The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival’s nonprofit arm, the Santa Fe Film Institute, announced today it will award $10,000 in grants and scholarships to filmmakers throughout the region in 2022. That’s an increase over last year’s $6,000, which was awarded in various increments to five filmmakers, and now includes special provisions for high school-aged applicants through the $1,000 SFFI Scholarship, and college students through the $2,500 Imogene Hughes Scholarship named for the late proprietor of the iconic Bonanza Creek Ranch who died last October.
“Last year with the grants and scholarships, since it was the inaugural year, we wanted to gauge interest, but this is something we plan on increasing each year,” says the institute’s Vice President, Liesette Paisner Bailey. “We want to support filmmakers, and if that encourages people to come to New Mexico, that’s great.”
The available grants and scholarships are not just applicable to films already in production. Scripts, treatments and projects otherwise in development or with any runtime are all eligible, with New Mexico filmmakers able to pursue up to $5,000 in funding and smaller $2,000 grants up for grabs in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado.
The Imogene Hughes Scholarship is strictly available to high schoolers.
“It was open to both college and high school last year, but it’s a little harder for high school students to compete with college students who have better resources,” Paisner Bailey explains. “It was a need we identified and I think it’s important to differentiate because there are high school students working on some really cool projects, I’m sure.”
The applications process opens May 1 through the institute website and does not have a strict cutoff date just yet. Recipients will be decided upon by the institute’s advisory board—which has included heavy hitters like screenwriter Kirk Ellis and director Chris Eyre in the past—and named in November following the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival’s October dates. Paisner Bailey tells SFR the fest is on track for another in-person and COVID-safe series of events in 2022.