AFS Grant Emphasizes Diversity

Society offering $130,000 for emerging filmmakers

When it comes to supporting emerging filmmakers, the Austin Film Society has always put its money where its mouth is, in the shape of the AFS Grant Program. Now it's dedicating $10,000 for the New Texas Voices Grant, a program designed to give cash and mentorship to first-time filmmakers of color with a film in early to mid-production.

1985, Yen Tan's searing drama, debuted at SXSW this year with the assistance of a production grant from the Austin Film Society. Now AFS is taking submissions for the 2018 grants, with extra opportunities to encourage diverse voices.

The announcement comes on the heels of last month's founding of the North Texas Pioneer Grant: $30,000 set aside for new voices - both filmmakers early in their career and those from traditionally underrepresented groups - in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

These two dedicated pots will be part of $130,000 available to rising Texas filmmakers, allowing them to join the ranks of previous recipients like Yen Tan (1985), Clay Liford (Slash) Kat Candler (Hellion), Karen Skloss (The Honor Farm), Andrew Bujalski (Results), Augustine Frizzell (Never Going Back), David and Nathan Zellner (Kid-Thing), and Sandra Adair (The Secret Life of Lance Letscher).

In total, since its founding in 1996 as the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund, the program has awarded $1.77 million in cash support, plus $300,000 in goods and services, to literally hundreds of filmmakers, allowing them to get their vision off the ground and through production, and even paying travel costs so they can take their films to festivals (see the full and massive list of grant recipients over the years here).

Applications for the 2018 AFS Grants are now being accepted: Visit for details. Deadline is June 4, 2018, so to help with the process, AFS is holding a series of workshops over the next month:

• April 14, Austin Public, 1143 Northwestern, Austin
• April 17, Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson, Dallas
• April 22, Aurora Picture Show, 2442 Bartlett, Houston
• May 24, Austin Public, 1143 Northwestern, Austin.

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