Simple Machine are awarding micro-festival grants

Simple MachineThe Simple Machine film-programming network will present four $1000 grants per year to fund innovative micro-budget film festivals. The competition is now open worldwide for submissions. 

Simple Machine launched last spring as an online film marketplace, enabling programmers to find and book quality festival films for events of all kinds. Now, the programming network continues to push the boundaries of film exhibition by offering $1000 to anyone interested in throwing a small, innovative film festival.

“How can we more fully explore the possibilities of hyper-local events designed to create an effective context for contemporary cinema?” says Simple Machine’s creator, Nandan Rao. “How can we push the film-festival concept into smaller, more intimate nooks and crannies in our societal fabric? What new terms are needed to describe the formats of communal movie watching that resonate with us today? These are the questions we’re hoping our grant-winners will help to answer.”

The grant has few application requirements. The festival must be new; existing festivals will not be considered. The event must be held in a physical site, not online. The budget of the entire event should be completely covered by the grant (i.e. should not exceed $1,000).

Beyond those restrictions, the board is wide open. Proposals are not required to incorporate Simple Machine’s films and tools, nor are they required to include a detailed budget of any kind. The applicants must simply offer reasonable evidence that they will be able to execute the proposed event for under $1000 within their proposed timeframe.

“We’re looking to be surprised,” explains Rao “Sell us on specific films or a process, on an audience or a space, on the reach or the intimacy, on the ambition or the simplicity. But be considerate; make sure it won’t take us more than 10 minutes to understand your concept.”

Simple Machine plans to bestow these micro-festival grants on a quarterly basis, with the first winner announced on April 15. All interested parties are encouraged to apply, regardless of programming experience. The competition is now open worldwide for submissions. To apply, send a pitch to

About Simple Machine

SIMPLE MACHINE is a new online network that allows festival programmers to find and contact filmmakers, agents, and distributors about showing their work. It’s free to list your film and you retain all rights.The platform also functions as an online EPK (you can put stills, reviews, festivals, a secure Vimeo screener, and even a quicktime exhibition file), saving us all from pasting Vimeo links into dozens of emails, filling out submission forms, and shipping discs all over the world. 

This is a tool for programmers actively looking for new product. By listing publicly on Simple Machine, you’re opening yourself up to new screening opportunities. Anyone who wants to book your film for a screening, review your film, or distribute your film can be directed to your page to find all the information they need. (If you’re still trying to keep things quiet, you can create a private profile.) Listing your film is free and risk-free.

Simple Machine believes that building a network of contemporary festival-films will make it easier for programmers of all experience levels to actively find new work, thereby enabling more programmers to put together strong and innovative programming, anywhere in the world, all year round.

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