Music on Film - Film on Music (MOFFOM) Documentary Grant




Music on Film-Film on Music (MOFFOM) Documentary Grant Program. The MOFFOM grant will provide up to $20,000 annually in finishing funds for documentary productions specifically for music licensing, scoring, and composition. Awardees will be announced at the 43rd Denver Film Festival (November 2020).


Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Deadline: July 1, 2020


MOFFOM offers grants to selected feature-length documentary films in production and post-production

A film over 70 min in length is considered a feature-length film

We do not consider proposals for fiction films, docu-dramas, student projects, or outreach campaigns

Applicants must be 18 years or older

A fiscal sponsor is required to receive funding. International applicants may apply but must have a U.S.-based fiscal sponsor should a grant be awarded. Grant recipients and their fiscal sponsors will be asked to sign a grant agreement and to submit progress reports on the project.


Denver Film will convene panels to evaluate applications and award grants at its sole discretion. Winners will be announced in a press release and on the Denver Film website.


Letters of Inquiry should be no more than three pages in Times New Roman 12 point font.

All Letters of Inquiry are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Please address any questions to




Sisters with Transistors

By Lisa Rovner • 2018

SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is the remarkable story of electronic music’s female pioneers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today. SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS breaks down the prevailing misconception that early electronic music was dominated by males by showcasing the innovative work of females in the field. The film features songs created by female artists, and songs that use techniques pioneered by females. SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS was set to premiere at 2020’s canceled South By Southwest. More news is forthcoming as to when and where these canceled premieres will take place.

Kids Can Spit

By Chelsi Bullard • 2018

KIDS CAN SPIT follows five student teams as they tackle their personal dramas through lyrics written for a science-themed hip hop competition. As competition escalates, the documentary accentuates the challenges, hopes, and fears these teenagers’ experiences as they come of age in the Black Lives Matter landscape. Throughout the film, original and professional hip hop music is central to the subject as well as the documentary’s construction.

The Letter

By Maia Lekow and Christopher King • 2019

THE LETTER follows Karisa as he journeys from Mombasa to his Kenyan hometown to clear his grandmother’s name after she has been accused of witchcraft. Ultimately, he discovers a systemic plot to disenfranchise older landowners to benefit their younger heirs. Karissa must come to his grandmother’s defense in this intimate family portrait. Throughout the film, an original score by co-director Maia Lekow is combined with the folksongs of the Mijikenda community to create a musical portrait of Kenyan life. Ms. Lekow is one of Kenya’s most prolific musicians, performing both locally and internationally with her band Maia and the Big Sky.

Sweetheart Deal

By Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller • 2019

SWEETHEART DEAL follows four women on Aurora Avenue, Seattle’s infamous prostitution track, who befriend a self-proclaimed healer offering to help them through the horrors of Heroin withdrawal. SWEETHEART DEAL journeys into a dangerous and hypnotic world, following some of the most vulnerable populations left behind by a rapidly gentrifying city. SWEEHEART DEAL uses more than 50 songs throughout the film, created by three original composers.

2017 MOFFOM Grant Recipients

In its inaugural year (2017), three projects were chosen for funding – GOING TO MARSBATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY and CALL HER GANDA. The filmmakers from the awarded projects and the jury – Cathy Carapella (music licensing), Shawn King (composer), and Jonathan Palmer (music supervisor and soundtrack producer) were joined together for a discussion about making the most of music in a documentary film during the 40th Denver Film Festival.

“The Denver Film Society is proud to announce the first round of funding through the Music on Film-Film on Music (MOFFOM) Documentary Grant Program,” says Festival Director, Britta Erickson. “This grant will provide much needed help to documentary filmmakers by awarding up to $20,000 annually in finishing funds for documentary productions, specifically for assisting with music for their films.”

The following films were selected as recipients in 2017:

Director: Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary storytelling to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators. Combining parallel cinematic story editing with visually innovative treatments of her poetry, together with intimate vérité, rich archival footage, and Giovanni’s own captivating contemporary performances, Going to Mars recounts the story of the artist and activist and the tumultuous historical periods in which she lived—from the Civil Rights Movement, to the Black Arts Movement, to present-day Black Lives Matter.

Director: Dava Whisenant

Once upon a time in the USA, Broadway and Business had a baby: the corporate musical. The film tells the story of one of Capitalism’s strangest creations and the comedy writer obsessed with rescuing this hidden world from obscurity.

Director: PJ Raval

Grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action when a local transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, is brutally murdered by a US Marine. As they demand answers, and a just trial, hidden histories of US colonization and abuse come bubbling to the surface.

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