Guidelines for

The Winnipeg Film Group’s (WFG)

MFM First Film Fund

2024 Deadline:
The deadline for the 2024 fund has passed. The fund will re-open next year in 2025.

Program Overview 

The Winnipeg Film Group’s (WFG) Manitoba Film and Music (MFM) FIRST FILM FUND is designed to assist aspiring/beginning filmmakers make their first film. This fund provides up to $2,000 in cash and $2,000 in WFG services towards a short film or video project (5-20 minutes long). This fund supports films in narrative, experimental, documentary or hybrid/cross-genre. The fund is geared to those who are making their first film outside the purview of media arts training and/or practical experience in the industry.

Please Note: Funds for this initiative are extremely limited and that we receive far more worthy applications than we can provide funding for.

For Further Information

please contact:

Production Programs Manager

Online Submissions

Please submit your application online here.

On this page, you will be required to submit:

  • Identifying Information
  • Confirmation of eligibility
  • Synopsis of the proposed film (1 paragraph max)
  • Script or detailed conceptual plan (15 pages max)
  • Production / major activities schedule (1 page max)
  • Budget (1 page max)
  • Applicant’s artistic résumé and/or written artistic biography (3 pages max)
  • One sample of previous work as filmmaker (online link only)

Eligibility Guidelines

The eligibility requirements to apply to the MFM FIRST FILM FUND are:

  • Applicant must be a member in good standing with the WFG.
  • Applicant must be a resident of Manitoba.
  • Applicant has taken introductory filmmaking workshops at the WFG and/or is enrolled in or a graduate of a post-secondary film program and/or can demonstrate equivalent experience.
  • Applicant must be the director or artist-creator of the project, with full artistic and financial control of the project.
  • Applicant can NOT apply with a project designed as a student project, assignment, or activity issued by a teacher or professor from a College, University or other preparatory related school.

The Selection Process Committee

The selection committee is comprised of experienced filmmakers, programmers, critics, artists and/or educators. The selection process for the MFM FIRST FILM FUND will be based on an assessment of the submitted application materials and the following criteria:

  • The artistic merit of the project.
  • The relevance of the project in relation to the applicant’s artistic aspirations.
  • The clarity of the applicant’s artistic intentions.
  • The feasibility of fulfilling those intentions.
  • The selection committee decision is final.

The Award

The First Film Fund awards up to $2,000 in cash and up to $2,000 in WFG services.

The First Film Fund does not provide retroactive funding. (Expenses incurred on the film prior to the date the award is granted.) Once selected, the award recipient will be required to sign an official Award Acknowledgment Form before funds are dispersed. This form details the responsibilities of the award recipient.

Time limits and use of award

The award recipient must complete their project in a timely fashion and must deliver a final report and proper screening copy of the film no later than one year from the date in which they have been awarded funds.

It is imperative that the filmmaker keep WFG abreast of their activities. If the filmmaker does not fulfill the requirements of the grant, they will be in default of their obligations and the WFG reserves the right to reassess the award. A potential outcome of this re-assessment is repayment of the award to WFG. However, if the award recipient requires an extension, the WFG reserves the right to grant this, but only upon requiring and approving a realistic revised schedule from the award recipient and/or the assignment of a mentor and/or a reporting to the Winnipeg Film Group in whatever manner the WFG decides is reasonable.

Any expenses that fall above and beyond the award amount are solely the responsibility of the award recipient. If you go over budget, you pay for it. Recipients of the FIRST FILM FUND cannot apply for other WFG funds until the file on this award is closed. However, if you have achieved a rough cut of the film on the funds received, you are eligible to apply for the WFG’s MFM Post-Production Fund. Recipients of this award are allowed, upon completion of the film to access the WFG’s MFM Marketing Fund.

Consultation with WFG Production Centre staff is important. Feel free to consult with the Production & Training Coordinator at all stages of the project, including, but not limited to:

  • Your application to the First Film Fund.
  • Production and Post-Production (if successful in receiving an award)
  • Delivery of Final Materials (if successful in receiving an award).


Award recipients must ensure they meet the following obligations associated with their award:

  • Funded projects must provide appropriate on-screen acknowledgement to the Winnipeg Film Group and Manitoba Film & Music as funders of the project. Electronic logo files are available for this purpose.
  • A copy of the completed project must be submitted to the Winnipeg Film Group at the time of Final Report Submission as a high-res digital copy and DVD. Please Note: The final project will be submitted to Manitoba Film and Music for internal archiving purposes.


The Winnipeg Film Group gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Manitoba Film & Music in directly funding this award.