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

The MOFFOM grant provides up to $20,000 annually in finishing funds for documentary productions specifically for music licensing, scoring and composition.

Awardees will be announced at the 44th Denver Film Festival (November 3 – 14, 2021).




Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Deadline: June 1, 2021


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 in September 2021.

During the 44th Denver Film Fes is presented, Awardees announced at Awards Brunch on November 14th, 2021


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, June 1, 2021

Please include the following information in your Letter of Inquiry:

– Project Treatment

– How you would plan to use funding from the MOFFOM grant

– Project Budget including any funding that has already been secured

– Brief Project Timeline


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.

Questions? Email


2020 Recipients

The Holly

Director: Julian Rubinstein • 2020

Terrance Roberts, a third generation resident of the Holly community, is a former gang leader on the run. He faces life in prison for shooting a gang member at his own peace rally, an incident that shocked his community and many in the world of activism: Terrance had transformed himself since his gang days and had become a nationally known activist, credited with helping dramatically reduce gang violence in Denver. Terrance claims he was attacked at the peace rally, but the police and District Attorney appear not to believe him. He is charged with attempted murder, and faces 102 years in prison. Inconsistencies in the case begin to appear, and as witnesses come forward to filmmakers, Denver’s gang war explodes, sparking emergency DOJ funding and a citywide debate over how to fight gang violence, with Terrance gone.

A Decent Home

Director: Sara Terry • 2020

When housing on the lowest rung of the American dream is devoured by the wealthiest of the wealthy, whose dream are we serving? A Decent Home addresses urgent issues of class and economic (im)mobility through the lives of mobile home park residents who can’t afford housing anywhere else. They are fighting for their dreams -- and their lives -- as private equity firms and wealthy investors buy up parks, making sky-high returns on their investments while squeezing every last penny out of the mobile home owners who must pay rent for the land they live on.

The Human Trial

Directors: Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman • 2020

THE HUMAN TRIAL takes you inside an epic quest to cure an invisible yet life-threatening disease — type 1 diabetes (T1D). With real-time access to a groundbreaking stem cell trial, the directors Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman follow the scientists and the patients who are putting their lives on the line to be first. This feature documentary interweaves the intimate stories of the patients — Maren and Greg — who have borne the physical and financial burdens of the disease — with the researchers — Paul, Michael and Howard — who epitomize the struggle of innovating cures. Lisa — whose own T1D fuels her search for a cure — becomes the bridge between these two worlds, painting an intimate portrait of what it takes to push medical innovation forward.

2019 Recipients

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

Directors: Elisa Levine, 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.

2018 Recipients

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.

Crip Camp

Directors: Nicole Newnham and James Lebrecht • 2018

CRIP CAMP premiered at 2020’s Sundance to packed houses. Its popularity was bolstered by the fact that the film was championed by Barack and Michelle Obama, who became executive producers on the film and brought it on as one of the first titles in their Netflix-based Higher Ground Productions. CRIP CAMP will premiere on Netflix on March 25, 2020.

2017 Recipients

Going To Mars

Directors: Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson • 2017

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.

Bathtubs Over Broadway

Director: Dava Whisenant • 2017

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.

Call Her Ganda

Director: PJ Raval • 2017

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.

Denver Film