Jane Cusumano/WIFV Short Narrative Film Finishing Fund

Women in Film & Video DCJane Cusumano/WIFV Short Narrative Film Finishing Fund

Finishing Fund for Narrative Short Films

The Jane Cusumano/WIFV Short Narrative Film Finishing Fund supports WIFV Members with the completion/post-production of a short film (no longer than 15 minutes including credits). This grant program is made possible with proceeds from the 2001 DC screening of WHAT MATTERS MOST, written and directed by Jane Cusumano and limited in-kind services from Henninger Media Services, Interface Media Group, Ott House Audio, and ReelPlan. The program is administered by Women in Film & Video.  There is one call for applications per year.  The application deadline for 2024 will be announced later this year.

The first film to receive this grant was the award-winning TELL ME ABOUT ORANGE made in 2019.  It has been accepted into several film festivals and is now an award-winning short!  It was one of six short films featured on The Wrap website during the Power Women’s Summit on December 7 – 9, 2021.

In 2021 the Jane Cusumano/WIFV Short Narrative Film Finishing Fund was awarded to THE FAMILIAR.  In 2022-23, the Fund supported FLIGHT OF THE CROWS.

Grants are awarded via a merit-based review process based upon the following criteria:
• Artistic Merit and Strength of Work Sample from the film under consideration;
• Readiness of Work to be Completed;
• Overall Creative Excellence;
• Distribution Plan.

The grant amount is $3,000 in cash and limited in-kind services to include:
• up to 8 hours color correction,
• up to 8 hours Design/Graphics time for the Graphics/Titles,
• up to 8 hours audio mix, and
• up to 4 hours of festival consulting provided by ReelPlan.

The film must be completed within four months of the grant being awarded. The grant will be paid in two parts – $1,500 when grant awarded and $1,500 upon completion of film.

Applicant Eligibility

• Individual filmmaker or filmmakers working in collaboration;
• Resident of the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia;
• Credit a writer or director who identifies as a woman and include a protagonist who identifies as a woman;
• Member for at least one year and in good standing with Women in Film & Video;
• Student work, at any level, is not eligible for this grant.

Project Eligibility

Film must be at the rough cut stage at the time of submission with 90% of principal photography completed. Work must be narrative, not exceeding 15 minutes including credits, and intended for a public audience.

Funding Eligibility

Services, professional fees, and/or travel needed for the completion of film including, but not limited to the following areas:

• One, 8-hour day of filming
• Editing
• Color Correction
• Graphics & Titles
• Sound Design & Mixing
• Special Effects
• Subtitles
• Voiceover
• Animation

Application Process and Deadline

The application deadline is January 30, 2023. The completed application consists of the following to be submitted as one document in pdf format:

• Application Cover Sheet (available as a Google Form here)
• Project Information with Distribution Plan and including link to work sample
• How will you spend the grant?  Include full project budget
• Resume or CV of key crew members

Applicants must include a sample of the work for which support is requested. Applicants must indicate a 10-minute (or less) section you wish to be evaluated. The work sample cannot be a trailer or specially-cut samples. The work sample must be a sustained section taken from the to-be-completed work.

Award Selection, Notification, and Distribution of Funds

• A panel of film professionals from the DC-region will evaluate applications and award grant funding.
• All applicants will receive award notification via email within 45 days of the submission deadline.
• Grant recipients must sign and return the acceptance agreement and a W-9 within 5 days of receipt of award notification.
• The grant will be paid in two parts – $1,500 after acceptance materials received by WIFV and $1,500 upon completion of film.

Final Reporting and Copyright of Work

Upon completion of the project, a final report must be completed and submitted to director@wifv.org and a copy of the completed work must be made available to WIFV. The work may be used or exhibited by WIFV to market the program, but will not be distributed without the filmmakers’ prior written consent. Grant recipients retain all rights over their work.


Credit must be given to this grant program and its funders on all informational and promotional materials. Language is provided with approval notification.


For questions, please contact Melissa Houghton, WIFV Executive Director, at director@wifv.org or 202-429-9438. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications prior to submission.