Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund


Grant Guidelines:


The Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund awards grants to Philadelphia area student media makers enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate college/university program who want to produce a digital video or audio project.

Undergraduate Student Award - awards up to $500

Graduate Student Award - awards up to $1,500

The Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund, a program of Scribe Video Center, is made possible with support from the Independence Public Media Foundation.

Deadlines: October 15 and March 1

Email Alexia Chororos, Scribe Managing Director for further information:


What organizations are involved in administering this grant?

The Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund is administered by Scribe Video Center. Evaluation of proposals and selection of grant recipients is made collectively by members of media arts organizations, individual members of the independent film and digital media community, and local colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area who are involved in media making, educating and supporting local artists.

Support for the Philadelphia Mediamaker Fund is provided by the Independence Public Media Foundation.

Who can apply?

Any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at a college or university located in the Philadelphia region including schools located in eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Northampton, Bucks, and Lehigh counties) New Jersey (Camden, Burlington, Mercer, Gloucester and Salem counties) and Delaware (New Castle and Kent counties).

All applicants must be at least 16 years old and enrolled in a degree granting institution of higher learning.

What projects are eligible for Funds?

Undergraduate Students - projects produced by students enrolled in an undergraduate program of study. Projects may be part of a student’s coursework and degree requirements, or personal projects. Awards of up to $500 will be made.

Graduate Students - projects produced by students enrolled in a graduate program of study. Projects may be part of a student’s coursework and degree requirements, or personal projects. Awards of up to $1,500 will be made. 


Who retains the copyright of the funded projects?

The applicant retains all rights to the project. The Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund and Scribe Video Center must be duly credited in the end credit of the work and in all marketing materials. 


How may the funds be spent?

The funds can cover any costs related to completion of the project. Generally these costs will be included in the following three areas: 

Pre-Production Costs - These costs include travel and filming for research of story elements; writing, shooting and editing of a sample reel; grant writing consultants for fundraising, story development consultants, website construction; lookbook; other activities prior to principal photography and production start.

Production Costs - These costs include cast, crew, voice talent, meals, food, site rental, hard drive/storage; other activities related to principal photography and production. 

Post-Production Costs - These costs include editing consultations; fine cut editing; sound mixing; scoring, color correction; Title design; Graphics/Animation/Illustration; dub titling; closed captioning; DVD authoring; DCP conversion, archival footage rights; master dubs; and duplication.


What process is used to select the projects?

Scribe Video Center and members of the Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund assemble a rotating panel of local indie filmmakers and representatives from colleges and universities, and non-profit independent media organizations to review all written and audio/visual application materials.

What does the panel consider when evaluating my application?

The panel prefers projects that are at a critical juncture where the award will have an impact on the student’s ability to begin, continue or complete the project. 

The panel makes awards to projects they consider to be feasible in scope and scale based on the student’s training and experience; be creative and compelling in technique; are accountable to the communities/audiences they work with; and have a reasonable expectation to generate public discourse and social engagement.

One goal of these awards is to expand access to underserved, under-acknowledged, and/or under-engaged populations. We encourage applications from students who may fall at the intersection of identities, such as people of color, immigrants, queer people, people facing poverty, and/or trans folks.


How much money can I apply for?

Undergraduate Grant: $500

Graduate Grant: $1,500


What are the components of the grant application?

Narrative Questions -

  • Project Summary/Synopsis: What is your project structure and story? Describe the anticipated structure and narrative, plots, and artistic style for your project. If relevant, discuss your access to the story and characters.

  • Why funds are needed at this moment: Please describe the critical juncture for your film and why the funds are needed.

  • Project Output: Specifically, what will be created or what work will be accomplished if you receive a grant? What will be the evidence that the work has been completed and will help you move forward with your project?

  • Community: How do you define your community? Describe how this project will be of importance to your community and strengthen and connect voices and foster greater understanding within and/or between communities. How might the finished work be shared in the community identified by the media maker? 

Project Timeline - Explain the current status of the project. Outline the projected timeline from the project’s current state to the anticipated completion date. Your timeline should provide general project activities, production schedules, and anticipated post-production and distribution dates.

Project Budget  -

  • Upload Budget.
  • Summarize the Total Project Budget showing Income and Expenses. Include in kind and breakdown in stages by: Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production and Distribution.
  • Indicate how you will use the Student Filmmakers Grant; what costs will be covered by these funds.

Distribution Plan - Give the review panel an idea of where you imagine this work might be seen and who the audience might be.

Letter of Support from Faculty/Mentor - A letter of support from a faculty member or other mentor that supports your work and agrees to provide guidance to you through the grant period. The letter writer must agree to attend one check in meeting with Scribe staff half way through the grant period. 

Work Sample - A sample of the student's past work that best represents their abilities. We will accept links to past media projects, stills, drawings or narrative scripts. We will also review work samples (including outlines, scripts, research footage) from the proposed project.

When am I notified of the panel’s decision?

Notifications will be made by December 31 and April 15.

If I am awarded a grant, when will I receive my grant award?

Within 3 weeks of being notified and with return of a signed grant award letter. Grant payments will be made available to the award recipients by check.

Undergraduate students will receive payment of  80% of the grant award (ex. $400 of a $500 award) upon return of their co-signed grant award letter. The balance will be paid upon completion of the reporting requirements.

Graduate students will receive payment of 80% of the grant award (ex. $1,200 of a $1,500 award) upon return of their co-signed grant award letter. The balance will be paid upon completion of the reporting requirements.

What are my obligations upon receiving a grant?

Awardees and their mentors must attend one check-in meeting with Scribe staff midway through the grant period.

The grant money must be used within five months of receiving the award letter.

Six months after receiving the award, the grant recipient must provide evidence that the work funded is complete by providing a link to the work product and submitting a narrative and financial report. 

Upon satisfactory receipt of the final reports and copy of the work completed, the final grant payment will be released. 

Scribe will likely hold a screening of works completed through the Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund. We would invite you to attend this event.

The Philadelphia Student Mediamaker Fund, a program of Scribe Video Center, is made possible with support from the Independence Public Media Foundation
Founded in 1982, Scribe Video Center is a nonprofit media arts center that provides an opportunity for adults and young people to produce digital media under professional instruction. Projects exploring personal visions, social issues, and community life are of particular interest to Scribe.