Unlock your untold tale of human-powered winter adventure! Through our annual film grant, we support films that elevate diverse voices from every corner of our snowy outdoor community. These films weave narratives through cinematic landscapes told across and in protection of America’s wild snowscapes.

Amplify your unique and powerful story as part of our Festival’s nationally-touring program, and be part of our work to sustain an inclusive storytelling tapestry that echoes through countless snow seasons to come.

Presented by Winter Wildlands Alliance and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., the Backcountry Film Festival Human-Powered Film Grant provides $7,500 in financial support for films at the start, middle, or end of production. Grant-winning films premiere at our Backcountry Film Festival every October and nationally tour to 100+ locations across the country and world.

Submission Requirements

  • Human-powered stories of adventure, advocacy, adversity, and/or environment in the winter backcountry in the United States;
  • Films that emphasize our collective vision for recreating outdoors;
  • Stories told by voices not typically seen on-screen or shared widely;
  • In any stage of production where the grant would get the film to screening-status by Oct 1, 2024.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Open to any and all types of filmmakers and films based in the United States under 20 minutes.
  • Submissions will be open from February 1 – April 1, 2024, with notifications sent by May 2024.
  • Submissions are required to include a film treatment, budget, current partners + athletes involved, and production timeline. Video sample or trailer are also appreciated depending on the current status of your project. We prefer password-protected Vimeo links for our jury as opposed to direct download links.
  • Submissions should have a direct connection to the Winter Wildlands Alliance mission of working to inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.
  • The grant cash of $7,500 will be delivered after the film has been finalized and received by the BCFF team, deadline of Oct 1, 2024. There is some leeway to providing payment ahead of the film being finished if the grant money would get the film to the finish line; however, if the grant money is awarded ahead of the film being finished and the film does not meet grant deadlines and/or expectations, the grant cash of up to $7,500 will be refunded in full to Winter Wildlands Alliance.
  • We do not fund completed projects or impact campaigns.

If you are the recipient of our Human-Powered Film Grant, we expect the following:

  • Regular updates on progress, at least once monthly.
  • Backcountry Film Festival, Sierra Nevada, and Winter Wildlands Alliance logos and/or name recognition in the opening of the film and project credits.
  • Rights to screen with world premiere status at the 2024 Backcountry Film Festival premiere screening in Boise, ID on Oct 24, 2024 and for the film team to attend.
  • Rights to screen the film on tour with the 2024-25 Backcountry Film Festival program.
  • Be part of the 2024-25 season program intro by providing video and audio as discussed between the film team and Winter Wildlands Alliance.
  • Ability to work together to submit the film to other outdoor Festivals.

Photo from “Soñadora,” our 2022 Grant winner.

How to Submit

Please email bcff@winterwildlands.org with the following:

  • Film treatment/description
  • Budget
  • Current partners + athletes involved
  • Production timeline
  • Video sample or trailer are also appreciated depending on the current status of your project. We prefer password-protected Vimeo links for our jury as opposed to direct download links.

Photo from “What If?,” our 2023 Grant winner.

Questions? Email Backcountry Film Festival Director, Melinda Quick, at: mquick@winterwildlands.org.

Thank You to Our Sponsors