Voices With Impact Request for Proposals Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about campus events or Art With Impact in general, you can see our full FAQ here. If you have a question that is not listed here, please contact us.

Where is the RFP?

All application details can be found here.

When is the deadline to submit?

The deadline is 11:59pm PT on October 1, 2022.

What are the topics this year?

The two topics this year are Climate Change and Burnout. Your submission can focus on one of these issues, or both.

How long can the final film be?

5 minutes, including credits. It can be less, but fewer than 2 minutes is likely too short.

Do you accept submissions from {COUNTRY}?

We accept submissions from all around the world, as long as we are able to electronically transfer the grants funds to your country. To date, we have had grant winners from the US, Canada, the UK, Iceland, and Pakistan.

Is there a submission fee?

There is no fee for submission.

Is there an age limit?

Anyone over 18 can apply. You can have people under 18 on your team, but we can’t pay them directly. Keep in mind that we’re looking for films that will be applicable to college students. The named person on the application has to be at least 18.

When will you announce winners?

We will announce our 10 grant winners at the end of November 2022.

How much is the grant?

$7,500 USD (filmmakers in other countries will receive whatever that amount works out to be in their currency at the time of the transfer). 

Who is on the jury / who are the subject matter experts?

Our jury is made up of filmmakers with experience making films about mental health topics as well as mental health professionals with experience with this year’s themes.

I think my film might contain material inappropriate for some audiences. Will you still accept my application?

We’re happy to accept proposals for films that would reasonably be rated MPAA “R” or below. The bottom line is that these films need to be able to be screened at college campuses.

Where can I find information on previous winners and their films?

Winners and their completed films from last year can be found here.

Do you have examples of past submissions/proposals that you can share?

Here are a couple screenshots from winning proposals, one in a traditional “deck” layout, the other with a “page” layout.

Jurors will evaluate each film using the questions outlined in our RFP (on the page titled “How to Submit a Proposal”, so it might be helpful to go through those questions and answer them for yourself as though you were a juror in order to best prepare your submission.

How long should a proposal be?

We’ve had winning proposals range from 2 to 12 pages. As long as your proposal adheres to the word limits listed in the RFP, the overall document length doesn’t matter. Supplementary graphics may be useful additions but are not necessary.

How do you define “stigma?”

We define stigma as something that is untrue, negative, and able to be internalized. All three need to be true in order to be considered stigmatizing; for example, even if you’re portraying something or someone negatively, if that portrayal is true and represents that person’s holistic self, then it’s still reducing stigma.

Can I apply if I’ve already started production on my film?

Yes! Our only goals are a beautiful five minute film we can use in our work and supporting artists. Applicants can be at any phase in the process but should be clear about where they are in their proposals and how the Voices With Impact grant and support will be most useful in their process.

Can I submit a student film?

Yes, in fact, a few of our winning films have been student projects!

Can I submit my film to other film festivals too?

Your film must premiere at our in-person and virtual premieres in June 2023. Once the films have been premiered, they’ll be juried by our advisory board for the opportunity to be added to the OLIVE collection with a nonexclusive perpetual educational license. If your film is added to our library, it will be posted publicly on our website, so it may no longer be eligible for other festivals that require a film to be premiered with them. However, as long as our educational license is respected AWI will not place any additional restrictions on how you choose to use, distribute, and promote your film. The filmmaker retains the rights to the final film.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes. Any given person can be involved in up to three proposals. You can play the same or different roles in different proposals. For example, you might be the director in one, director of photography in another and producer of a third. Or you might be the DP on all three. You do not have to submit three different work samples for each proposal submitted.

Can I include other nonprofits as collaborative partners?

Yes. We encourage collaboration wherever possible as long as that collaboration allows for your film to be included in our library once it’s completed.

Can I also raise funding from other sources for my film?

Yes. Past winning filmmakers have used VWI as an unofficial matching grant and raised double (or more!) funding from other organizations and individual donors.

What if my past work samples don’t reflect the film I’m proposing to AWI?

You’re strongly encouraged to include a film sample with your proposal, but you can be strategic in choosing what sample(s) to submit. If most of your work doesn’t reflect the kind of film you’d like to make with us, we suggest choosing the five minute cut of your work that most closely aligns with your proposed film. You can also choose to submit work from one of your collaborators. We need to see that you or someone involved with your project has made a film before. You can also submit a script, but video is preferred. Previous work is pretty evenly weighed with proposal contents, so if your previous work isn’t exactly what you want to submit, you can include an acknowledgement of that fact. 

Can I submit a trailer as a sample?

Yes you can submit a trailer as a sample. Please specify what your role was in the project.

How should I indicate which five minutes of my work sample the juror should watch/read?

You can submit timestamps if you’d like, but clips or sides (isolated script pages) are preferred. The easier it is for the jurors to see what you’d like them to see, the better. Work samples can be less than 5 minutes long. 

Does the person applying have to be the director?

No, but they’re the person we’ll be in contact with the most so they need to be deeply involved.