2021 SC Indie Grants application

The 2020 funding cycle has closed. Guidelines and FAQs for the next round in 2021 can be viewed at indiegrants.org.

View the list of our winners here: https://www.indiegrants.org/2020-indie-grants-selections

Need more info? Email Brad or Jessica.

Since 2010, the South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College have funded and produced over twenty short films through their Indie Grants program. Fulfilling the program's goals of supporting indigenous South Carolina filmmaking, creating effective training environments for TTC film students, and showing off South Carolina storytelling to the world, these films have been honored by the likes of Sundance Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, FantasticFest, LA Film Festival and DragonCon.

The South Carolina Film Commission has announced the selection of South Carolina short films for their Indie Grant program, funding and producing the projects to create training opportunities for film students and professional development for the state’s media professionals.

"This program is motivating exceptional filmmaking in our state while giving valuable training to South Carolina students and professionals," said Tom Clark with the South Carolina Film Commission. "These films will show off the state's talent, location, and production value at an international level."

The program is a joint partnership between the Film Commission and Trident Technical College. Each project will employ Trident Tech film students, giving the students hands-on training under the filmmakers and other professionals, such as Oscar-winning DP Russell Carpenter (Titanic, Ant-Man) in the 2014/2015 series.

Over its five years, Indie Grants films have been official selections at film festivals such as Sundance Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Stiges Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, DragonCon, Mediera Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Tallgrass Film Festival, and Santa Rosa International Film Festival.


As part of its mission to train South Carolina production professionals and enhance the indigenous industry through professional development, the South Carolina Film Commission host a series of production training seminars each year. All workshops are free and open to the public.

Check back here often to stay up-to-date on seminars, or join our email list here.


Make a short film (30-seconds to two-minutes). Shoot in a South Carolina State Park. Tell a great story. And you could be on your way to becoming the next great filmmaker!

Each year, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Trident Technical College and the South Carolina Film Commission holds a short film contest for high school students in South Carolina. Top Ten finalists screen at special film festival programs, with the winners receiving cash and prizes.

Rules and guidelines for the 2019/2020 contest are coming soon. Check back here for more information.

Need more info? Email Brad or Jessica. Read the Frequently Asked Questions below. And check out a brief video on the program.


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 Grant's funding parameters. All reasonable efforts are made to make the process fair and anonymous.

How much funding can I receive?
There is a limited pool of funds available to finance short films through the Indie Grants. As part of the evaluation process, independent third-party evaluators will determine the reasonable amount of funds needed to produce each project, and the feasibility of each project's execution within the program's parameters. (If an optional, existing production budget is submitted with the original application, it will be part of this consideration.) That determination will be used by the evaluators and the South Carolina Film Commission (SCFC) to determine the number projects and the funds each project receives, within the available funding pool.

What if I have a script and my whole production team in place? Shouldn't my project be considered above someone else's with just a script?
Rest assured that all the great work you put into developing your project past the script stage will be seriously considered by the evaluators. There's nothing we like more than to support a project that's greenlight ready. But we also want to give all South Carolina filmmakers an opportunity to produce a project, including writers. So both project types are seriously considered.

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 submitted.

When will I find out if my script is funded?
Funding decisions are tentatively scheduled to be made by August, 2015. Once the independent selection panel makes their decisions, all applicants will be informed of their project's 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 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 contributors to past 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.

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© 2010 by the South Carolina Film Commission, a division of SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism. All rights reserved.