Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship

Applications for the 2023 Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship have CLOSED.

Applications for the 2024 Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship will open July 1, 2023.

Mountainfilm is committed to supporting documentary filmmakers in telling stories that support our mission to inspire audiences to create a better world. We seek non-fiction stories celebrating adventure, activism, social justice, culture, environment and indomitable spirit. Mountainfilm promotes and encourages diversity behind the camera.

In an effort to give early-career filmmakers much-needed support, Mountainfilm launched the Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship in 2018 focused on supporting documentary filmmakers in production or post-production on their first or second documentary.

Are you a seasoned filmmaker? Check out our Commitment Grants.

Apply Now

Awards & Prizes

The fellowship provides one filmmaker with a yearlong mentorship, including edit and story consultation, networking opportunities and a $2,000 cash award. In addition, the fellowship includes a trip to Telluride during the festival over Memorial Day weekend, covering travel, lodging and a Mountainfilm pass ($3,000 value).* 

*Only good for year following your award notification (i.e. the winner of the 2022 fellowship attends in 2023.)

Rules & Terms

  1. Submissions will be open from July 1–31, 2023, with notifications in September/October.
  2. We accept applicants from any country, however, you must be currently residing in the United States.
  3. You must include a director bio, headshot and cover letter.
  4. You must also include a video sample or trailer of your current project (no longer than 10 minutes). We prefer password-protected Vimeo links for our jury as opposed to uploads.
  5. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.
  6. We consider projects in production and post-production.

Filmfreeway Instructions

  1. You must first be sure your film project has been entered into FilmFreeway (under My Projects). If not, select Add a Project.
  2. Please fill out all information that is applicable. If a question does not apply, or you don't yet have the asset, i.e. poster or website, enter N/A.
  3. Under Credits, only include those that apply or are currently confirmed. If not applicable, ie. Writer or Key Cast, feel free to delete that section by clicking the X on the upper right hand side of each credit.
  4. Under Specifications: Project Type, please indicate if your film is a short or a feature. The Fellowship only funds documentaries, so please also check Documentary under Project Type to confirm that you understand this guideline and that your film is indeed a documentary.
  5. Do not complete sections: Specifications (Scripts, Music, Photos).

This program is supported by Elizabeth & Allen Cutler.

Fellowship Recipients

2022 Emerging Filmmaker: Fiz Olajide
2021 Emerging Filmmaker: Madeline Gordon
2020 Emerging Filmmaker: Gabrielė Urbonaitė
2019 Emerging Filmmaker: Ahmed Mansour
2018 Emerging Filmmaker: Matthew Maxwell

"Without film, we have no festival. Filmmakers provide our content and are the roots of our festival. This fellowship is our way of supporting the next generation of talent."
Suzan Beraza, Festival Director