indieWIRE posted this article about the Cinereach awards, about which I hadn't heard before. The Reach Film Fellowship looks like an intense program for nascent filmmakers, and Cinereach supports filmmakers in a variety of other ways, including "up to $400,000 in grants and awards to documentary and narrative films."
Last night’s event was the conclusion of the intensive six-month Reach Film Fellowship program in which McQueen, Russell and two other filmmakers - Jules Monteyne and Dena Greenbaum - were paired with mentors and advisors who helped them take their short films from script or treatment through completion. In addition to Kim and Bishop, this year’s mentors were Producer Jeremy Kipp Walker (“Half Nelson”) and Writer/Director Nicole Kassell (“The Woodsman”). All four fellows received a grant of $5,000 at the start of the program, in addition to donated materials and services from sponsors like Kodak, Postworks and Showbiz Software.
There are a lot of filmmakers out there struggling in isolation (away from film-active cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Austin, where film programs abound) who probably don't think to explore their options when it comes to such aid. There's a lot of money -- not to mention services and expertise -- to be had just for the asking. Get googling and see what you can find.