2019 The Big Tell Application
The Big Tell is a regional filmmaking contest offering grants of $5,000 to ten filmmakers to each produce a 3 to 5-minute mini-documentary featuring a story from California’s great Central Valley.

The contest supports local filmmakers while shaping the narrative of our region by highlighting our history, culture, resilience, and pride.

The Big Tell is open to student, amateur, recreational, and professional filmmakers. Women and persons of color are encouraged to apply.

This grant is for the production of new, non-fiction material – we do not accept completed films or work that has been publicly screened.

We will select ten films that, together, represent diverse subject matter including art, music, tradition, history, culture, technology, education, hope, determination, innovation, industry, or community.

Films must represent at least one of the six counties located in our service area (Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties). At least one film from each county will be included in the final ten films.

The completed films will be screened at The Big Tell Showcase on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Tower Theatre in Fresno.

The applicant can be the filmmaker, a person or organization hiring a filmmaker to tell their story, or a member of the project team.

Last years’ films can be found at www.thebigtell.org

To read the FAQ in its entirety before completing the application, please visit www.centralvalleycf.org/nonprofits/grants-overview/arts-and-culture/the-big-tell-faq/

Email address *
As the applicant, you are the main contact for The Big Tell and will receive all communications from the Central Valley Community Foundation. It is your responsibility to communicate with other members of your project team and ensure that they have all necessary information. If the applicant is also the filmmaker, please fill in your information in both places (applicant and filmmaker).
Name *
Phone Number *
Address *
County of Residence *
Company or Organization *
Please provide your social media handles.
Remember to include which platform the handle is associated with. (ex: Instagram - @centralvalleycf)
What is your role on this film? *
The following section will be about the filmmaker. If you will also be the filmmaker for this project, please click the box below. *
If you are the filmmaker, please complete only the required questions. If you are not the filmmaker, complete this entire section with the filmmakers information.
Phone Number
County of Residence
Gender *
Language *
Ethnicity *
Age *
How would you describe your film experience? *
Please provide your social media handles.
The Film
The following section will ask for information regarding the film.
Film Name *
Logline *
(250 character description of your film)
Synopsis *
(Who, what, when, where. What is your film about?) 2,000 characters
Detailed Story Concept *
(Attach a storyboard, link for a 30-second concept video, draft narrative, script, or outline of your 5 minute film) 1,000 characters
Story Context *
(Why is this topic or story important, relevant, or timely?) 1,000 characters
In what county does your film take place? *
(Film must take place in one of the counties within our service area)
Timeline *
(Please lay out your proposed production schedule and anticipated completion dates, keeping in mind that your film must be completed by October 11, 2019. Include any time-sensitive issues such as permitting, seasonal footage, or gaining access to specific locations, groups, or individuals). 1,000 characters
Partners *
(Tell us about your partners, project team, crew, or any other technical members of your team). 1,000 characters
Equipment *
(What film equipment will you be using? Do you need access to CMAC equipment or training? CMAC offers training and equipment for members. See their website for more information). 1,000 characters
Do you have a fiscal agent? *
(Because these are restricted grant dollars, we can only provide grant funds to nonprofit organizations. If you are a 501(c)3, we can give the check to you; if not, you can partner with a nonprofit to receive the check on your behalf and then transfer funds to you; or Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) in Fresno is available to be your fiscal agent at no cost. They will receive the check on your behalf and then write you a check for the full $5,000).1,000 characters
Tell us about yourself, your previous work, any connections you have to the Central Valley, and why you are interested in this project. *
1,000 characters
Please provide links (YouTube, Hightail, Vimeo, or similar) to samples of previous work along with a brief description of your role in the work. Note: Filmmakers with limited experience are encouraged to apply. We are looking for diversity in experience, viewpoint, and voice. *
1,000 characters
Anything else we should know about you, your film, or your partners? *
1,000 characters
Signature: *
By submitting this application, I agree that the information contained herein is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.Winners will be notified via email or phone on or after June 24, 2019.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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