The Community Builders Grant


Beginning March 1st, the 2nd annual Camera Ambassador Community Builders Grant will be accepting new creative applications! Submit for a chance to be selected for $3,000 cash toward your project, a $5,000 gear stipend and your wrap party on us
The Community Builders Grant is a short film fund and rental gear credit grant. Our mission is to arm creators with the necessary tools they need to do what they do best, create. This $3,000 cash production fund and $5,000 gear credit supports artists with varying levels of experience, both to recognize accomplished individuals, as well as to provide opportunities for young and emerging artists.


Email to apply.

Any applications submitted before March 1st or after May 1st will not be accepted.



$3,000 Cash from Camera Ambassador

$5,000 Gear Credit from Camera Ambassador

A Wrap Party with Camera Ambassador

Casting Session with Compass Casting

Free Color Grading by The Mill's Lindsey Mazur

One Year Membership with the Midwest Film Festival

6-Month Membership with the Independent Film Alliance

40% off post services, 60% off location audio, and One Mentor Session with Noise Floor Sound Solutions

Promoted Screening Event at the Chicago Cultural Center, Sponsored by the Chicago Film Office

Reserved Space for Three Production Meetings at the Chicago Cultural Center, Sponsored by the Chicago Film Office

Who We Fund?

You. Artists. Storytellers. Filmmakers. Creatives. Script Writers. Producers. Cinematographers with a story. Are you with a creative project that could use the funds and gear? We want to help you! 

Are you Eligible? 

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • Must be shot in the Midwest - We are about building this community first.
  • At least 21 years old.
  • A working artist with at least three years of professional experience.
  • Students with experience can apply. If you are a student, please mention that in the application.

What to Expect?

After application submission ends, finalists will be notified regarding next steps. Finalists must be comfortable pitching and discussing their project in person. This will take place during Iron Sharpens Iron Feedback Session Relaunch, on May 27th, 2020. Decisions are final and may not be appealed. However, all applicants who are not selected are welcome to apply again for additional future grants. Just because you have not been selected doesn’t mean we don’t value your art contributions in the community! We value you and your work.  Due to staff capacity, only the finalists will be contacted. 

Selection Process:

  • Finalists announced May 17th. 
  • Finalists will pitch at Iron Sharpens Iron Feedback Session Re-launch on May 27th, 2020. 


  • No long format - This is a short film grant. All submissions must be 15:00 minutes or under. Submit music videos, short narrative films, art films, trailers or any other type of film or video under 15 minutes total. Anything over will not be reviewed.
  • Projects must be in advanced stages of the pre-production process. This means projects must have at least one producer attached.
  • Gear stipend not redeemable for cash.
  • Must include all materials listed to be reviewed.
  • Must be used within the determined and discussed timeline. 
  • Gear is subject to availability, you must lock in gear list as soon as possible. 
  • All gear subject to Camera Ambassador's regular terms and conditions.
  • Camera Ambassador will shoot a BTS video with interviews from grant applicants and key contributors when onset or before.
  • Camera Ambassador will shoot BTS photos on set for one day of production. The selected date will be discussed with the artist in advance, determined by the best fit. We don’t want to be in the way!
  • If gear credit does not cover the full cost of gear and you are not using personal gear, all other equipment must be rented through Camera Ambassador. We will be happy to work with you on budget.


To apply to the Community Builders Grant, you must do the following:

1. Register for Camera Ambassador Newsletter, HERE.

2. Follow Camera Ambassador on Facebook & Instagram.

3. Submit the following materials to with the subject line "CB Grant Submission - LAST NAME - 2020":

  • The current script or treatment for your project. It's okay if it's the first draft. (PDF format)
  • The current budget for your project.  (PDF)
  • Your project's tentative production timeline. (PDF)
  •  Key partner bios. This can include creators, producers, directors, DP, talent, etc. (PDF)
  • *Your Instagram and Facebook handles. 
  • *One headshot, plus another photo of yourself. (JPEG)
  • One PDF document answering the following questions:
    • Your project title.
    • Description of your project. (250 word max)
    • How many days are you shooting? Will the project be completed in one round?  (100 word max)
    • What is your total funding goal? What is your game plan to raise the additional funds? How much money do you currently have towards that total goal? (100 word max)
    • Is this a SAG-AFTRA project? If so, how far are you along in the submission process? (100 word max)
    • What are the main influences upon your work as an artist? How does your previous work influence your current project? Use examples, which may include other artists’ work, art movements, cultural heritage, research/work from outside your field, etc. (250 word max)
    • How does your project take an original approach? Be as specific as possible. (200 word max)
    • What kind of impact—artistic, intellectual, communal, civic, social, etc—do you hope your project will have? What strategies will you employ to achieve the desired impact? (100 word max)
    • Who are the specific audiences/communities that you hope to engage or inspire through this project? How will you achieve that? (100 word max)
    • What is your distribution plan? Where can people find this film?  (100 word max)

*If you are a semi-finalist, these materials will be used in Camera Ambassador social media posts.



Camera Ambassador would like to thank our official sponsors for the 2020 Community Builders Grant. To find out more about our sponsors, click on the icons below. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, email us at