The LXiA Spark Animation Grant, sponsored by NETFLIX, is a program that supports emerging and independent Latinx animation filmmakers and artists towards the production of an independent animated short film. The goal of the program is to uplift the presence of Latinx animation filmmakers, drawing attention to their individually unique ideas and perspectives as well as elevating the creativity and talent that the Latinx community at large has to offer to the animation industry.
LXiA would like to thank and acknowledge the support and partnership of NETFLIX. Their generous support has helped make this grant possible, and we are honored that they have committed to expanding the grant program for 2023. We are excited to see the impact of this program among the Latinx animation community.
The 2023 LXiA Spark Animation Grant program will award three (3) visionary animation filmmakers with a grant in the amount of $20,000 each. Grant fellows will be paired with a Producer/Mentor who will produce, guide, and offer their expertise throughout the production of the short film. Grant fellows will also be paired with a Mentor from Netflix, who will offer their advice, experience, and feedback through the production of their short film. Fellows will also be supported via a series of workshops tailored to support them through the various stages of short film production. Completed short films will screen as part of Animation Day at LALIFF 2024.
The LXiA Spark Animation Grant will be awarded to individual Latinx filmmakers living and working in the United States. As the purpose of the grant is to help support a singular, complete short film, the grant will not be available to students or for commercial projects (including music videos, TV show pitches, or web series).
Extended Deadline - Submissions will close Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 at 11:59PST.
Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to apply:
- Filmmaker must be living and legally able to work in the United States.
- Filmmaker must be 21 years of age or older.
- Filmmaker must self identify as Latinx/o/a/e.
- Proposed project must be for an independent animated short film (2D, CG, Stop-Motion, Hybrid).
- Proposed project must be completed by April 30, 2024.
- Filmmaker must not be enrolled in an academic institution
- Professional Merit: Open to emerging filmmakers who have completed at least one short film, have not yet completed a feature film and are ready for the next step in their career. Additionally, emerging filmmakers can qualify by having experience as an artist, production staff, editors, or script coordinator/writer with credit on at least one (1) animated TV series or feature film.
- Artistic Merit: Have a clear vision of what they want to execute and accomplish, with a powerful voice.
- Please note that pilots, web series, music videos, commission works, performances, installations, and features are not eligible for the LXiA Spark Animation Grant at this time.
Required Materials for Submission
Below is the breakdown of materials required for submission. All application materials must be submitted in English (although the final film can be in a different language).
- Must include: Working Title, Plot Synopsis, and Stage of Development (e.g. completed, early stage)
- Must be three pages or shorter (single space, Arial font)
- Must be for a short film (max. length of 10 minutes) of any genre. There is no minimum length for a short film project.
- Must be the original work of the submitter created solely for the purpose of this competition
Resume or CV
- Elaborate on your motive and vision behind your proposal for this fellowship. (Max. 2 pages - Single space, Arial font)
- Provide a short statement on your connection to your Latinx/o/e identity (max. 300 words)
- Submit at least 3 pieces of original artwork for this project. Please do not use other copyrighted work from other films or existing IP.
- Provide us with a breakdown of major line items for the budget for the proposed project (e.g. staff time, contractors, equipment)
- Please include information regarding if additional funding have been secured from other sources (Kickstarter, etc), or have received funding from other grant programs or initiatives
Sample of Previous Work
- Link to a director or animator’s reel or excerpts from previous work (Max. 5 minutes)
- If no reel is available, link to an art portfolio, writing portfolio, or examples/credit of previous work in animated tv series or feature films (IMDb)
Additional Supporting Materials:
- Storyboard and/or script (optional)
- Link to animatic (optional)
Questions: Please refer to the FAQ’s below, which may answer immediate questions. For any questions related to the applications, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
If I am a current student about to graduate this year can I still apply for this grant?
You may apply for this grant if you are a student who graduated in December 2022, granted that you are not enrolled in an academic institution through May 2023. The project may not be part of any project, thesis, or school project post graduation.
If I haven't made a short film before can I still apply? Does work from college count as a completed short film?
This grant program is geared towards emerging filmmakers/artists who have experience directing/producing/animating/storyboarding at least one short film (animation, live-action, or VR).
Work/films from college count as long as the short film was part of a senior thesis/project, or a previous short film produced in college was accepted to a major film festival.
If a filmmaker/artist has at least one (1) credit working in the animation film industry as part of an animated feature film or TV series as an artist, editor, or production, they are also eligible to apply for the grant.
This grant program is not meant for first-time filmmakers who are looking to produce and direct their first animated short film.
Can college work/films, live-action work, artist portfolio work, or storyboard/animatic work be included in the director or animator's reel?
Yes, work from college can be included in the director’s reel as long as it is related to a short film as part of senior thesis/project.
Storyboard/animatic work can be included in the director’s reel as long as they created 100% of the storyboards or 100% edited the animatic. The storyboard/animatic work can be from their professional portfolio related to their work in animation television series, features, or other animation related projects.
Live-action work can be included in the reel, as long as there is a still a focus on showcasing animation, motion graphics, or VFX work in the reel.
I am making a pilot for a series. Would I be eligible to apply?
Not at this time. Only original stories/projects meant to be told as a short film are eligible at this time.
What can the funds be used for?
If awarded, funds from the LXiA Animation Spark Grant program may be used toward equipment, salaries, software, operational costs, sound design, sound mixing, and anything that will help the film get made in an meaningful way.
Can I apply for more than one project?
At this time, we are only accepting one (1) submission per person.
Can I apply as part of a team or with an additional director?
We are accepting submissions as a group, team, or filmmaking duo. To streamline review of submissions, only one person may submit to the program as the filmmaker.
I plan to raise additional funds for the film's budget by applying to other grant programs, or plan to raise additional funding through crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Seed & Spark, etc), am I still eligible to apply?
Our preference is to have submissions that are original work of the submitter that was created solely for the purpose of the LXiA Spark Animation grant program.
A filmmaker is free to submit to other grant programs if you are not selected to the LXiA Spark Animation Grant program.
LXiA will retain exclusive review of the short project from January 9, 2023 to March 6, 2023.
If the filmmaker has already submitted to other grant programs or received funding to other grant programs, as long as those grant programs requirements do not conflict with requirements of LXiA Spark Animation program, then submitters are still eligible to apply.
We recognize that short films can be expensive to produce, and do not want to limit filmmakers from raising additional funds if needed. If a submitter plans on raising additional funding through crowdfunding (Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Seed & Spark, etc), we ask that they please include information in the budget breakdown of the submission.
I am not a US citizen or based in the United States, am I still eligible to apply?
Filmmaker must be living and legally able to work in the United States. Being able to work in the United states means you have the legal right to work in the US. If you are a US Citizen, whether you were born in the US or naturalized, it also means you can work in the US with no issues.
If you are a non US citizen but have obtained work authorization in the US, or someone who has obtained permanent resident to legally obtain a job in the US then you are still eligible to apply.
Unfortunately due to US laws regarding grant distribution, we are only able to distribute grant funds to those living and legally able to work in the United States. We hope in the future that this program may be open for international applicants.
What does Latinx/o/a/e mean?
This program will prioritize Latinx/o/a/e applicants.
Latinx/o/a/e is defined as a person of any gender who is from or whose family originates from one of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries/territories such as (but not limited to) – Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin. Latinx/o/a/e does not include Spain or Portugal.
If I am mixed-race Latinx, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes! If you identify as mixed-race Latinx then you are absolutely eligible.
Latinx/o/a/e is not a monolithic view of ethnicity and race, it is encompasses a wide spectrum of languages, racial identities, ethnicities, etc. If you are mixed-race and identify as Black-Latinx or Afro-Latinx, Asian-Latinx, White-Latinx, Indigenous-Latinx or other – then you are more than welcome to apply!