The South Carolina Film Commission has announced the selection of three South Carolina short films for their INDIE GRANT program, funding the projects to create training opportunities for Trident Tech film students, while at the same time showing off the state's stories to the world.


The short film projects selected are:


COTTON COUNTRY (Documentary)

Emily Harrold

A highly visual short documentary told through the experience of Lee Blackman of Ellorree, South Carolina.  Exploring the beauty and legacy behind a historically burdended plant.



Matthew Aughtry

Eleanor and John were maried for 49  years.  Each year they took a trip to a different state for their anniversary.  But after John passes away before their 50th, Eleanor takes ones last trip to Charleston, SC, to mark off the final state on the map of their lives.


GONE AWAY (Narrative)

Elizabeth Rose Thomas

Daddy's gone away and the well's gone strange.  On a rural South Carolina homstead, the fantastic has begun to seep into the lives of three children.  Now they must learn to surive as the world around them begins to shift.


The Indie Grants are one of the only programs like it in the country and is a joint partnership between the South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College.


Each project will employ Trident Technical College film students in its production, giving the students hands-on training under the filmmakers and other professionals, and acting as a bridge to full-time professional employement are.








2013 INDIE GRANT short 'The Masque of the Red Death'

THE 2014 INDIE GRANTS FUNDING CYCLE is now closed.  Look out for the opening of the 2015 cycle in March.  In the meantime, get a sense of the application and funding process with the information below.




Since 2010, the SOUTH CAROLINA FILM COMMISSION and TRIDENT TECHNICAL COLLEGE have funded and produced twenty short films through their INDIE GRANTS program.  Honored by the likes of Sundance Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, FantasticFest, LA Film Festival and DragonCon. 




THIS YEAR, THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS ALL ABOUT THE SCRIPT!  Unlike previous cycles, applicants now only need to submit a short-film screenplay, with the specifications defined in the required application.  If your script is selected for funding, INDIE GRANTS staff will work with you in selecting a Producer and Director to oversee all elements of production. 


OF COURSE, IF YOU HAVE A SCRIPT WITH A TEAM IN PLACE (e.g., DIRECTOR and PRODUCER) YOU'RE JUST AS ELIGIBLE!  The funding application includes instructions on how to include that optional information, and all that work you've already done developing your project will absolutely come into play in the selection process.


But what if you're a Director or Producer raring to go on one of these projects and just haven't found the right material yet?  Well, you're another very valuable component to this program, and we want to hear from you too.  Fill out the COLLABORATOR'S FORM, and you will join a pool of Producer, Director and other position candidates for the projects.  Any writers selected for funding without those positions attached will select from that pool.


All of these elements will work together to give as many South Carolina filmmakers as possible opportunities to participate in the program.  And help make great South Carolina short films to show off to the world.


APPLICATIONS DUE JUNE 6, 2014.  To apply, simply download the application form above and follow the instructions.


Need more info?  Email brad@indiegrants.org or sarah@indiegrants.org.  And check out a brief video on the program here.


Please read these materials and application, and also the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS below, thoroughly and completely, as some requirements and other elements of the program have changed.




How are projects selected for funding?

An independent panel of evaluators will read all scripts and optional supporting materials and select projects to fund based on the quality of the script and feasibility within the INDIE GRANTS' funding parameters.  All reasonable efforts are made to make the process fair and anonymous. 


How do I know how much funding I will receive?

Projects may receive up to $15,000 in funding.  As part of the evaluation process, independent third-party evaluators will determine the feasibility of each project's execution within those parameters, and also the reasonable amount of funds needed to produce each project.  (If an optional production budget is submitted, it will be part of this consideration.)  If selected for funding, INDIE GRANTS producers will work with the filmmakers to create a budget within the amount assigned, subject to the filmmakers' and South Carolina Film Commission's approval.


What if I have a script and my whole production team in place?  Shouldn't my project be considered above someone with just a script?

In all previous grant cycles we've required all of those components, but this year we want to give all South Carolina filmmakers an opportunity to produce a project, including writers.  Rest assured that all the great work you put into developing your project past the script stage will be seriously considered by the evaluators.


I'm a South Carolina filmmaker and I want to make one of these projects, but I don't have a script.  What about me?

One of the main points of the INDIE GRANTS program is to maximize the talent pool in South Carolina.  So yes, we want you involved as well.  If you'd like to be considered as a Director, Producer or other position for any scripts that get funded without those positions attached, simply fill out the COLLABORATOR'S FORM and submit with work samples.  Any funded projects will then consider those candidates for those positions, as needed.


Of course, we won't know how many of those positions will be available, if any.  It will depend on what projects the independent evaluators select, which is purely at the discretion of the evaluators and the South Carolina Film Commission.


What if I've never made a film before but I have a short film script I've been working on.  Should I apply?

Yes.  Writers and filmmakers of all experience levels are encouraged to apply.  As mentioned, we are looking for strong scripts and stories.  If the selection panel picks your script for funding, we will provide staff and resources to get your film made. 


What if I wrote my script with a writing partner or team?

Love it.  Collaboration is great.  Please apply, and feel free to include your writing partner or partners as co-applicants.


Can I submit multiple projects/scripts for funding consideration?

Only one project may be submitted by a single applicant.  However, that same applicant may be listed as a co-applicant on other projects subumitted.


When will I find out if my script is funded?

Funding decisions are tentatively scheduled to be made by August, 2014.  Once the independent selection panel makes their decisions, all applicants will be informed of their status. 


How would I receive production funds, if funded?

The INDIE GRANT is a partial reimbursement grant.  Filmmakers selected for funding sign a contract with Trident Technical College, outlining all the terms laid out in the application.  After signing the contract, filmmakers will receive 50% of the to-be-determined funding amount.  The remaining 50% will be provided as reimbursement.  Funded filmmakers must provide all receipts and other documentation showing the funds were spent in the approved manner before the final 50% reimbursement is provided.  But don't worry...It's not as complicated as it may sound, and the INDIE GRANTS staff will work with funded filmmakers to make the process as simple and seamless as possible.


If my project is funded by the INDIE GRANTS, can I raise additional funds for the project to increase my budget?

Projects selected for funding by the INDIE GRANTS are more than welcome to pursue and acquire additional funding, through other grants, contributors, crowd-sourcing, etc.  (We've had several projects do this successfully in the past.)  As long as those sources and their specific requirements do not conflict with INDIE GRANTS procedures, including marketing and credits acknowledgments.


What type of short films do you typically fund?

All types.  Past projects have ranged from an experimental paper puppet animated short to a documentary about female hunters to a narrative about a nine-foot tall creature made of old silverware.  Creativity is king.  Bring your best idea, and develop it into your best script.


I have a horror script.  Could it be funded?

A conventional slasher flick?  Probably not.  But an original idea with an unconventional approach to genre?  Now we're getting somewhere.  As long as it falls into broadcast decency standards.


What about those broadcast decency standards?  Why should that matter?

Based on relationships with South Carolina Educational Television and other broadcast entities, INDIE GRANTS films need to be available to be broadcast on public television.  So be sure your film takes into consideration the public broadcast audience, using sensible discretion for plot elements such as violence, language, and sexual content.  But don't fret.  Having elements that potentially exceed that in the application stage won't automatically disqualify you, as long as you agree to make adjustments as needed before funding.


I don't have a short film script but have been working on a feature.  Could I submit part of that as a precursor to the feature?

If you can take a section of that feature and turn it into a 15-page script that works as a free standing story, then yes.  And if you are funded, and are able to use your completed short to help develop the feature version, that's great too.  We love to see INDIE GRANTS filmmakers and projects go on to bigger things. 


Why do we have to use Trident Tech students on our crew?

The INDIE GRANTS program is one of several programs funded by the South Carolina Film Fund, a legislative initiative created to provide training to South Carolina crew and professional development for South Carolina filmmakers.  As part of those efforts, these projects are used as real-world training exercises for TTC students.  These students are skilled in all departments (especially camera, grip, and electric), and have proved to be valuable components to INDIE GRANTS productions.  Typically INDIE GRANTS shoots employ professionals in all departments, with students working under them.


Does it matter who I use for below-the-line crew?

You will be expected to use professional, qualified, South Carolina crew across the board.  As a community of crew that takes pride in our work, this ensures high production value and a professional set environment for TTC students to learn within.  









View clips and trailers from past INDIE GRANT films here.


About Indie Grants


The Debutante Hunters was the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner

In March 2010, the South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College founded the INDIE GRANTS, as part of the South Carolina Production Fund training initiative. Providing small production grants for South Carolina short films, the program is designed to provide independent filmmakers with resources that will add quality, ingenuity and creativiey to their projects, while training the next generation of South Carolina crew and creating industry exposure for the state's film community.


The progam has resulted in a high-quality, intriguing collection of short films, in a mix of genres and formats. Official film festival selections and awards include the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Winner, Palm Springs Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Stiges Film Festival, LA Film Fest, Toronto AfterDark, Mediera Film Festival (Portugal), Cleveland International Film Festival, Charleston International Film Festival and the Santa Rosa International Film Festival.