About the Program

502 Film Collective’s fiscal sponsorship program aims to help independent film projects of all types get funded, finished and seen. Our program is open to independent filmmakers, regardless of education, background or previous credits.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship?

Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501(c)(3) public charity agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations. The arrangement allows you to seek grants and solicit grants and tax-deductible donations for your project, without creating your own nonprofit and with the endorsement of 502 Film Collective.

As fiscal sponsors on your project, 502 Film Collective will not take any ownership of your work, nor will we infringe on your creative control, copyright, or prevent you from future sales or profit from your project. 502 Film aims to be as non-intrusive and supportive as possible in monitoring projects.

Donations to 502 Film on behalf of your project are subject to a 6% administrative fee. Filmmakers may accept checks or wires on behalf of their projects and are also given the option of having a private URL on the 502 Film website to garner credit card donations. Those transactions are subject to an additional 3% processing fee.

Eligibility & Requirements

  • The applicant (Project Director) must be 18 years of age or older.

  • The applicant must pay a $50 application fee.

  • The project must be produced or directed by a Kentucky resident filmmaker and/or production (aside from pre and post) must be based in Kentucky.

  • The project must not be able to be construed as propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, or supporting the participation in, or intervention in (including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

  • The applicant does not need to be a US citizen or US resident to be eligible to apply, however, funds released to Non-US Persons may be subject to mandatory withholding by the US Government.

  • The applicant must be an independent filmmaker.

    • For the purposes of this sponsorship, 502 Film defines an independent filmmaker as a content creator who both owns the copyright of their work and has artistic, budgetary, and editorial control of the project. Films being produced for hire or under the direction of a third party, such as a broadcast entity, university, foundation or nonprofit organization where another entity besides the applicant will own or have substantial editorial or other control over the finished work, are ineligible.

  • The applicant must be a primary producer and/or director of the submitted work.

  • The project may be in any stage of development, production and or post-production or distribution.

  • Student films being produced through a college or university are ineligible.

  • Filmmakers must submit an annual expense report that correlates with their submitted budget and monies withdrawn from the program in a calendar year.

Review Criteria

502 Film will review applications and accompanying materials and use the following in evaluating proposals:

  • Do the Project Director and the project presented meet program eligibility requirements?

  • Is the proposal complete, well written, and does it give a clear picture of the project's premise, story, and themes?

  • Is the Project Director and the production team assembled experienced and capable of completing the project as described?

  • Does the proposal identify an audience and a realistic plan for reaching and engaging that audience? Does the project have a reasonable chance of reaching its intended audience?

  • Does the proposal have a realistic and well thought out fundraising strategy and a reasonable chance of raising sufficient funds to complete the project as described?

  • Is the budget thorough and realistic? Are line items in the budget within industry norms and standards?

Application Review and Timeline

Most applications will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks. However, this time frame is not guaranteed.

Please budget adequate time for our review process into the timeline when you are considering grant application deadlines. If you would like to expedite your application, please contact us before submitting. There is an additional fee for requesting an expedited review.

Reviewers may contact you directly with questions, feedback, or revision requests during the review process. When a decision has been reached about your application we'll be in touch via email.

Contact us for our application