reflect our interest in supporting artists from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are deepening and expanding ways of working, asking questions, and inspiring new ways of imagining.

  • If you are working within a specific artistic tradition, does your work expand or challenge, not merely preserve, that tradition?

If you are a past or current grantee in the Film, Video and Digital Production Grant and/or the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, are you up-to-date and have completed the grant or are compliant on all reporting requirements?

If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, you are eligible to apply either for the Minnesota Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant or for the Minnesota Artistic and Professional Development Grant.

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you are not eligible to apply for either of the Minnesota Film, Video and Digital Production Grant or for the Minnesota Artist Development Grant.

Artists with questions must consult with Lann Briel before April 1, 2021 in advance of submitting an application.

Co-Director Eligibility

If applying as a co-directing team, applicants must have co-directed together and be credited as co-directors on at least one completed film, video or digital production project. Projects completed individually or co-directed with anyone other than the co-directing partner for this application do not count towards the minimum of one completed credit to meet eligibility and may not be used as work samples.

Co-directors must submit a single application and will share the grant funds equally. In order to submit an application, the co-directing team must:

  • meet all of the Individual Artist Eligibility Requirements (starting on page 1)


  • have a demonstrated history of creating new work collaboratively

Only eligible co-directing filmmakers may be included in the application. For example, a producer or cinematographer or someone who is a resident of California cannot be included in the application.

What projects and activities are eligible?

Eligible projects include:
  • New short, episodic or full-length film, video and digital production work either in the genres of animation, documentary, experimental, and narrative, or in a combination of these forms. The Foundation has no preferences of subject matter or genre (i.e., documentary over narrative or animation).
  • All stages of production are eligible, but projects that will not begin production within the 17-month timespan of the grant (November 2021 – April 2023) should apply in a future round. Highest priority will be projects that expect to begin production within the grant timespan.
  • Applicants are expected to demonstrate their experience and capacity for the proposed story or content. Depending on the subject matter, this may require the applicant to demonstrate an understanding of and authentic relationship with the people or communities involved in the work. Especially in the review of documentary proposals, panelists are interested in the degree to which relationships with the film subjects/content has been developed.
Ineligible projects include:
  • Artists seeking support for installation, new media, games or interactive work. This type of work is supported in other Foundation programs and is not eligible for this program.  
  • Filmmakers applying for projects that have already received production grant support through this program.
  • Filmmakers working solely on commercial, industrial, informational and music videos over which they do not have final creative control fall outside of Foundation priorities and are not eligible in any Foundation program for project support. (Music videos and projects created as work-for-hire may be used for work samples or to establish eligibility as long as the filmmaker has creative control—i.e., is credited as the director and has the authority to present the film or video.)
Funds may be used for:

Pre-production, including:

  • Location scouting
  • Hiring cast and crew
  • Permitting & Insurance
  • Finalizing rentals agreements
  • Website development

Production, including:

  • Shooting
  • Rehearsals
  • Location fees
  • Equipment rental or purchase
  • Travel (transportation, lodging, per diem costs)
  • Staffing (creative, technical or otherwise)

Post-production expenses, including:

  • Editing
  • DCP Master
  • Transfers and conversions
  • Securing rights and licensing
  • Scoring/sound mix
  • CGI/titling
  • Translators/subtitling
  • Special effects
  • Color correction

Distribution expenses, including:

  • Creation of trailers
  • Marketing
  • Screenings
  • Community Engagement
  • Attending pitch sessions
  • Distribution costs
  • Festival fees
Funds may not be used for:
  • Study in degree-granting programs
  • Commercial or promotional productions
Funds may be used for:

Artist Development, including:

  • Mentorship/Apprenticeship (other than those for study in degree-granting programs). Eligible costs include fees for working with a director or studying with instructors to acquire or further develop new artistic or technical filmmaking skills, including but not limited to:
    • the craft of story telling
    • cinematography
    • audio production
    • editing
    • animation
    • scripting
    • working with actors
    • story boarding
    • developing community relationships
    • marketing expertise-trailers, web, social media, pitch material, etc.
  • Equipment and/or software purchase as a percentage of the budget
  • Travel costs to attend filmmaking conferences, residencies, study artistic film practice and/or engage with other filmmakers or mentors, networking with producers or doing pitch sessions at festivals, including related transportation, lodging, per diem and/or childcare costs
  • Consultant fees related to supporting business skills (e.g., accounting, marketing, legal consultation, distribution, fundraising, website design for promotion, etc.)
Funds may not be used for:
  • Study in degree-granting programs
  • Income support to compensate for unpaid work on commercial or promotional productions