2022 Award Announced

Application Opens: Friday, March 11, 2022

Application Deadline: Monday, April 18, 2022

About the Cary Fukunaga Production Fund

The Cary Fukunaga Production Fund is a $20,000 fund given to a Grad Film thesis student whose proposed project demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to filmmaking featuring Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) stories and/or voices. Fund recipients will also mentor high school students in our Tisch Future Artists programs.


  • There is no application fee.

  • The CFPF is looking for a Grad Film thesis student whose proposed project demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to filmmaking featuring Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) stories and/or voices.

  • In addition to applying for thesis funding, applicants for the CFPF should show an interest and willingness to participate in the CFPF Mentorship Program, a program in which the award recipients will mentor Tisch Future Artists. These high school students participate in free academic programming at Tisch.

    • The CFPF would like to foster relationships between award recipients and young potential filmmakers and believes mentorship is crucial to the development of the next generation of filmmakers and film executives.

  • Application Portal Link Here


  • This fund is intended for students who have yet to begin their thesis project but have completed (or are in the final semester of) the first two years of coursework in Grad Film.

  • Prospective films should be narrative short thesis projects from current Grad Film students.

  • Applicants should apply with a project that can be completed within two years of receiving the fund.

  • To apply for the fund, the applicant must be attached to the film as the DIRECTOR.

  • Directors may have written or co-written submitted scripts and may also apply with a script written by a third party as long as proper credit is given to the writer AND the director has the rights to develop the project. 

  • If you are unsure if you are eligible, email


1. All applicants must submit a completed application via SlideRoom by April 18, 2022 to be considered for the fund.

2. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS (detailed instructions are available in SlideRoom):

  1. Resume

  2. Synopsis & Logline

  3. Script

  4. Budget

  5. Production Schedule

  6. Previously directed materials (via link)

  7. Personal Statement

  8. Potential Cast & Crew List

  9. Mentorship Commitment and Statement

  10. If chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to provide a Lookbook at that time. You will have 3-4 days to produce it.


  • Additional/Supplemental materials are NOT accepted.

  • There will be NO opportunity to update your script once the deadline is passed. Submit a script that is ready for evaluation.

  • Though you may apply for the Production Fund each year for as many years as you are eligible, you may only submit the same project, no matter how revised, TWICE.


  • Applications are due April 18, 2022.

  • Finalists will be announced in May 2022.

  • The Fund Recipient will be announced in Summer 2022.


  • Recipients of the CFPF will be asked to participate in a mentorship program with high school students in the Tisch Future Artist programs. Commitments will include (but may not be limited to):

    • Meeting with selected students at least twice (remotely as appropriate).

    • During one session you and another crew member will be asked to detail your artistic journeys and discuss your CFPF-winning project.

    • During another, you will be asked to discuss your experience more broadly and your plans for the future.

    • You will be asked to host selected students on your CFPF-winning set, if feasible.

    • You will be required to complete the NYU Protection of Minors training.

  • Because of this commitment, we ask for a second personal statement from applicants in which they describe their reasons for wishing to participate in this program.

Grad Film alumnus Cary Fukunaga’s short film VICTORIA PARA CHINO is a harrowing account of the deadliest smuggling incident in U.S history, where dozens of Central American and Mexican immigrants died in a refrigerated trailer in Victoria, Texas. Shot during his second year at NYU and screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the short won a Student Academy Award in 2005, along with numerous other accolades. A prolific writer and director, Fukunaga has received critical acclaim for his feature films SIN NOMBRE, JANE EYRE, and BEASTS OF NO NATION. His television work includes directing the first season of the HBO series True Detective which earned five Primetime Emmy nominations and wins in the Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Directing categories. Fukunaga is also the first American to helm a Bond film, with the upcoming NO TIME TO DIE.