Submissions for the 2018 grant are now CLOSED 

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At Other Worlds Austin, our passion for Science Fiction extends beyond our film festival. This year, OWA (with the co-sponsorship of The O'Bannon Company) will award a grant of $2,000 for the production or post-production of a short film to an emerging filmmaker who exhibits an equal passion for Science Fiction.  It is our wish to be able to help bring more quality SciFi into the world by contributing to an artist who shows promise, skill, and creativity, as well as to encourage the exciting film scene.

This $2,000 grant will be gifted to a filmmaker whose proposed short film follows our mission statement’s explanation of a phenomenal SciFi film: a great story that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of the audience, thrilling them both visually and intellectually.

Submissions for the 2018 grant are now open!  In November, an independent panel of esteemed professionals from the film community will convene to review applications. The grant winner will be announced in the fall with OWA’s film lineup and posted on our website at that time.

Wondering if your project is considered SciFi? Check out:

Please email if you have any questions regarding the grant.


Steps to complete your application:

1. Read the application instructions and eligibility rules thoroughly before preparing your application.

2. Fill out the online Other Worlds Austin Dan O’Bannon Filmmaking Award Application Form here:

3. Submit a password-protected sample video file via Vimeo or YouTube, 5 - 10 minutes in length on the online application.*

*NOTE: This film component is required, even if it is a non-SciFi film as a representative sample of the director’s work. Rough cuts of the grant requested project are perfectly acceptable when seeking post-production funding. If a sample is unavailable, a pitch video is also acceptable.

4. Email supporting material to including:

  • Project budget

  • Project description (3 pages max)

  • Project timeline (1 page max)

  • Project personnel (key bios 1 page max)

  • Treatment, Script or Outline

  • Optional: Additional support materials (letters of recommendation, storyboards, etc.)

  • All attachments must be in PDF form.

All application materials must be submitted by November 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM CDT time to be considered for the 2018 grant.  The video work sample must be received by November 26, 2018.

DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to fill out your application! Unexpected delays and technical issues can occur, so be sure to allow ample time to submit your application.


  • Application must be made by the creative author of the final work. This is typically defined as the director. Producers, editors, crew people, and writers who are not in creative control of the final project are not eligible to apply. Awards will not be made to organizations. The applicant name(s) will appear with the project on all publicity materials when the 2018 grant recipient is announced.

  • The project must be Science Fiction. Wondering if your project is SciFi? Check out:

  • Applicant must be a Resident of the United States. Film does NOT need to be shot in the United States.

  • Projects must be independent productions. “Independent production” means a production under the artistic, budgetary and editorial control of the individual owning copyright. No consideration will be given to industrial or promotional pieces or “works-for-hire.” Primarily episodic works (television shows, web series) also will not be considered. Projects that have received funding from an outside corporation or production company, whether or not they have any artistic control, will not be considered. This grant is intended for a filmmaker raising their own money to make their own film to show on the festival circuit.

  • Application must be for the production or post-production stages. No consideration will be given for applications requesting pre-production or development funds.



Project Budget should include the following:


    • pre-production through distribution

    • deliverables to festivals like BluRay or DCP creation

    • festival submission fees

    • in-kind offerings here as well (cast and crew working for free, free locations, props/cameras you own). Value these at a level you would assume you would have to pay for them for a production this size.

    • have three columns for all expenses - Actual and In Kind and these two add up to Total.

  • RESOURCES, from all income sources including:

    • your own contribution,

    • in-kind donations as listed above,

    • other grants already received or anticipated, other investors,

    • crowd-funding, etc.

    • NOTE: Your total Resources should EQUAL your total Expenses.

There are many ways to do a budget, but be as thorough as possible. A well-developed budget shows that you have really thought through your project. A sample budget is available to download as part of the sample supporting materials packet. Your budget does not have to follow this exact format, it is only a guideline, just be sure it has all the same information.  If you already have a great budget document, there is no reason to reinvent that for this application.


  • Maximum three (3) page length

  • The bulk of your project description should focus on what makes your SciFi project unique--in other words, the story!

  • We are basically asking you to describe your project. Simple as this sounds, the description should also provide a distinctive visual picture of your story as well as your personal style. The challenge is to write clearly and concisely while also conveying enthusiasm for your SciFi project. If you hook the panelists here, you're in the running; if you confuse them or bore them, your other materials will have to be extra strong to win them back.

  • Description of the story of the film with details about stylistic approach, visual elements, story structure, and thematic threads. (Recommend 3 paragraphs).

  • Description of your production plan, creative team, and information about project status to date. (Recommend 2 paragraphs).

  • Information about your target audience and distribution plans. Remember, this grant is primarily intended for filmmakers to make a film for the festival circuit and use to generate future interest in the director’s work. (Recommend 1 paragraph).

  • Details regarding your fundraising strategy and how the OWA grant funds will be used. This is extremely important. OWA is interested in funding a project where our investment will make a difference. $2000 does not go very far if your entire budget is $50,000. (Recommend 1 paragraph).


  • Detail production status and timeline:

    • List the key production stages and time alloted for each stage with anticipated dates

    • Timeline should cover the project from pre-production all the way through distribution

  • Maximum 1 page length


  • Paragraph biographies (no resumes, please) of key personnel (e.g., director, writer, director of photography, editor)

  • Emphasis should be on relevant experience, film credits, accolades

  • Maximum 1 page length


It is required that you include a finished script with your application. This should be a reading version, not a shooting script - we don’t need to know where you intend to use a dutch angle, etc.


  • letters of support

  • reviews, articles

  • additional video links (see below)

  • Not to exceed five (5) pages total

  • Support materials must be uploaded as a PDF.


  • Vimeo or Youtube link and password in application.

  • Your video sample must be 5-10 minutes in length. This means that your DVD or Vimeo link will contain a 5-10 minute reel showcasing your work. It is up to you what you include in this reel.

  • You can include several short scenes from different projects that would exhibit similarities to your proposed project, or

  • 5-10 minutes from the proposed film (perhaps a polished scene or two that will give the panel a good sense of what this project will be like.)

If you would like to submit more than 10 minutes of video, you may submit links as “additional supporting material.” It is likely that this material will be reviewed if the panel is strongly considering your proposal, particularly if you are submitting a rough cut of the proposed film.

Additional video MUST be submitted as a typed web address and password in your Additional Support Material pdf. Additional video may not be mailed.

APPLICATION FORM Details (Not the actual form, but what you'll need:)

General Information

  • First and Last Name:

  • Applicant Role

  • Physical Address

  • Primary Phone

  • Email Address

Project Information

  • Project Title

  • Length:

  • Shooting Medium: (Film/Non-Professional HD [including cell phone]/HD/Red)

  • Project Website*

  • Project Facebook*

  • Filmmaker Website*

  • Filmmaker Facebook*

  • Total Budget (including in-kind)

  • Total Cash Cost


Detail how the OWA Grant would be used

Video Sample Information

  • Link to 5-10 minute Work Sample

  • Password

  • Sample length

  • Describe what you have submitted as your video sample. Include details such as what the submitted project is, how it relates to the proposed project applying for funding, what production team members are shared


Other Worlds Austin will provide a check for $2,000, payable to the applicant, upon completion of the project. The winner is not required under any circumstance to submit their film to the Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival. In fact, we would far prefer the film play Austin at one of the larger festivals (SXSW, Fantastic Fest, AFF, aGLIFF). Should the winner desire to submit to Other Worlds Austin, that submission, as well as all future submissions, will be free. The winner also agrees to the following:

  • Filmmaker will update OWA on the progress of the film on a regular basis or when asked.

  • Filmmaker must pledge in good faith that all effort will be made to have the film completed before the end of the next calendar year [December 31, 2019].

  • Filmmaker will include the statement  “Partially funded through a grant from Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival” as well as an OWA logo in white or black at the conclusion of their credits, and on screen for no less than 2 seconds.

  • Filmmaker will allow OWA to feature the film in marketing material and the website, and will provide the festival with stills, trailers, and other supporting materials so that we can adequately promote it.

  • If the film ever appears online on a free website, Filmmaker agrees the film may also be embedded on the OWA website, either as a link to the film, or uploaded to our own servers or online account. In short, film must be viewable on the OWA website (this is very simple, if you upload it to your vimeo account or youtube, we are just embedding that upload on our website - so you still get all the views etc., people are just watching it on our website. It’s just a problem if embedded is not enabled, some websites looking for ‘exclusive’ content do that.)

  • Filmmaker acknowledges that they have read all of the OTHER WORLDS AUSTIN DAN O'BANNON FILMMAKER AWARD (a.k.a. Grant) rules, and understands and has and will comply with these rules. Filmmaker warrants the submission of original work and there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the underlying creative material that will serve as the basis of the film (i.e. Filmmaker has the legal right to make this film). Filmmaker also warrants the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and fully indemnifies OTHER WORLDS AUSTIN against any claim made for such violations of law. To the best of Filmmaker’s knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct. Filmmaker understands that failure to adhere to the Grant rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry. Filmmaker agrees to hold OTHER WORLD AUSTIN harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorney's fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any material submitted to the Festival for the Grant.