2022 Fellows Have Been Announced

 

OverviewHelp | FAQ

 

For questions about the fellowships or the application process, contact Eric Mueller, Program Administrator, FilmNorth, 651-644-1912, emueller@filmnorth.org.

About the McKnight Media Artist Fellowships

Purpose
The intent of this program is to recognize and support mid-career media artists living and working in Minnesota who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. This is not a project-specific grant.

Criteria
The McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists provide recognition and financial support for mid-career media artists. The program is designed to reward media artists who have created a substantial body of work over a period of time, and who are at a career stage that is beyond emerging. The specific criteria that the jurors use to select the fellows are consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional accomplishment, and commitment.

Awards
Four fellowships of $25,000 will be awarded to Minnesota media artists. The awards are unrestricted and can help an artist set aside periods of time for study, reflection, experimentation, and exploration; take advantage of an opportunity; or work on a new project.

One of these four fellowships will be awarded to a screenwriter, and three will be awarded to other types of media artists, including directors in film, television, and streaming; radio producers; and creative artists in web, computer/video games, and other emerging forms of media. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Jury Panels
The fellows will be selected by two panels of jurors who are media artists and professionals from outside of Minnesota. The screenwriting fellowship will be selected by a single juror, while the three other fellowships will be selected by a panel of three jurors.

FilmNorth fellowship staff who oversee the McKnight Fellowship program do not contribute to the decision-making process or the selection of the McKnight Media Artist Fellows. The role of the staff is to provide clarity for the review process and to ensure that the panel review and discussion proceed in accordance with the program’s guidelines.

Eligibility
Eligible applicants include directors and writers in film, television, and streaming; radio producers; and creative artists in web, computer/video games, and other emerging forms of media. The fellowship is designed to support Minnesota media artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage beyond emerging.

Please read carefully. Applicants who do not meet all of the following criteria and expectations will not be considered and should not apply.

You must:

1. Have or maintain Minnesota residency for at least one year prior to application deadline and for the duration of the fellowship year.
2. Be a mid-career artist with a body of work that demonstrates consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional accomplishment, and commitment.
3. Be the only artist credited with your job title on your project. For instance, if you co-directed a film, you may not use that film as a work sample unless you are applying as a team with your co-director. 
4. Be willing to participate in all aspects of the fellowship program, including meetings, public relations opportunities, and fellowship events.
5. Be able to demonstrate that you are beyond the stage of an emerging artist, with a sustained level of professional accomplishment, commitment and excellence over a period of at least five years. Evidence of this accomplishment cannot be student work. To demonstrate that you are beyond the stage of an emerging artist, you must have at least one of these qualifications, depending on your role:

If you are submitting work as a director in film, television, or streaming, or as a radio producer:

• You must provide documentation indicating that your work has been shown in at least five film festivals, web festivals, or curated exhibitions, at least one of them outside of Minnesota,
• OR has been broadcast or distributed nationally or internationally (not including online self-distribution, such as YouTube),
• OR has received at least one national award (e.g., Spirit Award, Webby, national Emmy, Third Coast award, etc.).

If you are submitting work as a screenwriter or television/streaming writer:

• You must have had a feature-length screenplay, or a television script produced or optioned for production. That production must be by a person or a company with at least one produced feature film or television credit (not yourself or your own production company),
• OR have placed as a semi-finalist, finalist, or winner of a national (outside of Minnesota) screenwriting competition (e.g., Nicholl, Austin, Slamdance, etc.),
• OR be a member of the Writers’ Guild of America.

If you are submitting work as a computer/video game or interactive creator:

• You must have received recognition from a national or international organization (e.g., the Independent Games Festival). It may be a competition, festival, award, or producer option.

ALL APPLICANTS must provide documentation to support their credentials, such as a copy of the option agreement or production details, a link to a website of a festival or competition stating your status, a scanned copy of a contract or award, etc. The jury will not see this documentation; it is for the FilmNorth staff to confirm eligibility for each applicant. Therefore there is no need to submit additional documentation beyond the required minimum. (For example, if you are a filmmaker, you need only submit proof that at least one of your films has been shown in five film festivals; there’s no advantage to submitting more than five.)

You may:

You may apply as an individual or as a team of no more than two artists. Each applicant on the team must fulfill all the eligibility requirements. Co-applicants should submit only one set of written materials: a combined resume of work completed together, combined artist statement, etc. All work samples must be work created as a team.

You may not:

1. Submit works that were made for a degree-granting program.
2. Submit works that were made on a “work for hire” basis. The concept of “work made for hire” can be complicated; please review this page, and if you have further questions, contact the program administrator.
3. Submit more than one application per individual (or team of two) per year.
4. Submit works in which the only means of expression is photography or theatre-based performance. Other McKnight Artist Fellowships support artists working in these areas.
5. Be enrolled full-time in an academic program.
6. Have received a McKnight Artist Fellowship in any discipline in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021.
7. Apply for more than one McKnight Artist Fellowship in any artistic discipline within a year.
8. Be staff, board, or immediate family of the McKnight Foundation or FilmNorth. For the purposes of McKnight Artist Fellowships, faculty and independent contractors are not considered staff. 
9. If you are a previous McKnight Media Artist Fellow, you may not submit the same work you submitted the year you received the fellowship. Additionally, at least one of your work samples must have been created since you received the fellowship. In short, you must demonstrate growth and ongoing artistry since your most recent McKnight Artist Fellowship.

McKnight Artist Fellowships Community Values Statement
The McKnight Foundation and the administering partners for the McKnight Artist Fellowships are committed to creating and supporting an artistic community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  The community of the McKnight Artist Fellowships includes people who engage with the fellowships program whether as applicants, fellows, panelists, contractors, collaborators, fellowships administrators, and staff of the McKnight Foundation and partnering organizations. As a community, we commit to creating and maintaining relationships that are free from harm, prejudice, and harassment.  Community members agree to communicate directly and transparently regarding issues of conduct that could negatively impact the well-being of participating members and organizations. In the case of an accusation, legal action, or conviction, the McKnight Foundation and its fellowship program partners may gather and assess relevant information. If deemed necessary, the McKnight Foundation and its fellowship program partners may take administrative action up to and including the recommendation of participation in reconciliation or restorative justice processes; disqualification of an application; the termination of a contract; and the recall and/or termination of a fellowship. This community will be what we make it and our aim is to collectively create an experience in which all artists and members of the McKnight Artist Fellowships community thrive.

Application Components

Once you have determined that you are eligible, you may apply by filling out the online application. Applications are taken via Submittable; if you do not already have an account, you’ll need to create one. Your work samples may be submitted as links or attachments, depending on your medium, or can be submitted on physical media if necessary. Do not send any of your materials as email attachments or on paper. NOTE: if you are uploading a work sample, it must be a PDF. You cannot upload a Quicktime or MP3 or any other kind of media file; instead you should upload those files to another site (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud) and send the link to us. You cannot submit links to work samples on Dropbox, or any other file hosting site that requires the panelists to download software.

Please note that if you are applying as a writer, you may only submit writing samples; conversely if you are not applying as a writer, you may not submit any writing samples.

1. ONE-SENTENCE DESCRIPTION OF YOU AND YOUR WORK
Describe your body of work so that the panelists will have a context for your application and work samples. Example: “I am a documentary filmmaker specializing in human rights issues.”

2. ARTIST STATEMENT
Submit a current artist statement about your work (no longer than one page). The artist statement should describe your creative process and vision, and how they relate to your work samples. It may also provide information about your background, the development or current direction of your work, or other information you would like to present to the panel. If applicable, discuss how you are uniquely positioned to create your work and/or how you consider questions about representation, accountability or other ethical considerations in your work or practice. Include your name at the top of the page. (For additional info, see FAQ 14 below)

3. YOUR IDENTITY AND YOUR WORK (optional)
Is there anything about your background that informs the connection you have to your work? If you think it would be helpful, you may provide additional context for the panel by describing the relationship you have to the work you create. You might have already covered this in your artist statement, but feel free to briefly re-state it here.

Your response may include (but isn’t limited to) how you position yourself in terms of cultural, socio-political, geographic, class, education, health, citizenship, immigration/refugee, ideological, language, parental status, marital status, rural/urban, and/or spiritual/religious background. (Reply is optional: limit 100 words)

For example, here are the beginnings of several hypothetical responses (these are just the first sentence; a longer answer is encouraged):

  • My interest in writing about “outsiders” and their struggle to understand their place in the world is because I was adopted as an infant and have faced some of those struggles myself….
  • My father was a photojournalist, my mother a travel agent, and I worked for several years as a line cook, so I feel uniquely prepared to make documentaries that explore the intersection of food and travel….
  • As the daughter of South Korean immigrants, I am drawn to tell raw stories about diverse people and fearless Asian American women….

4. TWO OR THREE WORK SAMPLES
You must submit at least two work samples; if you have three strong ones, we encourage you to submit three. Put your best work sample first. 

Directors in film, television, or streaming, and radio producers:

• You must submit two or three completed projects of any length.
• The judges will watch/listen to a minimum of 10 consecutive minutes of each piece. Submit the entire piece, as the judges may review more than 10 minutes.
• Please indicate the track/timecode/level where you want the judges to begin.
• Submit your work as a URL
• If you are submitting episodic work, you cannot submit two episodes of the same series unless you also submit a different work sample from another project. (i.e. if you want to submit two work samples from the same episodic series, you must also submit a third work sample from a different project.)

Screenwriters and TV/streaming writers:

• You must submit two or three completed scripts of any length.
• The juror will read a minimum of twenty pages of each script, starting on page 1.
• 1-2 page plot synopsis of your screenplay. This can give the juror an idea of the an overview of the entire story. This is not a treatment. Do not exceed 2 pages. Put your name at the top. (This is in addition to the 50-word synopsis described in number 3 below.)
• Scripts must be in standard screenplay format. (For an example please see this page. Any screenplay not properly formatted will not be considered.)
• Submit your work as a PDF.
• If you are submitting episodic work, you cannot submit two episodes of the same series unless you also submit a different work sample from another project. (i.e. if you want to submit two work samples from the same episodic series, you must also submit a third work sample from a different project.)

Computer/video game and interactive creators:

• You must submit two or three completed projects of any length.
• The judges will play/navigate a minimum of 10 minutes of each piece.
• In addition to the work samples, you must provide a video walkthrough of each sample.
• Please indicate the track/timecode/level where you want the judges to begin.
• Submit your work as a URL. If this is not possible, please contact Eric Mueller, the program administrator. 

ELIGIBLE GENRES AND FORMATS

You may submit work samples in any of these media:

• Feature-length and short narrative films/videos
• Feature-length and short narrative film scripts
• Feature-length and short documentaries
• Feature-length and short documentary scripts
• Feature-length and short experimental projects
• Feature-length and short animated projects
• Multi-part or single television or streaming programs
• Multi-part or single television or streaming scripts
• Multi-part webisodes
• Multi-part webisode scripts
• Multi-part or single radio programs
• Interactive games
• Websites with narrative or interactive components
• Other interactive media pieces that are difficult to categorize

FilmNorth recognizes that not all media projects fall within the strict definitions of genres and formats. Refer to the list below of works not accepted, and speak with the program administrator if you have questions regarding eligibility of a particular work.

INELIGIBLE GENRES AND FORMATS

You may not submit work samples of any of these types:

• Works produced in fulfillment of a class assignment or a degree program
• Works for hire
• Broadcast news journalism
• Broadcast reality entertainment
• Advertising commercials and/or promotional films
• Industrial films and websites
• Corporate films and websites
• Music videos 
• Educational films and websites
• Trailers, clips or any proposal for a longer project
• Director’s or producer’s reels
• Incomplete works in progress
• Screenplay or teleplay adaptations of any previously written, performed, or filmed work by another artist

5. A 50-WORD SYNOPSIS OF EACH WORK SAMPLE
This will be used by the jurors when they need to quickly remind themselves what your project is about. The 50-word limit is strict. 

6. PROCESS AND HISTORY STATEMENTS
The Process and History statements are flexible documents, which allow you to convey additional information about your work sample to the panel. For each work you’re submitting, provide a brief written description of the inspiration or vision for the piece, unique or notable aspects of the process, and the production and exhibition history (if applicable). You can also use this document to provide context for your piece that a juror might need to know. One page maximum. Include your name at the top of the page.

7. PROFESSIONAL RESUME
The resume should be no longer than two pages and should demonstrate professional accomplishment in your medium for a minimum of five years. It should reflect your work, honors, awards and other recognition in the field, as well as give information about your education and related work; and it is extremely important to include dates with all listings.Your resume should communicate your professional accomplishment and commitment to the panel. 

8. PROOF OF MID-CAREER STATUS
Provide programs, documents, or links to information verifying your inclusion in festivals, other curated programs, awards, producer options, or broadcast schedules (as defined under “Eligibility,” above). Please note that the panel does not see this information; it is only used by program staff to determine eligibility. Therefore, there is no need to provide more documentation than the minimum required. 

9. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
 By applying you attest:

• To the accuracy of the information supplied in this application.
• That the material submitted is your sole and original work.
• That you have read all the eligibility requirements and meet them.
• That you are over the age of 18 (or will be) by the application deadline.
• That you have lived in Minnesota for at least a year prior to the applications deadline.
• That if you are awarded a fellowship, you will live in Minnesota for at least a year after the award is made (on June 22, 2021)
• That you are willing to participate in all aspects of the fellowship program, including meetings, public relations opportunities, and fellowship events.
• To your agreement to hold FilmNorth, its staff, and fellowship jurors harmless from, and defend them against, all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) arising out of or in connection with any work submitted to the McKnight Media Artist Fellowship or any project developed out of such work.
• That the burden of obtaining copyright or otherwise protecting any proprietary interests in the material, if you wish to do so, rests entirely with you.
• To your understanding of the purposes and conditions of the McKnight Media Artist Fellowships and to your acceptance of them should you be selected as a fellow.
• That you are eligible for the competition, and that you will notify FilmNorth if you become ineligible prior to the conclusion of the competition.
• That providing false or misleading information on this application, or failing in any other way to comply with the rules will subject you to disqualification and/or forfeiture of the fellowship.

Application Process

Applications are taken via Submittable. You will need to create an account to apply. Fill out the application and upload all information and supporting materials by the submission deadline.

Submission Deadline
Monday, March 14, 2022 at 5PM

YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION AFTER 5PM. At that time the system immediately stops accepting applications, even if you are working on yours. Please plan ahead to make sure your system is compatible with the application process. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Selection Process

The FilmNorth program staff will review every application to ensure eligibility. If there are questions, you will be contacted in the first few days after the application deadline to clarify any issues with your application.

The fellows will be selected by two panels of jurors who are media artists and professionals from outside of Minnesota. Jurors will evaluate submissions for consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional accomplishment, and commitment. The screenwriting fellowship will be selected by a single juror, while the three other fellowships will be selected by a panel of three jurors.

The screenwriting juror will review the work on their own, and select the fellow using the application criteria listed above. 

The non-screenwriting applications will be reviewed by a panel of three jurors who will review all the work independently, before coming to Minnesota to discuss the applications and select three fellows using the application criteria listed above.

Getting Help with your Application

We know that these guidelines can be overwhelming the first time you apply. There are several ways you can get help with your application.

Informational Videos

Quick-Start Video: What is this program all about?

 

What does the panel look for?

 

Application walkthrough

 

How to write an effective artist statement (recorded in 2020)

 

 

WORKSHOP FOR BIPOC ARTISTS

How to Strategize and Fully Maximize Your McKnight Media Arts Fellowship Application

Zoom Webinar (Event has passed, watch a recording here.)
Thursday, March 3, 6:30-8:30PM
Naomi Ko • 2018 McKnight Fellow
Valerie Deus • Cinema Lounge Programmer, FilmNorth

In this workshop specifically designed for BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) artists, Naomi, and Valerie will talk through strategies for fully maximizing your McKnight Media Arts Fellowship Application. 

Live Q&A Sessions (on Zoom)

Applicants can attend one of our Zoom Q&A sessions to ask questions they have about the application process. 

GENERAL Q&A SESSIONS with Eric Mueller
If you have specific questions about applying there are three upcoming sessions where Eric will be able to answer your questions:
Jan 31, 6:30-7:30 PM (Event has passed)
Feb 15, 6:30-7:30 PM (Event has passed)
March 8, 6:30-7:30 PM (Register here)
These sessions will not be recorded

Q&A SESSIONS ON ARTIST STATEMENTS with Jes Reyes
If, after watching the Jes’s presentation on artist statements you still have questions, there are two upcoming sessions where she’ll be able to answer your questions:
Jan 25, 6:30-7:30 PM (Event has passed)
Feb 22 6:30-7:30 PM (Event has passed)
These sessions will not be recorded

In-person or Phone Meetings

Applicants are also welcome to schedule one-on-one meetings (in person or over the phone) with Eric Mueller about their application before completing it online. To schedule a meeting please call 651-644-1912 or email emueller@filmnorth.org. Please do not wait until the last minute, as there might not be enough time to help everyone at that point.

Artist Statement Help

In addition to the above video and the live Q&A sessions you can also get one-on-one assistance by contacting Springboard for the Arts to sign up for a meeting with one of their Artist Career Consultants, who can guide and give feedback on crafting your artist statement and/or your whole application. You can see the full Artist Career Consultant Roster on Springboard’s website. If you have questions, email Adia at adia@springboardforthearts.org. Do not wait until the last moment to contact Springboard, as the process takes a little time.

Filling out the application

If you’re having technical problems with filling out the application form (like you forgot your password), please contact Submittable, who will be able to help you.  

CALENDAR

1/14/22  Applications Open
1/25/22  “How do I write an artist statement?” Q&A on Zoom (6:30-7:30 PM)
1/31/22  “How do I apply?” Q&A on Zoom (6:30-7:30 PM)
2/15/22  “How do I apply?” Q&A on Zoom (6:30-7:30 PM)
2/22/22  “How do I write an artist statement?” Q&A on Zoom (6:30-7:30 PM)
3/3/22  Workshop for BIPOC artists: :How to Strategize and Fully Maximize Your McKnight Media Arts Fellowship Application” (6:30pm – 8:30 PM) 
3/8/22  “How do I apply?” Q&A on Zoom (6:30-7:30 PM)
3/14/22  Application Deadline (5PM CST)
6/21/22  Fellowships Announced

FAQ

1. What is the McKnight Media Artist Fellowships Program?
Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 14 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships.

The goal of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Media Artists program is to identify talented Minnesota media artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage beyond emerging. The fellowship program supports established artists by providing significant financial assistance, by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a public discussion panel featuring the fellows, by providing assistance to attend a professional conference in New York or Los Angeles, and by offering four free classes through FilmNorth during the fellowship year.

2. What is the application deadline?
Monday, March 14 2022 at 5PM. The deadline is strict; there will be no extensions. 

3. What’s new this year?
• Instead of holding our general information workshop as a Zoom event, this year we have informational videos you can watch on your own schedule, and then attend one of our Live (on Zoom) Q&A sessions to ask any follow-up questions you have. (See “Getting Help With Your Application” above)
•Applicants have an opportunity to provide additional context for the panel about how their identity informs their work via a short-answer question. (See “Application Components” above)

4. What does the panel look for?
The panel looks for mid-career artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who have created a substantial body of work over a period of time. In other words, these awards are not intended for Media Artists at the beginning stage of their career, nor are they for a single work of merit. Above all, the panel looks for consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional accomplishment, and commitment.

5. Is this an award for someone at the end of their career?
McKnight Artist Fellowships are not “lifetime achievement” awards and are not about the age of the applicant. Rather, these fellowships are a recognition of the recipient’s significant body of work; creative achievement; and their sustained contribution to their artistic field and to Minnesota’s arts ecosystem.

6. How do you define “mid-career”?
Mid-career artists will have a history of sustained professional media arts work over a period of at least five years, demonstrated through film festival screenings, produced films, optioned screenplays, residencies, grants, fellowships, awards or other recognition in the field. Accomplishments must be outside of accredited degree programs, i.e. student performances will not count towards the five-year period of professional accomplishment.

7. What are the eligibility requirements?
Please see above under “Eligibility.”

8. May I apply as part of a team?
You may apply as an individual or as a team of no more than two artists. Each applicant on the team must fulfill all the eligibility requirements. Co-applicants should submit only one set of written materials: a combined resume of work completed together, combined artist statement, etc. All work samples must be work created as a team.

9. What are the fellowships for?
Fellowships are unrestricted funds available to media artists to support their work and artistry. The Fellowships are not project grants, and the panel does not evaluate project proposals as criteria in the selection process. A fellowship can help an artist set aside periods of time for study, reflection, experimentation, and exploration; take advantage of an opportunity; or work on a new project. Applicants cannot be enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program at an institution of higher learning during the fellowship year, and the fellowships funds may not be used to support work associated with a degree program. However, fellowships may be used to support professional study. If you have further questions about what the fellowship may support, please contact us at emueller@filmnorth.org.

10. Who reviews the applications?
The fellows will be selected by two panels of jurors who are media artists and professionals from outside of Minnesota. The screenwriting fellowship will be selected by a single juror, while the three other fellowships will be selected by a panel of three jurors. Panelists are knowledgeable about media arts and the panel represents a range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. The panel makeup changes each year. The panel is confidential and names of panelists are not revealed until after the selection process is complete.

11. How does the panel determine “artistic excellence”?
Each year we select media arts panelists with a wide variety of expertise in multiple areas. They draw upon their professional experience to help determine what “artistic excellence” means to them. Additionally, we give the panel these instructions to help guide them:

Some things to consider when evaluating “artistic excellence and merit”
1. Work demonstrates strong technical skills and craft in its execution
2. Self-awareness of the artist is communicated in their response to application materials
3. Work reveals something about the world, communicating unique perspective/s, inviting the viewer/listener/reader to question, discover, explore new ideas
4. Work represents an artistic challenge or stretch; there is risk involved
5. Exploration feels relevant and deeply considered
6. Artist has an authentic relationship/connection to the content/community involved in the work
7. Artist shows a commitment to working in this form
8. Combination of aesthetics, technical skill, and delivery is engaging emotionally, intellectually, spiritually
9. Are you excited to see/hear more from this artist?

If you have further questions, please contact Eric Mueller, program administrator. 

12. What does a “substantial body of work” mean?
Ideally it would mean that you had created several projects that displayed a consistent artistic excellence and merit, clarity and uniqueness of vision, professional accomplishment, and commitment. FilmNorth recognizes that some projects by media artists take many years to complete because of their scope (for example, a documentary project where the filmmaker follows their subjects for many years). Therefore, a substantial body of work does not have to mean dozens of projects, if the work samples show that the artist required a long time to complete them because of the project’s scope.

13. Does FilmNorth help pick the fellows?
No. FilmNorth fellowship staff who oversee the McKnight Fellowship program do not contribute to the decision-making process or the selection of the McKnight Media Artist Fellows. The role of the staff is to provide clarity for the review process and to ensure that the panel review and discussion proceed in accordance with the program’s guidelines.

14. What should I say in my artist statement?
Since the fellowship is an award for an artist and a body of work (rather than a specific project), we suggest using the artist statement to help the panel get a better idea of who you are as an artist, describing your creative process and vision, and how they relate to your work samples. The statement may take any one of several directions: you may choose to write about your background, the development of your work, your particular interests as an artist or your aesthetic position, your future direction or anything else pertinent to your art. Keep in mind that the artist statement is not a project proposal. You may if you wish talk about your plans for the fellowship year, but it is not required, nor is it one of the criteria that the panel uses when selecting fellows. If applicable, discuss how you are uniquely positioned to create your work and/or how you consider questions about representation, accountability or other ethical considerations in your work or practice.

15. May I use the same artist statement I submitted last year?
Yes, certainly, if it is still pertinent. The panel make-up changes every year, so each panel is seeing application materials anew.

16. How can I get help with my artist statement?
We encourage you to contact Springboard for the Arts to meet with one of the Artist Career Consultants. For a small fee, the Artist Career Consultants can guide and give feedback on crafting your artist statement and/or your whole application. You can see the full Artist Career Consultant Roster and their bios at https://springboardforthearts.org/consultants. If you have questions, email Adia at adia@springboardforthearts.org. Do not wait until the last moment to contact Springboard, as the process takes a little time.

17. Should I submit two or three work samples?
If you have three great work samples you are strongly encouraged to submit all three of them. If you only have two great work samples your application will look less robust than an applicant that has three samples, but you should only be submitting work that is very strong. It’s recommended to put your strongest work sample first.

18. Should my work sample show recent work, older work or both?
Ideally you should have work that covers a span of time, but you are strongly encouraged to have some recent work. Applicants who do not submit recent work (last 1-2 years) might be at a disadvantage. (Note: If you have previously received a McKnight Artist Fellowship you may not submit the same work you submitted the year you received the fellowship. Additionally, at least one of your work samples must have been created since you received the fellowship. In short, you must demonstrate growth and ongoing artistry since your most recent McKnight Artist Fellowship.

19. I understand the judges will watch at least 10 minutes of my work sample. Can I have them watch the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes of my film?
No. They will watch (at least) 10 consecutive minutes, which is why we ask you for the starting point.

20. I have a lot of short films; can I use two 5-minute films as one 10-minute work sample?
No. Each film is its own work sample. If your film is shorter than 10 minutes, the panel will watch the entire film.

21. Since the panel will only watch 10 minutes of my film, do I have to submit the entire film, or can I just submit 10 minutes of it?
You have to submit the entire film. The panel is only required to watch 10 minutes, but they frequently watch more than that, especially when they are trying to decide between two close candidates.

22. For submitting my work, can I use Dropbox?
No. The work must be able to play in a browser window without the panelist having to download any software. Screenplays may be uploaded as PDFs, but all other kinds of work samples must be hosted on another site (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud), and then provide the link(s) in your application.

23. What about DVDs? Can I submit my work that way?
We no longer accept DVDs for work samples

24. What should I include in my resume?
Your resume should communicate your professional accomplishment and commitment to the panel. it is also extremely useful in determining whether you are a mid-career artist, so it should reflect your work, honors, awards and other recognition in the field, as well as give information about your education and related work; and it is extremely important to include dates with all listings. It should be clear to the panelists what your body of work looks like, when it was made, where it has been screened/broadcast/experienced, and any awards each work has won. Do not include work that is not pertinent to your career as a media artist.

25. Can I have the juror read the first ten pages and the last ten pages of my script?
No. The juror will read the first 20 pages of your script, and then decide if they feel they need to keep reading.

26. Why can I no longer tell the panel which page of my screenplay I want them to start reading from?
It has been determined that the fairest way to all screenwriters is if the juror starts on page one of every script. If they decide they want to keep reading past page 20, they will. 

27. Why are screenwriters judged separately?
Screenwriters were judged separately from other media artists, until about 10 years ago, when some changes were made by McKnight resulting in all media artists being put into one category. During that period we heard from panels that it is too difficult to judge the “blueprint” for a project (i.e. a screenplay) against a finished project (e.g. a film). After several meetings with the McKnight Arts staff about how to best make sure that all artists are being judged fairly, it was decided to return to the previous format of having the screenwriters judged separately from all other media artists.

28. I’m a writer/director. May I submit a work sample of a screenplay and a finished project?
No. You must either apply as a writer, or a “non-writer.” The only way to submit a screenplay is to apply as a writer, in which case both (or all) of your work samples must be screenplays. 

29. I’m a writer/director. May I submit two applications: one for my writing and one for my directing?
No. You may only submit one application for any McKnight Artist Fellowship, so you will have to decide which medium you’d like to apply in.

30. I’ve had films screen in dozens of festivals; does it help me to provide links to more than just the minimum of 5?
No. The panel does not see these links; only the program staff, and uses them to verify eligibility. However you can (and should) list those festivals on your resume. 

31. I’m submitting films for my work samples. Does each film have to have been shown in 5 film festivals?
No. You must have had a minimum of 5 screenings in 5 different film festivals/curated screenings in your career. Applicants are allowed to submit projects that haven’t been screened anywhere yet. Please see “Eligibility” above.

32. I’ve received a McKnight Artist Fellowship in a previous year. Can I reapply?
You may reapply if you received a fellowship in 2016 or earlier. You are not eligible to apply if you received a McKnight fellowship in any category in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021. Note that if you have received a McKnight Artist Fellowship in the past, additional restrictions apply to your choice of work samples; please see FAQ 18.

33. Can I get assistance with my application?
Yes, we are here to help with workshops and one-on-one assistance. Information is available above.

34. Can I get feedback from my application after selections are made?
Yes, you may make a phone appointment to receive feedback.

35. How can I be sure to receive information about the fellowship program next year?
Sign up for the FilmNorth email e-Flash to receive ongoing news and information about the McKnight Media Artist Fellowships.

36. I forgot my password for Submittable. What should I do?
Submittable will be able to help you with any questions like that. The FilmNorth staff does not have access to your account password.

Additional questions? Please contact Eric Mueller, Program Administrator, FilmNorth, 651-644-1912, emueller@filmnorth.org.