The Reel Sisters Micro Budget Film Fellowship offers women of colour the chance to win $5,000 to produce a web series pilot

A call for entries to the fellowship is open until 31 January; the winner will produce a short film or pilot showcased in Reels Sisters’ annual international film festival.

5 January 2022


Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, a lecture series and film festival devoted to showcasing films produced, directed and written by women of colour, has announced a call for entries for its Micro Budget Film Fellowship. Taking applications of scripts written by women and non-binary filmmakers of colour, the fellowship carries an award of $5,000 for the winning creator to produce the first episode of a web series or a short film. The deadline for submissions is 31 January, with the official announcement from Reel Sisters following on 7 March.

Continuing Reel Sisters’ vision to “create opportunities for women of colour in the film industry” and “share their unique stories with a global audience,” Carolyn Butts, founder of Reel Sisters, says the winning creator can use their pilot episode “as a calling card to attract a producer and other film opportunities”. During the production process: “[The winner] will be guided on [their] journey in learning the art of creating a high quality micro budget film. Story is Queen,” the founder adds.

Alongside the $5,000 grant, the awards for the fellowship includes a full scholarship to Scriptwriting Essentials: The Art of Creating Strong Female Characters™ and a one-on-one consultation with mentors, who will guide the winner through the production process. The winner’s pilot or short film will also premiere on Reel Sisters Tea & Cinema online series and feature in its annual film festival.

On creative guidelines for submissions, Reel Sisters states it is looking for compelling, richly textured characters, films with strong female roles and three-dimensional protagonists and antagonists. Originality is also a key to the brief: “Create bold characters that the world has not seen before,” advises Reel Sisters. “Take risks and experiment with visual and written language on the screen and page.”

Applicants to Reel Sisters’ Micro Budget Film Fellowship will be charged a reading fee of $15. The selected winner will retain full production and copyrights to their film. Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series is required to be listed in production credits.

GalleryReel Sisters: Micro Budget Film Fellowship (Copyright © Reel Sisters, 2021)

Hero Header

Reel Sisters: Micro Budget Film Fellowship (Copyright © Reel Sisters, 2021)

Share Article

About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.