Film Production Grant

Helping to fund the work of
new and experienced BIPOC filmmakers

On-screen representation affects cultural understanding of BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ+ characters. Barriers need to be broken down until equal representation is achieved on-screen and behind the camera.

BendFilm’s Grant will support a BIPOC women artist with $20,000 toward making their short or feature film. The grant supports storytellers who are working to tell creative and complex stories told from a point of view that is unique and authentic.

Filmmakers who have been underrepresented are less likely to have the funding support to produce their first films to jumpstart their careers. This grant breaks down the economic barrier to democratize the art form which in turn will:

  1. Support the career of an underrepresented artist.
  2. Increase the production of films that accurately portray underrepresented communities.
  3. Lead audiences to a better understanding of themselves (if underrepresented) or to the life experience of someone unlike themselves.

This grant is made available by the Braemar Charitable Trust, the Roundhouse Foundations, the Starview Foundation, Infocus Eye Care, NewSun Energy and Oregon Film. 


  • Preferred candidates will produce their film in Oregon, but that is not a mandatory requirement.
  • BendFilm programmers and independent reviewers will assess each application to narrow down the finalists.
  • Five (5) to ten (10) final candidates will virtually pitch their projects live to a panel of industry professionals (to be announced soon) after the 21st Annual BendFilm Festival (October 10-13th).
  • The panel will decide the winner of the $20,000 production grant and may provide mentorship during the filmmaking process at panelists discretion and interest.


  • Submit a proposal (details coming soon). Eligibility guidelines:
  • The director of the film must identify as a woman and person of color
  • The funded film must be made in accordance with the treatment that will be provided in the official RFP.
  • The film must be completed on deadline (details coming soon).
  • The project must credit Braemar Charitable Trust, the Oregon Film Office, and BendFilm as Associate Producers.
  • The film must be available to World Premiere during BendFilm’s  Annual Festival in October 2024.


Stay tuned for 2024 dates and deadlines!


Are there any limitations on how grant funds can be spent?
Yes. The film must be directed by a woman who is a black, indigenous, or a person of color . Preferred applicants will reside in Oregon and plan to shoot their film in Oregon.

How will applications be evaluated?
A team made up of BendFilm staff, Board Members and two (2) local filmmakers will evaluate initial applications for artistic merit and ensure all minimum requirements are met. Due to the volume of applications we are not able to provide specific feedback on projects that are not selected.



BIPOC Women Production Grant Winner

Faith Briggs for “Fruit of Soil”

The 2023 winner is director Faith Briggs for her project ‘Fruit of Soil’: a feature-length documentary that shares the story of two dreamers, Black farmers who are creating a ripple of change in the Black community of Portland, Oregon by growing food, investing in Black farmers and feeding Black people.

Faith Briggs Rose is a documentary director, creative producer and podcast host passionate about sharing contemporary stories that widen the spectrum of representation and help us all see our own possibilities. Her previous short film work includes Brotherhood of Skiing (REI, 2018), This Land (Merrell, 2019), Camp Yoshi (REI, 2021), Ascend: Reframing Disability in the Outdoors (The North Face, 2021) and the 4-part series Who Is A Runner (Brooks, 2021.) She is the co-host of The Trail Ahead podcast, a 2021 Grist 50! Fixer, a Jackson Wild Media Lab Fellow, a Western Conservation Hub William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Grant Recipient, an If/Then Shorts x Redford Center Nature Access Pitch Awardee and a 2022 Redford Center Grantee. She is a graduate of Yale University, The Hotchkiss School, and The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Faith is also a member of The Governing Council of The Wilderness Society. Fruit of Soil (working title) is Faith’s first feature-length documentary.


BIPOC Women Production Grant Winner

Rachael Moton for “Paper Trail”

The 2022 winner is writer/director Rachael Moton of Philadelphia, PA for her feature film called Paper Trail, a dark comedy about performative allyship and gentrification in North Philadelphia. Paper Trail was also awarded the 2019 SFFILM Westridge Grant, selected to be a part of the 2020 Sundance Talent Forum and the 2020 IFP Week Project Forum. With the help from the funding from BendFilm, Ms. Moton plans to begin shooting the feature in the summer of 2023.

Rachael Moton is a writer, director, and lover of memes. Her obsession with weird indie films and reality television led her to attend Temple University for film school where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film with a concentration in Directing. In 2019, Rachael was a finalist in the ABC Women’s Production Initiative where she was invited to pitch commercial concepts to studio executives. Later, her dark-comedy short Dad’s Dead Damnit was selected for the 2019 Sundance Ignite fellowship.


BIPOC Women Production Grant Winner


“When I wrote my first short film ‘Julia’, the idea of fully producing the film seemed impossible. Receiving the “Tell Your Story” grant through Oregon Made Creative Foundation is what enabled Julia to launch into pre-production, and finally allowed me to tell my mother’s story of hardship growing up in a South Korean orphanage. After filming, I received Bend Film Festival’s BIPOC Women Film Production Grant, which provided the funding we needed to finish up post- production. Making this film would not have been possible without these grants. I’m so thankful for the support I’ve been given to amplify underrepresented voices, and think it is crucial to uplift other filmmakers to do the same through film grants.” — Emma Duvall, JULIA Director, Recipient of 2021 BIPOC Woman Grant.


BIPOC Women Production Grant Winner


Congratulations to Miranda Mlilo, first-time director and recipient of the BIPOC filmmaker grant from BendFilm. Miranda and her cousins Chloe and Paula pitched their project to panelists Yoshi James and Suzi Yonessi and showed incredible vision and passion for her film.

Stay tuned for more information on her project that is set to begin filming next summer and will explore key themes: generational loss of identity and culture, the question of identity and the complexities of diaspora.

Watch their pitch to the panelists and see all incredible projects in full here.

Thank you to all our filmmakers, panelists and funders who participated and the sponsors who helped make it possible!

This fund was made possible by New Sun Energy, the Starview Foundation and In Focus EyeCare.


Local Women Filmmaking Grant Winner

Michelle Alvarado for “Heaven”

“Heaven” by Michelle Alvarado was created with funds from the BendFilm Underrepresented Voices Grant.

A fishy satire, Heaven, dares to ask “Why do we believe in an afterlife?” This short film draws a parallel with human emotions and aspirations to a fish, as a way to comment on humankind’s determination to believe in something existing beyond this life, rather than a more rational or empirical hunch that it is true. Told with Rupert Brooke’s poem Heaven, composed in 1913, we see through the eyes of a fish, implying something suspect about our own ‘fishy’ beliefs about the afterlife.

From Michelle: “I have to say the grant has been beneficial beyond this short film.  It helped me exercise that creative part of my mind that asks ‘what stories are important to tell’  and to think outside the box a bit more. The exercise worked, I have formulated a couple other independent documentary series that I am starting to research now and very excited about.”