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Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise Seeks Applicants

Posted by Vilcek Foundation ; Posted on 
Film; Funding / Grants - DEADLINE :  
Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise Seeks Applicants




Applications are now open for the 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking. The prize will allow the recipient to reflect on how their experience as an immigrant has shaped their success.

AWARD AMOUNT:  $50,000 (3 awarded)

ELIGIBILITY: Naturalized U.S. citizen, green card holder, DACA recipient, or H1B/O1 visa holder born outside the U.S. and working in the U.S. for at least 5 years, no older than 38 years of age at the time of application


About the Program

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 as a complement to the Vilcek Prizes, to encourage and support emerging to mid-career immigrant artists and scientists who have demonstrated exceptional achievements early in their careers. As with the Vilcek Prizes, the Creative Promise Prizes are awarded annually in biomedical science and in a rotating category of the arts. The 2021 Arts category is Filmmaking.

About the Filmmaking Prize

Three prizes will be awarded to directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, editors, or producers who have completed at least one short film that has been awarded a prize or selected for film festivals, or one full-length film.

  • Applicant must not be enrolled as a full-time student
  • Applicant must intend to pursue a career in the United States

Film Genres

  • Narrative
  • Animation
  • Documentary
  • Experimental

Prizewinner Categories

  • Directing
  • Screenwriting
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Producing

Selection Process
A panel of distinguished jurors—members of the filmmaking community—will evaluate the applications based on their excellence, innovation, and impact. The Creative Promise Prizes will honor filmmaking artists who exemplify excellence and creativity and whose work showcases the possibilities of filmmaking as a language and a means of expression. The individuals chosen will have demonstrated exceptional independence and creativity by their 38th birthday.

Recommendations of the jury will be submitted to the Vilcek Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approval. All three winners will be considered equal in standing.

The winners of the Creative Promise Prize in Filmmaking will be notified in fall 2020. Prizewinners will be invited to attend the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in New York City, in the spring of 2021. Travel expenses and accommodations will be covered by the foundation.

What to Submit

  1. Personal information
  2. CV including a full filmography
  3. Documentation of your immigration status
  4. Portfolio/reel or writing samples
  5. Press clippings about your work
  6. Answers to three essay questions:
  • Why does cinema matter? How has this understanding about filmmaking informed your personal or professional path? [maximum 2,000 characters]
  • What do you hope to achieve through your work and how do you think it adds to the existing cinematic canon? [maximum 2,000 characters]
  • Describe the circumstances of your immigration to the United States and how your experience as an immigrant informs and enriches your approach to filmmaking. [maximum 1,500 characters]

How to Submit

Apply online only through the Vilcek Foundation application portal.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Shinnie Kim, Senior Program Officer, at 212-472-2500 or


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