Development Grant Program

The Cindependent Film Festival offers five awards for filmmakers during the annual festival. The Development Award means to encourage professional filmmaking in the Greater Cincinnati Area. To this end, CIFF is awards a monetary grant of up to $500.00 to aid in the creation of new, original work (“the Project”). The Development Award is contingent upon the following requirements:

  1. The Project must be filmed on location in the Greater Cincinnati Area, which includes Hamilton, Butler, Warren, and Clermont Counties in Ohio;

  2. A copy of the script, budget, and production timeline for the Project must be submitted to CIFF;

  3. The Project must be a new work (previously produced projects do not qualify);

  4. All cast and crew who are part of the Project must be paid fair wages in accordance with market standards.

All filmmakers who have been accepted into the festival are eligible for this award.


Megan Bickel, screenwriter
2018 grantee

“Once again, I cannot thank you and the Board enough for the opportunity to have a writing retreat here in Cincinnati. You'll see from my notes that I had a terrific time and found inspiration around every corner. I went into the weekend with a very rough idea of the kind of short I wanted to write, but it all came together as I explored the city. Then I locked myself in my hotel at about 3:00 and wrote until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I woke up and put some finishing touches on the script this morning and BAM! a first draft! I have never written anything that quickly. It just flowed!”


Mark Hood, documentary filmmaker
2018 grantee

Mark Hood is a producer, director, and editor. In 2008 Mark Hood Films was founded as a full-service production studio.  Working out of his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mark produces and directs industrial and commercial videos in addition to independent short films. 


Jarrod caan, cinematographer
2018 grantee

Award-winning filmmaker, sound designer, clumsy dancer, probably eats too many avocados.

Commercial, narrative, independent, music videos, and many more.