In addition to Sharjah Art Foundation’s on-going open calls Vantage Point Sharjah 8 and Sharjah Film Platform, which support emerging and established artists working in contemporary art, below is a compiled list of reputable local, regional and international open calls, opportunities and residences for artists and art practitioners. Part of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting the community, this list is a reference tool that will be updated on a regular basis and includes grants, exhibitions and educational opportunities.

Opportunities for artists, curators, musicians, filmmakers, writers and academics

Open Call for the Edinburgh Short Film Festival
Deadline: 22 May 2020
Edinburgh Short Film Festival
This year’s Edinburgh Short Film Festival (ESFF) is excited to be programming films and film partnerships with their 2020 partners. Best Film & Animation Awards & International Showcases regular deadline. International films are welcome; all genres from filmmakers worldwide are eligible.

National Creative Relief Program
Deadline: 25 May 2020
Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development
United Arab Emirates

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD) digital platform in collaboration with the Arts Council and the Cultural and Creative Industries has released their call for grants to freelance artists and SME's supporting art initiatives and the submissions for them starting from 17 May Sunday onwards. The grant amount is anywhere between AED 15,000 to AED 50,000.

Call for applications: Warehouse 421 Project Revival Fund
Deadline: 30 May 2020
Warehouse 421
United Arab Emirates

Warehouse421 has launched the Project Revival Fund, part of the program that aims to alleviate the disruption affecting the creative production impacted by the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications are now open, to local and regional emerging and mid-career creatives across multiple disciplines in the MENASA region, through 30 May 2020. Visual artists, curators, literary creatives, designers and musicians in the MENASA region, are encouraged to apply by clicking here, for monetary packages that can go up to $2000. Some of the selected projects will have the opportunity to be part of the Warehouse421 program of exhibitions and community-wide initiatives, in its continuous effort to provide a platform for creatives from the region.
Open call: Emerging Photographer Grant
Deadline: 31 May 2020
California Academy of Sciences

United States of America

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco has launched a grant for emerging photographers, aged 18-25, to support the creation of photographic images around the themes of conservation, science and sustainability of the natural world. The goal is to encourage young photographers (aged 18–25) with fresh approaches to this topic to present their perspectives in photographs and media.

Call for submissions: Aesthetica Short Film Festival
Deadline: 31 May 2020
BAFTA-qualifying short films
United Kingdom

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is open for entries, presenting a fantastic opportunity for emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their work to an international audience.

Call for entries: Masr Dot Bokra Film Festival (MDBF)
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Masr Dot Bokra Film Festival

The "MDB Film Festival” is a local annual festival for short films that celebrates professional and non-professional Egyptian filmmakers and film enthusiasts with fresh perspectives by sharing their innovative and groundbreaking films.

Open call: online artist residency
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Vacant Zone
VACANT ZONE is an online artist residency project, devised in November 2019. A virtual space without precise limits, waiting to be inhabited or to take form; a potential world that becomes something different each time. During a four months residency, two participants (artists, scientists, writers, researches) - chosen or invited - share the vacant zone experience: being there, dialoguing, reflecting and in the end, supported at a technical level by a specialized team, realizing the form and the shape that the project will take from that moment until the next inhabitance.

Call for applications: Post-production Platform fund
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Malmo Arab Film Festival
The Post Production Platform is a fund for feature-length narrative and documentary projects in post-production by directors of Arab nationality or origin. It supports filmmakers by offering them assistance and coaching to complete their projects. We will hold closed screenings of 20 min excerpts from 8 new feature films (narrative and documentary) that are in the final stages of the editing process or available for distribution. A panel of select industry experts and a jury provides immediate individual feedback.

Call for applications: Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival Film Grant
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Al Qasimi Foundation
United Arab Emirates
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF) Film Grant provide modest start-up funding (25,000 AED) to create short films (documentaries are given priority) on topics relevant to the United Arab Emirates and broader Gulf region. One grant is awarded annually each year through a competitive application process. Films produced through the RAKFAF Film Grant are screened at the festival the following year.

Call for Applications: International Fund for Diversity
Deadline: 31 May 2020
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
UNESCO is accepting applications for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The IFCD finances initiatives that stimulate the cultural and creative industries in developing countries.

Open Call: The Jameel Prize 6
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. The Prize aims to explore the relationship between contemporary practice and Islamic tradition as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture in the 21st century.

Call for Applications in Curatorial Studies
Deadline: 31 May 2020
Goethe University Frankfurt
The master’s degree study programme provides prospective curators, exhibition organisers and art critics with a theoretical and practical basis for their future occupation. During their master’s programme, students have the opportunity to combine academic expertise with curatorial skills and practical knowledge.

Call for applications: filmmaking grant
Deadline: 1 June 2020
Filmmakers Without Borders
United States
FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange.

Open Call: Frame Curatorial Research Fellowship
Deadline: 7 June 2020

Frame Contemporary Art Finland is pleased to announce the Frame Curatorial Research Fellowship, a four-year programme for contemporary art curators. The first two fellowships are organised in collaboration with the Casco Art Institute in the Netherlands and EVA International (Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art) in Ireland. Between 2020–2023 the programme will host four fellows in total. In spring 2020 they will launch open calls for the first two fellowships, titled “Mapping and Unmapping Geographies” and “Local, International and Planetary Fictions”. The frameworks of the fellowships have been developed with Frame and its partners to engage with each organisation’s specific programming strands and to interact with their position and context within the field of contemporary art.

Art Jameel Digital Art Commission
Deadline: 10 June 2020
Art Jameel
Art Jameel announces a new commission for digital art, inviting artists from across the Middle East and beyond to apply via an open call. In addition to awarding a monetary prize, Art Jameel will support the production and promotion of the winning artwork.

Call for entries: WNDX Moving Image Festival
Deadline: 30 June
WNDX Moving Image Festival

The WNDX Festival of Moving Image is seeking entries for its 15th edition, to take place October 7-11, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Interested in new and engaging moving-image works that deviate from traditional cinematic forms (whatever that means). Consideration will be given to theatrical films, installations, expanded cinema performances and more. Stronger consideration will be given to works under 30 minutes, and to those completed in 2018 or later, though exceptions may be made in both cases.

Call for entries: Videonale.18
Deadline: 30 June 2020

The Videonale is one of the most significant festivals for experimental video and moving images. It is an important venue for artists, curators, collectors and the interested public, as well as a platform for discussing current themes and aesthetics of moving images. Unlike other festivals, the Videonale presents the selected works not in a cinema format but in a large-scale exhibition and thus reflects on the possibilities of presenting time-based art in the gallery space. The exhibition opening is followed by an extensive festival program that includes discursive events, performances, concerts, retrospectives, and networking events.

Call for applications: Visual Arts Studio Grant
Deadline: 31 June 2020
A M Qattan Foundation
The institution offers the visual arts studio for a period ranging between one to three months, starting from September 2020. According to the needs of the artist, the size and vehicles of his proposed art project, as a contribution to supporting the artists and cooperating with them in order to achieve their artistic projects and/or develop them. The artist who obtains this grant can benefit during the period of his work in the studio from the institution’s facilities, especially the library, the science studio, the restaurant, and public events. The institution will also provide technical advice and mentorship to the artist when possible.

Open Call for IDFA 2020 Festival
1 July 2020 for all performances and interactive/immersive new media projects
1 August 2020 for all films completed after 30 April 2020
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Filmmakers should submit their documentary films, performances and interactive/immersive projects to be considered for the 33rd edition of IDFA, taking place from 18 to 29 November 2020.

Call for applications: World Cinema Fund
Deadline: 6 July 2020
Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
Together with the Federal Foundation for Culture and in cooperation with the Goethe Institute, the Foreign Ministry and German producers, the World Cinema Fund works to develop and support cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, while fostering cultural diversity in German cinemas. The World Cinema Fund supports films that could not be made without additional funding: films that stand out with an unconventional aesthetic approach, that tell powerful stories and transmit an authentic image of their cultural roots. The World Cinema Fund supports exclusively the production and distribution of feature films and feature-length documentaries. The support is focused on the following regions and countries: Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caucasus as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

Call for Applications: Cinema Grant
Deadline: 1 August 2020
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
The Cinema grant is open to all kinds of fiction film projects, including short, medium and feature narratives; animation; and experimental film projects that are in development/scripting, production or post-production phases. AFAC is open to receiving project applications from Arab directors and producers living in the Arab region or in the diaspora. A non-Arab producer can apply for a grant provided that the film director is Arab. It is highly recommended that film projects submitted for the production and post-production grants have producers attached to them.

Call for Applications: Music Grant
Deadline: 1 August 2020
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
The Music grant supports production, performances, collaborations, album recordings and festivals. AFAC is open to receiving project applications from all Arab individuals working in arts and culture.

Call for Applications: Training and Regional Events Grant
Deadline: 1 August 2020
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
The Training and Regional Events grant supports training and workshops in the different cultural and artistic fields as well as residencies, symposiums, forums and festivals (multidisciplinary, music, film, performing arts, visual arts, literature, etc). The AFAC grant covers project-related expenses (including artist fees). In the case of institutions, a small percentage of the grant (not exceeding 15%) can be allocated for certain running costs. AFAC and the jury reserve the right to determine whether proposed running cost items are relevant or not.

Call for Applications: Research on the Arts Programme
Deadline: 1 August 2020
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) are pleased to announce the second cycle of their joint Research on the Arts Programme (RAP). The AFAC-ACSS research grants are a funding opportunity that aims to support research on all art practices across disciplinary boundaries and methodological approaches on key themes of concern to, and in, the Arab region.

Call for applications: Production Awards Program
Deadline: October 2020

The program supports artists and writers from the Arab region, below the age of 35, by offering grants to enable them to produce their first creative projects. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for projects in literature, music, performing arts and visual arts and of up to $15,000 for projects in cinema and video. The program helps give young people the opportunity to create original works and develop new forms of artistic expression.

Call for applications: artist grants
Deadline: 1 October

Mophradat is an international nonprofit contemporary arts association that creates opportunities for thinking, producing, and sharing among contemporary artists from the Arab World and their peers everywhere. The Grants for Artists support artists (individuals, collaborations, or collectives) to develop their practice. These grants support artists (individuals, collaborations, or collectives) to develop their practice. Among other activities, the grants can be used to pursue threads of research, stage an event, make new work, publish, travel, take part in a residency or workshop, or present an exhibition or performance. The grants can cover part or all of the proposed activity or project. Approximately fifteen grants are awarded each calendar year, with an average value of US$5,000. Results are communicated within four weeks of the deadline to apply. Grant recipients are selected by an external advisory committee. The advisors’ names are published after grant recipients are announced.

Call for applications: documentary fund for African filmmakers
Deadline: 1 October 2020
Hot Docs

The fund provides development grants of up to 10,000 CAD and production grants of up to $40,000 CAD to four to ten projects annually. Each year, up to five funded projects are invited to participate in a year-long mentorship program, which includes private filmmaker labs at Hot Docs and the Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival or other festivals and markets in Africa. The Fund also collaborates with The New York Times—Op-Docs to commission shorts from African filmmakers to showcased on The Times’s Emmy® Award–winning online forum.