Free Seminar on Funding for Film Projects

The Rio Grande Valley Film Commission, in conjunction with CineSol Film Festival, is holding a free workshop on funding opportunities for independent film projects Saturday, March 31 at 2pm at the Mission Chamber of Commerce, located at 202 W. Tom Landry, Mission, TX 78572.

Ryan Long, Manger of Programs and Operations with the Austin Film Society, will explain how to obtain funding from his organization for locally produced films.

"This is the first in a series of free workshops that the RGV Film Commission and CineSol Film Festival will be presenting this spring and summer," said Nancy Millar, Chair of the Film Commission and Vice President and Director of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce's Convention and Visitors' Bureau.  "We are planning one a month, leading up to the CineSol Film Festival in September.  We're very happy to be able to kick the series off with this one on finding funding for film projects."

Independent film production is alive and well in the Valley, Millar said.  "There has been a general uptick in activity in the past several months," she said, noting the Film Commission is currently working with 13 different projects in various stages of production and distribution.  "This is the most activity the film commission has seen since its inception 12 years ago."

The Austin Film Society, despite its name, offers funding opportunities for film projects throughout Texas.  The Society offers workshops throughout the state informing filmmakers of these opportunities, and explains how to apply for the funding.

The Austin Film Society promotes the appreciation of film and supports creative media production by screening rarely seen films, supporting emerging filmmakers, and providing access and education about film to youth and the public.  Its filmmaker support has included cash grants totaling over $1 million since 1996 through the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund.

Other resources for Valley residents interested in the film industry include Texas Film Commission, CineSol Film Festival, and the Rio Grande Valley Film Commission, Millar said. 

Valley-based CineSol is dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business  of screenwriters and filmmakers and recognizing their artistic contributions.  CineSol supports the work of aspiring and established filmmakers by enhancing public awareness of their artistic endeavors and by encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community alliances.

The mission of the RGV Film Commission is to create new jobs and increase the economic vitality of the region by developing a profitable industry.  This is accomplished by positioning the region to attract and assist studio and independent features, print, television, new media, short films, student projects, and TV advertising to the Rio Grande Valley, by providing technical, location and talent guidance, referrals, and networking opportunities.

Future workshops will include subjects such as Breaking Into the Business, Productions Assistants, Acting, and Writing Music for Movies.  Presenters will be as far away as Hollywood; all workshops will be offered free of charge.

It is not necessary to pre-register for the workshop.  Call the Mission Chamber of Commerce at 585-2727 for directions; call the McAllen Chamber of Commerce for more information.