CMG Action Grant @ the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

CMG Action Grant in Partnership with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (JHWFF)

Conservation Media Group has partnered with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (JHWFF) to award at least one $5,000-$10,000 grant for a project that uses video to create measurable action in ocean conservation or sustainable energy. We are accepting applications from August 24 - September 4 (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO SEPT 9, 2015). Finalists will be invited to a one-on-one pitch session with CMG commissioners at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming between September 29 and October 1.

CMG distributes a limited number of Action Grants each year to catalyze the production & distribution of a short video or series of short videos with a clear and measurable call to action. These grants are awarded through partnerships with established conservation organizations and film festivals & through participation in our Catalyst Workshops.

Action Grant Amounts


Who Can Apply

Filmmakers of all ages and experience levels, including students. All filmmakers are required to submit a sample of previous work from a project over which they had creative control.

Organizations with an environmental mission, including both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including those for whom this is the first foray into video production & distribution.

Individuals may apply as well who are not filmmakers or organizations, but have a proposed project or campaign. A partnership with an organization or a filmmaker is helpful, but not required. Previous experience also helpful, but not required.

Grant Guidelines

The proposed project must include:
1. A theme that relates to creating change in ocean conservation or sustainable energy.
2. A video concept that is engaging, unique, and strategic.
3. Total video length under 5 minutes. Applicants may submit an idea that includes multiple videos whose total run time is less than 5 min. We will not fund projects of more than 5 minutes finished product for this grant.
4. A clearly defined target audience. Target audiences could include millions of people, a single community or even a single person. Target audience can also be a private audience, rather than public distribution.
5. A clear call to action and a strategic plan for measuring impact in a meaningful way. These may include a petition, a vote, event attendance, pledges, sign-ups - or something creative. This does NOT include “vanity metrics” such as shares, likes, or views. Please be specific about what the key measurement will be, and how you will measure it.
6. A strategic plan for distribution that specifies how the video(s) will engage audiences social media or other channels. Partnerships for distribution & impact (either confirmed or proposed) are a bonus, especially for individual filmmakers.
7. Proposals may include short films that are already completed or near completion with grant request being for distribution, engagement & impact measurement funding.

Criteria for Selection

A. Video concept is directly related to important issues in ocean conservation or the shift to renewable energy
B. Concept is clear and appropriate for length, audience, and call to action
C. Clear link between target audience and suggested action.
D. Clarity of desired action & social impact, as well as a concrete plan for measurement
E. Previous experience with videos for action will be considered, but not required
F. Video project may involve launching a new campaign, or work within an existing campaign

The Commissioners

CMG Action Grant commissioners at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival will include the following individuals from CMG: founder David Conover, director/coo Liz Smith, associate producer Katie Jepson and editor Taylor Johnson. Final decisions for CMG Action Grant finalists and recipients will be made by CMG staff.

Fine Print: Grant Requirements

- Grant must cover the entire cost of production, distribution and measurement with the exception of in-kind contributions from the grantee or other partners.
- Funds may only be used for approved pre-production, production, distribution and measurement costs.
- Grant is disbursed from charitable funds and must be used in compliance with CMG guidelines. Grant funds may not be used with the intention of making profit.
- Grantee can receive mentorship, input or advice from partners and CMG staff, but must retain complete creative control over the final video(s).
- Final video(s) must be licensed under Creative Commons with Attribution.
- A proposed budget, project outline and grant legal agreement will be required before initial half of funds are dispersed.
- A closing report is required, including the final video(s), final budget, expense report, summary of measurement tools and recorded impact results before final half of funds are dispersed.

How It Works

Application Process: Interested filmmakers and organizations need to submit an application on or before the deadline. Applications will then be reviewed and finalists notified within 1 week of the application deadline.

Pitch Process: Finalists will be given a one-on-one pitch session time during the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming between September 28 - October 1. Finalists are required to attend their pitch session in person to be considered for the CMG Action Grant. A very limited number of pitch spots will remain open for filmmakers and organization attending the festival to pitch on the spot without application.

Decision & Announcement: At least one individual or organization will receive a grant of $5,000-$10,000 for their pitched project. Grant recipients will be announced at the JHWFF Awards Gala on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Grant disbursement will be made in the following weeks, pending the submission of required project, budget and legal documents to Conservation Media Group.

Application Timeline:
Wednesday, August 26, 2015: Applications Open
Friday, September 4, 2015: Application Deadline (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO SEPT 9, 2015)
Friday, September 11, 2015: Finalists Notified
September 28 - October 1, 2015: One-on-one Pitch Sessions at JHWFF in Jackson Hole, WY

For any questions, please contact Amy Files at CMG: