Best Asian film grants, labs, and funding competitions

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Best Asian film grants, labs, and funding competitions

Here is a handy list of film fund contests. Winners meet potential partners, get industry exposure, and can get funding.

Southeast Asian Short Film GrantSingaporeThe SGIFF (Singapore Int’l Film Festival) Southeast Asian-Short Film Frant (SEA-SHORTS) aims to be a launchpad for the brightest upcoming names in filmmaking from the region. WebsiteShort films can receive S$4,000. Furthermore, post-production support is worth S$4,000.
Purin FundsBangkok, ThailandThey offer three funds: Production, Post-Production, and an Activities fund. Additionally, they offer two application sessions per year: Spring (usually early February) and fall (early August). Website Facebook 
Southeast Documentary GrantSingaporeThe Tan Ean Kiam Foundation SGIFF Southeast Asian Documentary (SEA-DOC) Grant supports the production and post-production of documentaries in Southeast AsiaWebsite
Production projects can receive S$30,000. Additionally, post-production projects can receive S$20,000 in funding.
The ASEAN Co-Production FundThe PhilippinesChiefly, this grant is given to qualified Filipino production companies co-producing creative content (production and/or post-production). with an ASEAN partner. Website
Chiefly, funding support ranges from PHP 2.5 Million to PHP 7.5 Million (approx. USD 45,000 to 130,000). Notably, cycle #1: January – March. Lastly, cycle #2 July to September
Asian Cinema Fund (ACF)Busan, South Korea
Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) has been an essential partner for Asian cinema with its three supporting categories, In summary, programs: (1) Script Development Fund (Asian independent Feature-length fiction film scripts).   The writer-director needs to be of Asian nationality. Website
Chiefly, networking and industry exposure. Likewise, meetings with potential partners.

Busan Story Market

Busan, South Korea
The Busan Story Market is a marketplace for film and audiovisual adaptations of original IP ranging from literary books to webtoons, web novels, video games, and more. Website 
Most importantly, networking, and industry exposure. Additionally, meetings with potential partners.


The Philippines
CreatePHFilms Funding Program was launched to ensure that the government works with and provides support to filmmakers and producers in various stages of filmmaking to complement their efforts to produce quality Filipino films. Notably, Filipino filmmakers and production companies may apply to the following funding programs: Development Fund, 
Small Budget Production Fund,
Large Budget Production Fund &
Post-production Fund. 

ICOF: International Co-production FundThe PhilippinesMarkedly, they offer two application cycles. 1) January to March and 2) July to September. Website Chiefly, selected projects will receive a forty percent (40%) cash incentive based on the project’s QPPE. However, this has a maximum amount of Ten Million Pesos (Php 10Mn) funding.

MyLab: Malaysian Development Lab

Busan, South Korea (held during Busan Film Festival)
An incubator program for scriptwriters, directors, and producers to work on developing scripts and film projects. Thus, it aims for each project to deliver a package of the script, budget, financing plan, dossier, and pitch-ready materials at the end of the program. Facebook
In brief, they offer $5,000 in funding for further project development.

SFFILM Rainin Grant

San Francisco, USA
In effect, the funds allow filmmakers to devote dedicated time to furthering their work. Additionally, the grant includes a two-month FilmHouse residency in the Bay Area. For this reason, they can further develop their screenplay. Moreover, the participants will have access to both peer and established mentorship engagement. But, the screenplay must explore issues pertaining to social justice. Accordingly, they offer the following grants: Screenwriting, Development, and post-production. Website2-month residency. Grants are between $10,000 and $25,000 USD.
Asian Contents Film MarketBusan, South KoreaWhereas ACF offers script development, they also have a (2) Post-Production Fund (Asian independent Feature-length fiction film). Lastly, the third fund is  (3) an Asian Network and Documentary Fund. Website  Funding
Armed With A Camera FellowshipLos AngelesEmerging Media Artists recruits, trains, and supports independent AAPI artists in their efforts to create artistically and culturally significant short films. Thus, through a five-month program, the AWC Fellowship offers training, mentorship, and funding to up-and-coming artists to create new work. Consequently, these works will premiere at the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. WebsiteTraining, mentorship, and funding.
Asian Project MarketBusan, South KoreaThe selected projects will be provided with one-on-one meetings with film industry professionals during the APM event with among Asian Contents & Film Market and Busan International Film Festival. However, a director and producer should be attached.  WebsiteNetworking, industry exposure. Furthermore, meetings with potential partners.

IDFA Bertha Fund

The Netherlands
The IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentary filmmakers in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania. Website
Project development: The maximum contribution for project development is €7,500. However, must be spent in a country on the IBF  Classic Country List

Netflix/Sky Screenwriters’ Fellowship
The U.K.To illustrate, this fellowship, for each writer, will include a bursary of £22,568 (approx 27,800 USD) to write a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year. Additionally, monthly development events, workshops, and a paid placement in a Netflix or Sky series writers’ room. 
Chiefly, they are looking for applications from writers of Black, Asian, and other racial and ethnic backgrounds that are under-represented in the High-End TV and film industry. 
Online mentorship. Equally important, is a bursary of  £22,568.
AXS Film FundUSACritically, this program is for creators of color in documentary filmmaking or nonfiction new media who identify as having a disability. Website They will award up to five creators with grants of up to $10,000 each. For the purpose of, assisting them in finishing their projects at any stage of production.
Tokyo Gap Financing Market (TIFFCOM)Tokyo, JapanThis event takes place during the Tokyo International Film Festival. TGFM provides the opportunity for feature film and TV series projects in the financing stage to meet one-on-one with industry experts to help producers finalize their projects. However, eligible projects must have 60% of the total budget secured (50% for a TV series project). Additionally, they need an Asia- related element.  
Networking, industry exposure. Furthermore, meetings with potential partners.
Taiwan Creative Content Festival (TCCF)Taipei, TaiwanPrimarily, global buyers get together and attend exciting pitching sessions, including feature and documentary films, TV series, and animations, selected by TCCF and international partners. Website Networking, industry exposure. Meetings with potential partners.

EFM – Co-Pro Series Market

Berlin, Germany
The Berlinale Co-Production Market will be dedicated to Co-Pro Series: producers, editors, distributors, and other series financiers will take part in the industry’s highly renowned pitch event. Primarily, the contest covers feature films and drama series. Website Networking, industry exposure. Furthermore, meetings with potential partners.
EFM – Script StationBerlin, GermanyScreenwriters and writer-directors can receive mentoring from industry pros. Primarily, feature film and drama series scripts are accepted. However, you must apply to the Talent Projects market first to apply for this event. Website Mentoring.

EFM – Talent Project Market

Berlin, Germany
10 producers of feature-length projects are selected to meet with co-production partners and financiers. Critically, you need to have produced at least one feature-length film or two short films. Website Networking, industry exposure. Additionally, meetings with potential partners.
CAAM Documentary FundLos Angeles, USADocumentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding. Critically, they must be intended for public television broadcasts. WebsiteAwards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000 USD.
HAF – The Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum Hong KongHAF – The Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum takes place during Filmart. Hence,  it focuses on Asian content. Therefore, selected participants will be able to meet with investors. Secondly, they can also compete for cash and awards.  Furthermore, HAF Work-in-Progress Open Pitch is designed to provide a platform for later-stage projects seeking completion funding, post-production partners, distributors and sales agents, film festival support, and other industry services.  WebsiteNetworking, industry exposure. Moreover, meetings with potential partners.

Studio21: Drama Series competition

Above all, they are looking for a pilot script for an international drama that will appeal to audiences and co-producers worldwide. Specifically, the competition connects emerging writers with the global content business, offering the winner a £10,000 development option and a unique opportunity to connect with the global drama business through C21Media’s Content London in December. Equally important, the winning project will be developed by Studio21, supported by an advisory board made up of the most creative showrunners and television executives in the business. Website
£10,000 development option. 
SEApitch: S.E. Asian Project PitchBangkok, ThailandHeld during the Bangkok Asean Film Festival.
In particular, the producer and director must be based in Southeast Asian countries. Thus, the selected project members will join two Zoom workshops to prepare for the pitch. Granted that the workshops will focus on document preparation and presentation skills. Lastly, in the final session, each selected project will present an online pitch to the jury of three internationally renowned members. Submission is free. Website
1st place: 5,000 USD in funding. Secondly, the runner-up gets $3,000 USD. Additionally, Special Mention gets $2,000.
Bridging the Dragon Euro-Asian ForumBerlin, GermanyIntensive roundtable workshop. Truly, the event provides networking and collaboration opportunities. Website
Industry exposure. Secondly, mentorship.
Bridging the Dragon Sino-European Film LabBerlin, GermanyIn particular, lab participants can network and learn about current trends in the growing Asian content industry. Website
Networking. Moreover, industry exposure.

CAPE New Writers Fellowship. (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in entertainment).
USA (online)Each Fellow is matched with a high-level industry mentor to help them revise their scripts into professional-level writing samples to get. Additionally, the Fellowship typically runs each year in early spring. To explain, sessions take place on weekday evenings PT for approximately 3 hours, twice a week. Website Industry exposure. Additionally, mentorship.

Full Circle Lab Philippines

The Philippines
Supporting Filipino & South-East Asian film projects along their development & post-production processes. Namely, in order to enhance their artistic and audience potential with a focus on storytelling. To explain, the Lab is composed of four modules: (1) Fiction Lab, (2) First Cut Lab, (3) Creative Producers Lab, and (4) Story Editing Lab.  Website Industry exposure. Additionally, mentorship.

Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TCCA) National Development Fund

Taipei, Taiwan
Funding: NDF Investment (National Development Fund). Co-production Funds and Script Development Support. Website Funding

Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TCCA) Co-Funding Program

Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan’s International Co-funding Program TAICCA is your International Co-funding and Co-production Partner. To illustrate, they offer gap financing supports up to 30% of the total budget with max. USD$300,000. Thus requirements for (1) International Co-financing or Co-production (2) International Distribution (3) needs 70% of the total budget secured and  (4) having Taiwan Elements. Website Gap financing
BAFTA Breakthrough Showcases UK, US and India, and ChinaThe BAFTA Breakthrough Showcase supports the next generation of creative talent in film, games, and television in the UK, the US, India, and China. To illustrate, BAFTA gives talented individuals bespoke support at their critical ‘breakthrough’ career moment. Website Email (USA)  (UK / India and China) mentoring program.

Have you been selected for any of these pitch markets/contests? What was your outcome? Please leave a comment.

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