This is the biggest question on every filmmaker’s mind right now. And rightly so. Making a film can be an expensive affair. Plus, with the myriad ways of film financing available, making an informed choice can be difficult. That’s where this blog swoops in to help!

Given below are 5 popular methods of funding for your consideration. Go through them; see what suits you best.

1) Film financing via friends & family
This is the best place to start. If you’re just stepping into filmmaking, approach people you know. They’d be the most willing to put money into your short film or music video.

2) Pitching to a producer
The most traditional route. Works best for funding feature-length films. First, you send your script to a producer or production company. If the producer likes your script, you’ll be invited to pitch your idea. This requires a detailed proposal mentioning the treatment, crew, a study of comparable films (for showing revenue potential), existing investors if any, and any actors that are interested in doing the film. If the producer is on board with your proposal, he/she will gather funding from a network of investors or put in their own money. Pitching to OTT platforms also works in a similar manner.

3) Product placement
In this method, brands pay you to show their product in your film.
For example, the film Mere Dad Ki Maruti showcased a Maruti Ertiga car throughout the film. Other Indian films have also been successful in using product placement (albeit more subtly). But before you approach brands for movie funding, here’s what they look for in a project:

Product Placement Like A Boss

4) Applying for government grants

Indian state governments provide grants, subsidies, or tax exemptions to films that are:
– made in local languages
– shot with indigenous artists
– covering regional stories

  • As of Feb 2020, Swara Bhaskar-starrer ‘Anarkali of Aarah’ has been cleared for a
    subsidy of Rs 43.41 lakh. The film covers the story of small-town folk dancer in
  • For detailed information about the grants, The FFO (Film Facilitation Office) has published a detailed list of state-wise incentives online. Click here to access it – Film Incentives in India

    Film Bazaar by NFDC is also a good platform to pitch films to international film talent and financiers. Grants are also available at the script stage. These are provided by global organizations such as Flies Collective, Cinereach & co-production platforms like Cinemart.

    5) Crowdfunding
    In India, the crowdfunding scene has picked up only in areas of social causes, medical cases, etc. But there are a few websites like Impact Guru and Fuel A Dream which enable filmmakers to pitch their idea to people and accept contributions from them. On a crowdfunding platform, one has to set a required funding amount, and once that goal has been reached through contributions, the amount is credited to the filmmaker.

  • Fact: Shyam Benegal’s Manthan (1976) was the first-ever crowd-funded film in India,
    where 5,00,000 farmers had contributed 2 Rs. each.
  • 6) Co-production by vendors

    Editing studios, sound companies, members of the crew can also be approached for investing in a film or providing their services in exchange for the title of co-producer. Dr. Darshan Trivedi used the same funding structure in his debut film Mrugtrushna (2020). Read more about it in our blog written by the filmmaker himself – How I managed to Make My Debut Film with Little Money?

    7) Loans
    As per an official RBI, banks are allowed to finance film projects where the total cost of
    production doesn’t exceed 10 crores. If your film falls under this criterion, you can apply for
    a loan. Banks like IDBI, Dena Bank, Export-Import, Bank of India, and Yes Bank are known for
    offering film financing services. And usually, loans only cover a part of the production cost.
    The rest is required to be contributed jointly by the loan applicant and other investors.

    In India, films have great earning potential due to the massive audience. All kinds of
    financiers understand this. And hence, there are a variety of film financing options available.
    So if traditional ways aren’t working, try the others. With a well-written proposal, a great
    film idea, and some perseverance, you will surely find the funding that matches your vision.

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