The WIFV Board of Directors is pleased to offer a fiscal sponsorship program to support the film and media projects of its members. WIFV believes this initiative to be a tremendous member benefit and that this program furthers our mission to provide resources for women in the film, television and media industry.  The WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Program is a financial and legal system where our 501(c)(3) public charity provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by a filmmaker.  That project must be non-commercial in nature, i.e. not produced solely for financial gain   Sponsored Projects are eligible to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions.

While many fiscal sponsorship programs exist for filmmakers, WIFV presents a known and trusted entity for its members. We further differentiate our program by offering a mentoring component with accomplished WIFV members, by providing access to the Executive Director and her knowledge of funding resources, and by bringing the power of our programming events and workshops to address key education needs. We look forward to the many successful film and media projects that WIFV will help usher into creation through our fiscal sponsorship program.

The next application deadline is April 26, 2021.  Instructions and necessary forms are below.



WIFV is the fiscal sponsor for the following Media projects:

Those with an * are seeking donations.

*Ain’t No Back To A Merry-Go-Round – Ilana Trachtman;

Alex’s Biggest Race – Julia Hoppock

*Anim8Nature – Kristin Reiber Harris

*A Tale of Three Chinatowns – A film by Tiger Sisters Productions, Produced by Penny Lee, Lisa Mao

Average— Tammi Wilson;

*Bamako Chic: Threads of Power, Color and Culture – Maureen Gosling, Maxine Downs;

Bill Mauldin Up Front – Sandy Northrop;

*Blue Ridge Barnum – Emma Mankey Hidem;

Breaking the Rules – Five Star Films;

Brigidy Bram: The Kendal Hanna Story – Laura Gamse;

*Changing State (formerly Black Diplomacy) – Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Kiley Kraskouskas, Rachell Shapiro

Chinatown Documentary – Yi Chen;

Doble 9 – Karina Silva;

*Doeville – Kathryn Pasternak;

Don’t Talk About the Baby – Ann Zamudio;

Ellington: Keeping the Dream Alive – Brainwave Productions;

*Ellis Girls – Louise Miller

*Everything is Beautiful (w.t.) – Cheryl Gaulke

*Exotic – Amy Oden;

*Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3 FM – Jay Schlossberg;

Guardians of the Everglades – Connie Bransilver;

*I Am More Than My Hair – Alyscia Cunningham

I’m Your Man – Lynn Hamrick;

In Our Own Words – Dante James;

Jazz Church – Painted City Films, LLC;

Karoake Nation – Abigail Sharon, Emily Hodges

Keter Betts: Musical Disciple – Ada Babino;

*Li’l Liza Jane: The Story of America Through the History of a Song – Emily Cohen and Dan Gutstein;

Labor of Love – Kelsey Brannan;

*The Last Battlefront: Quest for the Vote in Washington, DC – Anna Reid Jhirad;

The Last Song Before the War – Kiley Kraskouskas, Leola Calzolai-Stewart, Andrea Papitto;

*Life at the Limit— Celia de la Vega;

*Life in Synchro – Angela Pinaglia;

Living the Ocean – Vanina Harel;

Michael Feinstein, New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room – Pictor Music & Performances;

Moosehead’s Wicked Good Plan – Sarah Katz;

*More Art Upstairs – Jody Hassett Sanchez;

*Newsreel: Collective Filmmaking in Times of Revolution – Ivora Cusack, James Schneider;

*Nobody Wants Us – Laura Seltzer-Duny

*One Woman, One VoteCo-Festival Directors Bonnie Nelson Schwartz and Michon Boston;

*Painted City – Caitlin Carroll;

*Pieced Together – Julianne Donofrio;

*Power of 7 – Bonnie Nelson Schwartz and Ruth Pollak;

*Pretty Ugly – Andrea Palombella;

*Reunion Choir (working title) – Malkia K. Lydia

*Scouts Forever – Dianela Urdaneta de Ratha;

SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade – Jody Hassett Sanchez;

*SPENT The Hidden Cost of Dementia – Backfin Media

*Stones to Czernowitz – Coincidence Productions, LLC

SULLIVISION: Ed Sullivan and the Struggle for Civil Rights – MPS Legacy Productions LLC;

*The Teilhard de Chardin Project – Mary and Frank Frost;

Voices of Brookland Manor – Katie Lannigan, and

Voices from Within – Joy Haynes, Ellie Walton;

Films marked with an * are currently seeking contributions.  Descriptions of WIFV fiscal sponsored films are here.  Call Melissa Houghton (202-429-9438) for additional information or make your donation here.  The filmmakers are grateful to the many individuals, foundations and corporations who support their films – THANK YOU!

The Last Song Before the War is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

Chinatown is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC

Voices from Within is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC

Painted City is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment.

Michael Feinstein, New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room is supported in part with a grant from the Carruthers Family Foundation administered by the Hamilton Community Foundation

Doeville is sponsored in part by the Sarah Lahr Educational Fund administered by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

More Art Upstairs is sponsored in part by Fieldstead and Company, Inc.

Changing State (formerly Black Diplomacy) is supported in part by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Last Days of Brookland Manor is supported in part by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

Ain’t No Back to a Merry-Go-Round is supported in part by a grant from The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Family Foundation – Michael Goldman, Trustee; Jennifer Margolius Fisher, Trustee; Melissa Goldman Davidson, Lori Goldman Zbar, Kenneth E. Margolius, David A. Margolius, a grant from the Flax Family Fund, and the African American Civil Rights grant program, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund, and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. 

Film Revolt: They Called Themselves Newsreel is supported in part by a grant from The Yip Harburg Foundation.

Jazz Church is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The Last Battlefront: Quest for the Vote in Washington, DC is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

A Tale of Three Chinatowns is supported in part by a Community Heritage Grant from HumanitiesDC in partnership with the DC Historic Preservation Office.

Reunion Choir (working title) is supported in part by a DC DOCS grant from HumanitiesDC as part of the “Humanities Grant Program”, an initiative funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.


We have provided a brief overview below of the program, what types of projects are sponsored and how it works. If you don’t find the information you are looking for here, please give us a call at the WIFV office 202-429-9438, and we will do our best to get you the information you need.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship are here.

Program Eligibility Requirements

Applications will be accepted from current WIFV members only. WIFV membership is open to men and women in the film, television and media industry.

WIFV supports fiscally sponsored projects that are consistent with our IRS-approved mission. Eligible projects for fiscal sponsorship must meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • Film and media projects that feature women in key, above-the-line roles (specifically: producer, director, writer, editor or director of photography); or
  • Film and media projects whose subject matter informs and features women’s experiences or points of view.

These projects must be non-commercial in nature, i.e. not produced solely for financial gain. A preference will be given to projects that do not have investors.

If a member’s project is selected for fiscal sponsorship, they must remain a WIFV member in good standing for the duration of the project. Three letters of recommendation are required.

WIFV Provides a Nurturing Environment

As a sponsoring organization, WIFV will provide administrative support and oversight on your project’s financial contributions. We also bring the power of our programming and membership to the sponsored filmmaker by providing one of our accomplished members as a mentor for your project should you request one. We can tailor specific programs and events around the challenges or issues that may confront you along the way. We have a vast resource in the diversity and achievements of our membership at large, which provides access to technical information as it is required and insights into current industry trends. Our members can take comfort in working with a partner that is just as vested as they are in the success of their project.

WIFV office staff time is applied to the financial oversight and administration functions for each sponsored project. While the responsibility of identifying and targeting funding sources remains with the filmmaker, WIFV staff and WIFV members are an invaluable resource for navigating potential funding sources and providing knowledge about current film funding trends.

The Selection of Sponsored Projects

A WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Selection Committee of 7 to 9 people will be responsible for evaluating applications and selecting the projects for which WIFV will provide fiscal sponsorship. This selection committee will be composed of WIFV and non-WIFV members. The Executive Director is a part of the committee as well as at least two sitting WIFV Board Members. Other Selection Committee members will be chosen from among WIFV executive members and non-WIFV professionals from national media associations or film-related companies. The identity of the selection committee members will not be revealed until selection decisions are distributed.

The Application and Selection Schedule

There are two calls for Fiscal Sponsorship Applications per calendar year; one in the spring and one in autumn. A non-refundable Application Fee of $50. is required at the time application.

The 2020 application deadline dates are:

  • April 20, 2020 – for the Spring round; and
  • October 26, 2020 – for the Fall round.

Upon the application deadline, new applications are reviewed by the WIFV Board of Directors for completeness and eligibility. Following approval of your application, it will be forwarded to the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will meet within 60 days of the application deadline and notification of the results will be forwarded to you within one week of that meeting.

A fiscal sponsor agreement/contract will be forwarded to the projects selected. Once selected, you can expect to be up-and-running within 2-3 weeks.

Please do not contact any WIFV staff or Board Member with an inquiry about your project’s status during the selection process. You will be notified as soon as the selection committee results are known.

Costs and Fees

There is a non-refundable Application Fee of $50. This fee must be submitted with your application on or before the application deadline date.

For sponsored projects, WIFV will charge a 7% administrative handling fee for all grants and charitable donations. This fee is competitive with other fiscal sponsorship programs.

Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement/Contract with Filmmaker

The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement forms a binding contract and defines the relationship between WIFV and the filmmaker. Reporting requirements are set forth in that agreement. Statements that assert the filmmakers acknowledgement of avoiding copyright infringement and that indemnify WIFV against copyright infringement, producer’s actions in the field, and any legal actions that might arise, are also part of that Agreement.

The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement also specifies actions WIFV can take if a project no longer complies with the definition of charitable or non-commercial purposes. In those circumstances, WIFV will be required to return funds to the donor(s).

Copyright and Content Issues

Content of the project is the sole responsibility of the filmmaker. WIFV is not responsible for the application of “fair use” in materials used in the project. The filmmaker maintains full ownership of copyright in the project. WIFV will have no editorial input into the project, and WIFV materials, applications and promotional matter should include a disclaimer, as specified in the Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement.

WIFV will require appropriate credit, as specified in the Agreement, for serving as fiscal sponsor, and will also have the right to remove its name from any production.


If you feel you need more information than what you learned here or on the FAQ, please give us a call at the WIFV office (202) 429-9438, and we will do our best to get you the information you need.

How to submit an application for WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship

Step 1: Download and complete the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application.  This is a fillable PDF form.

Step 2: Assemble the required supporting documents specified in the checklist below and submit them with your application to WIFV.

Step 3: Send in your completed application before the Application Deadline date.  If you are sending your application through the postal service mail, please address your package to:

Women in Film & Video
4000 Albemarle Street, NW
Suite 305
Washington, DC 20016

You may also email your application materials to – please be sure to itemize all the supporting documents you are including as attached files.

The WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application Checklist

The following items are required to be submitted in order to have your application be considered complete and to be forwarded into the WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship evaluation and selection process.  Please use this checklist to make sure you have sent each of the following items to WIFV:

  • Completed WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship application
  • Three (3) letters of reference
  • 1 to 2-page project proposal/synopsis
  • Project budget & schedule (available Budget Template)
  • Audience and distribution plan
  • List of all donors to date
  • Development plan
  • Filmmaker production experience
  • Bios of Key Personnel
  • Samples of past work/demo reel

Completed WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application

Download and complete the one page WIFV Fiscal Sponsorship Application cover sheet.

Three (3) letters of reference

Provide three (3) letters of reference from colleagues, previous funders and/or media professionals who have first-hand knowledge of your work and your skills.

Project Proposal/Synopsis (1-2 pages max.)

In one to two pages, present a synopsis of your proposed project.   The reader should acquire an understanding of the story you are telling and the purpose of the story.

Project budget & schedule

Provide a budget breakdown for the expenses, and projected costs required for pre-production, production, post-production, distribution and marketing phases of your project.   A schedule should be submitted that includes key milestones in each phase of the project and provides basic production phase information about shooting days and locations.

Audience & distribution plan

Please identify your target audience and the elements by which you are defining them, i.e., gender, age range, socioeconomic status, rural or urban, race, family status, or and special interests.   We also require information on your plan for distribution of your film or media project, and the dollar value you have estimated in your budget to cover these activities.

List of donors to date

Please include a list of all donors who have made a contribution to your project to date.  Cash and in-kind donors should be included.  Donor name, company name or affiliation, and contact information should be provided.

Development plan

Please identify the donors, grant-making entities and resources you are planning to reach out to for funding your project.  You may also identify the research efforts you have conducted to date. Please address the question of how you plan to raise the amount of funding required as designated in your project budget.

Filmmaker production experience

We would like to know more about the filmmaker who will lead this project.  You may include a resume or bio that includes past projects, screenings, experience and work history. You may also indicate specific skill sets that you would like the committee to be aware of.

Bios of Key Personnel

Please include biographies or resumes for all above-the-line personnel on your project.

Samples of past work/demo reel

Please send us a demo reel that shows your best work.  We really want to know what you did within the clips on your demo reel.  You may submit a written Demo Reel Breakdown document that explains what your role was in each entry in the reel.