The Community Builders Grant is a short-form film fund and production resources grant sponsored by Camera Ambassador. Our mission is to elevate local productions by arming filmmakers with the necessary tools to create. This grant supports individuals with varying levels of experience, both to recognize accomplished artists, as well as to provide opportunities for young and emerging creatives. This grant aims to build bridges amongst our community by activating local filmmakers to apply, engaging community leaders who act as judges, and pitch session attendees who determine the final grant rankings.

This grant is designed for filmmakers with a developed script, budget, and production plan that need support to bring their project into the principal photography phase and then to film completion.

This year, 2024, we have decided to take time and space to recalibrate to better serve our community. After 5 incredible years providing emerging filmmakers with the resources they need to create, we have decided we will not be hosting the Community Builders Grant Pitch Event this year. Instead, we will be dreaming up the future of the grant, and how to bring the best of ourselves to you, our beloved Chicago film community. Be on the lookout for details on the 2025 grant season as it approaches this next winter.

We will be back and better than ever! Thank you for your understanding and we will see you in the shop in the meantime!

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2022 - Video Funeral

Written and Directed by Linh Tran. Produced by Hannah Schierbeek.

Lam, a Vietnamese international student, welcomes her younger sister, Phuong, to her Chicago apartment. Phuong brings a DVD of their father’s funeral, which Lam could not attend.

2021 - Zero Mile Mark

Written and Directed by Link Wolfe. Produced by Jody Bailet.

Zero Mile Mark is a short horror film that explores the damage that the troubled teen industry can inflict. The film follows Andre, an at-risk teen whose parents enroll him in a wilderness therapy program without his knowledge.

More about the Troubled Teen Industry:

50,000 children enter the Troubled Teen Industry every year. Although this industry is worth nearly $1.2 Billion, these programs are largely unregulated and have no federal oversight. In the last 30 years, at least 207 kids have died from preventable causes while in these residential treatment centers.

2020 - A Nickname

Written and Directed by Sean Sankalp Raju.

A Nickname is a comedic short film centered on the childhood story of how Sean Raju got his nickname, "Sean", as an Indian American immigrant.

2019 - Patois

Written by Andre Muir. Directed by Andre Muir and Danielle Alston. Produced by Zachary Moore.

Patois is a film that speaks on the importance of identity and self-worth through the coming of age story of a young first generation American girl Khenya, as she navigates being raised in a household with rules and tendencies that reflect the traditions of her parent’s home country, while also trying to find herself and fit in at a typical American school.