The Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program was established in 1988 to develop and support women producing independent media. The Program fulfills this mission by offering support services including fiscal sponsorship, individualized consultations, workshops, networking and more. We are dedicated to increasing the diversity of women in the film industry and we especially encourage BIPOC/ALAANA, LGBTQIA women, older women, and women with disabilities to apply to our program. 

While fiscal sponsorship is a component of the program, unlike other sponsoring organizations, we also provide a suite of support services such as tailored consultations, discounts to our workshops and webinars with leading industry professionals, and other essential resources.

Since its inception, the Production Assistance Program has helped in the completion of hundreds of projects, including Oscar-winning documentary CITIZENFOUR, directed by Laura Poitras, Oscar nominee STRONG ISLAND by Yance Ford, and Sandi Tan’s SHIRKERS, which won the World Cinema Documentary Competition Award for Best Directing at Sundance.   The program has also supported critically-acclaimed fiction features like Dee Rees’ PARIAH,   I CARRY YOU WITH ME (dir. Heidi Ewing, prod. Mynette Louie) and FAREWELL AMOR (dir. Ekwa Msangi, prod. Huriyyah Muhammad, Sam Bisbee, Josh Penn),    We’re thrilled to have had 14 films in total from WMM current and alum filmmakers premiering at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival including opening night film  ITS ONLY LIFE AFTER ALL (dir Alexandria Bombach),  GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT (Dir Michèle Stephenson),  MILITHUSANDO (dir Milisuthando Bongela,  LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING (dir Lisa Cortés.   In addition to Sundance, films supported by our program premiere at major festivals like Berlin, Tribeca, IDFA, and SXSW.  Films and filmmakers we have supported have been nominated for or won Academy Awards for the last 17 years, including last year’s nominee for Best Documentary Short, THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT

In the last 5 years, WMM’s Production Assistance Program has helped 136 films reach completion and assisted filmmakers in raising more than $28,000,000 from government, foundation, corporate or individual, and crowd-funded sources.  Since its inception, the program has been a part of raising almost $100,000,000 and helping more than 1000 films to completion.


  • Fiscal sponsorship
  • Individualized fundraising and ongoing project consultations
  • Online resources available through our password-protected site
  • Project listing on our website offering your donors the option of making online donations via our secure server
  • Networking opportunities with other women media makers
  • Webinar and workshop discounts
  • Scheduled use of the Women Make Movies’ conference room
  • Access to WMM distribution titles
  • Feedback on grant proposals and rough cuts
  • Social media support for your project including crowdfunding campaigns, screenings and events
  • One free fundraising or proposal writing workshop or webinar


Projects are accepted into the Production Assistance program only after passing through a review process. In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your project must not be fiscally sponsored by another organization.
  • Your project must be a film or multimedia project.
  • The project director (or co-director) must be a woman identified filmmaker.
  • You must be based in the U.S. to apply.  Internationally-based filmmakers may apply by invitation only.  If you are an internationally-based filmmaker and would like to inquire about receiving an invitation to apply, please email us a brief description of your project at [email protected].
  • The project proposal should reflect your ability to develop a quality project proposal and your expertise in identifying funding sources.
  • Funds to be raised must be at least $50,000. i.e. if the budget for your short film is $50,000 but you only have $20,000 left to raise, the project would not be eligible for General Sponsorship. 
  • Although your film may be on any topic, the film must not reflect values that are racist or sexist. 


If your project is eligible, you will need to submit an application package including a Documentary Core Application.

If you are not familiar with the Documentary Core Application, please read the guidelines for applications.  

Submissions are taken on a rolling basis.

Projects are accepted by WMM after being reviewed through a competitive process using the following criteria:

  • Likelihood of Project Completion: Does the proposed project have a very high likelihood of being successfully completed?
  • Strength of Storytelling: Is the overall quality of the proposed project clearly defined and does it demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject matter. Does the treatment reflect the subject matter in a creative and concrete way?
  • Budget: Is the budget well developed and realistic for the project?
  • Fundraising Ability: Are funds already secured or likely to be secured? Has the project director identified appropriate sources of funding for the project? Are the potential funders appropriate for the project?
  • Demonstrated Ability of Key Project Personnel: Do the applicant and the proposed personnel have the ability to successfully complete the proposed project?
  • Distribution Potential: Is there a distribution and outreach plan for the completed project that is realistic and appropriate?
  • Quality of the Sample: Does the submitted sample support the project well? Does it indicate the solid ability of the director to fully execute the proposed project?
  • Relevance and Significance of Project to Women Make Movies: Does the subject matter and project meets the goals of WMM’s mission?


“BEBA has been a part of the Women Make Movies production assistance program since 2016. BEBA’s film team is a diverse film crew- we are comprised mostly of women of color. Women Make Movies was the first organization to give us any kind of support and we are eternally grateful for the opportunities they have afforded us. As first-time feature-length filmmakers what my film team and I have gained from being in the Women Make Movies production assistance program is invaluable.”

– Rebeca Huntt

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