Every year tens of thousands of films are being made worldwide. Many of these are amazing pieces with incredible messages, insight, beauty, and stories to offer society. However, only a small percentage of these films end up having a release. Far too many of these eye-opening, enriching pieces stay unnoticed, stories go untold, and exemplary talent is overlooked. Most of this is due to high cost and inaccessibility to the filmmaker.
Because of this, our heart and soul are in The Bigger Screen, where we aim to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive. We don’t want to see important pieces tucked away in the dark. And at The Bigger Screen, we work on both sides of the screen. We are behind the screen encouraging and supporting filmmakers in their quest to spread their work through grants and opportunity. We stand in front of the screen by welcoming audiences to enjoy this art form, no matter what their social or financial status is.
Film is an amazing art form which can transcend time, culture, and demographics. It teaches, entertains, and opens our eyes to things we never imagined. Film makes us laugh and cry and be better, more aware global citizens. Like other forms of art, film is captivating, beautiful, and transcendent. There’s not just one type of art, not just one type of film. And here at The Bigger Screen, we support all genres of film, from narrative shorts to animated films and experimental and underground cinema. We are an accepting, worldwide, evocative platform to help share the works which may not take the typical mainstream route. We appreciate all film, but especially that which makes us think.
We believe the star of any film festival should be the film. Not the sparkles and glamour of the celebrities on the red carpet or the intimidating, lavish festivities surrounding it. Our mission at The Bigger Screen is to create inclusive, intimate communities of the art of film where the absence of conventional constraints allows creative vision to shine in an independent cinematic atmosphere.
The Bigger Screen embraces new and rising talent, helping them find their place in the world of film and letting audiences view their art. We support both sides of film, the makers and the audience allowing each to share and appreciate the art while connecting through film.
supporting film festivals
Film festivals are not only a place to share films, but they are a safe haven for film makers to connect, share, and learn. We support and engage with over 25 respected international film festivals from mainstays like the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Brussels Independent Film Festival to emerging events such as the Venice Film Week and The Producer’s Night Los Angeles. These events bring filmmakers and filmgoers together, providing that place to connect and engage in a comfortable setting, away from Hollywood glitz and glamour. We believe these intimate screenings allow festival guests to enjoy themselves even as they view challenging films, creating a welcoming and receptive environment.
local filmmakers program
We understand that the cost of making a film can be taxing, so to encourage rising talent, we waive the festival submission fee to local talent. With numerous worldwide locations for festivals, this provides great opportunity for filmmakers around the world to enter the international film scene. Every year this program allows about 2,000 filmmakers to enter the festival circuit which perhaps otherwise they couldn’t, thanks to approximately $20,000 of yearly support. This opportunity opens the world of film. Read more about our Local Filmmakers Program here.
supporting international talented filmmakers
The Bigger Screen is proud to support selected filmmakers with The Tarkovski Grant. This film grant provides festival fee waivers and supports hundreds of filmmakers on the journey to sharing their work. We aim this grant at independent filmmakers regardless of film genre, style, or length. It brings us great pride that with the average value of The Tarkovski Grant at around $250 per filmmaker, our total value of support as of 2019 is a generous $454,000 (an approximate annual support of $90,800). Not only does this grant help filmmakers save money, but it also gives them that extra notice and accolade which has the potential to mean big things and bring worldwide notice.
Check out our list of International Partner Film Festivals where the Tarkovski Grant is available:
Brussels Independent Film Festival
Super Shorts London Film Festival
Super Shorts New York Film Festival
Super Shorts Los Angeles Film Festival
Amsterdam Independent Film Festival
Verona International Film Festival
Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival
Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival
Athens Documentary Film Festival
Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival
Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival
Doc.London Documentary Film Festival
Toronto Arthouse Film Festival
New Jersey Independent Film Festival
connecting cultures program
One of our feature programs is the Connecting Cultures Program. As we, at The Bigger Screen, strive to connect people and cultures, this is where our focus is. Each year, we select ten countries and grant filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission.
Our country selections are far from random. Our committee chooses locations based on humanitarian aspects, culture needs and the financial situation of that specific region. We strive to provide support to filmmakers in these countries and allow them opportunities to share their art. We believe this program will have an annual financial support of at least $10,000 and allow thousands of filmmakers the opportunity to submit and share their work.
Filmmakers based in the selected countries are entitled to enter their work free of charge by using the “The Bigger Screen Connecting Cultures Program” section on the FilmFreeway film submission page. We look forward to seeing these entries. Read more about our Connecting Cultures Program here.
inclusive audience program
The price of a movie ticket is high; we all know that. Often film festivals charge admission fees that are exclusive and limiting. Our screenings are always low or even free of charge to provide opportunity for interested film goers to view up and coming, challenging, and inspiring pieces of art, encouraging students, seniors, and those in underprivileged environments to share the experience of film and cinema. We welcome film goers, regardless of income and financial status. This program has resulted in over $30,000 of admissions costs being made available to vulnerable filmgoers annually. Just think, if one film changed one person’s life… Read more about our Inclusive Audience Program here.
support the bigger screen
As a company you can boost your social governance by supporting our mission. The Bigger Screen is a for-profit sustainable business. This means that partnering businesses can fully deduct their support from their taxable income. With normal donations, companies can deduct up to 50%, if they’re fortunate. The Bigger Screen, however, is 100% deductible.
How does this work? Businesses that partner with The Bigger Screen don't send money in the form of donations. Instead, they’re invoiced for using The Bigger Screen in their social governance campaigns. It’s a marketing expense, meaning that 100% of the costs are deductible. Find out more here.