Thanks to all of the 2022 applicants. We are currently on hiatus for 2023 and not accepting submissions. Please look for us to return in 2024. Thanks for your patience.

Mission Statement

Andrew Berends was a courageous and talented filmmaker who sought out stories in places which the mainstream media ignored. He shone a light on communities, people, and children facing unimaginable hardships. He traveled, shot, edited, and promoted his work with intense fervor and dedication. The Andrew Berends Film Fellowship was born out of the desire of Andy’s family, friends, and colleagues to keep his memory alive and active in the world of documentary where he himself thrived.

The mission of this fellowship is to support emerging filmmakers from all walks of life that embody Andy’s spirit and determination, with a focus on sharing unheard stories. We hope that the Fellowship experience will help Fellows make a shift in their careers to the next level of success and artistic fulfillment.

The Andrew Berends Film Fellowship includes:

  • A one-time grant of at least $5,000 towards filmmaking expenses (this is not a co-production grant);
  • Connection with a Fellowship Mentor for guidance in finishing the project;
  • Additional support and resources as needed, including networking opportunities, complimentary festival passes, and complimentary access to various publications and platforms.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Fellowship accepts applicants, 18 years or older, from all backgrounds and locations, working on their first, second, or third feature length documentary.
  • Projects must be in production, with at least 25% of production completed.
  • Applicants must have a trailer or sample, between 4 and 10 minutes, of their current project, consisting primarily of original material.
  • The project’s primary story must take place in the present, ie no historical documentaries or primarily interview-based documentaries will be considered.
  • We recommend screening at least 2 of Andy’s films, available here, before applying.
    Note that while many of Andy’s films take place in conflict zones, the Fellowship is not limited to films about war; all stories are welcome to be submitted. 

Support the Fellowship

If you’d like to donate to help keep the Fellowship running for years to come, you can do so through our fiscal sponsor, The Gotham, here. If you have any general questions about the Fellowship, please e-mail us at [email protected]

Board Members

Jason Gardner

Brenden Hussey

Michiel Pilgram

Aaron Soffin

Maria Ibrahimova