KNIGHT HEROES: Short Documentary Development Fund and Consultation

39th Miami Film Festival logo and Knight Foundation logoAnnouncing a new direction for our popular Knight Heroes program, Miami Film Festival is proud to launch a new partnership with IF/Then Shorts.

Now in its fourth edition, Knight Heroes is a program funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where bright and bold filmmakers share their insights, observations, and advice about their creative paths and future outlooks through conversations about their own creative heroes. This initiative, led by IF/Then Shorts staff as an extension of the Miami Film Festival’s programming legacy with Knight Heroes, will provide grants and direct mentorship to eight local filmmakers, along with a major panel focused on both narrative and documentary short-form series development that will be open to the entire community.

South Florida filmmakers are invited to submit their short documentary project ideas for development funding and expert consultation on a wide range of topics. Eight filmmaker projects will receive a development grant of $500 each from the Knight Heroes program, as well as a one-hour consultation with a distinguished expert in the field on industry tropics tailored to their specific areas of interest.


Projects should be original, standalone short documentaries (between 8-30 min in duration) in development or pre-production. Proposed films should be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be designed for a U.S. audience.

The projects should explore a range of socially, politically and culturally relevant topics that are rooted in the region. Submissions shall be in the form of community-inspired, short-form storytelling coming from South Florida, with filmmakers interested in building their Southern creative collaborative community.

This program is open to filmmakers living and working in the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe.

Online applications are currently open and will close on Monday, January 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.


To apply, follow this link:



January 10, 2022 – Applications open (10 AM EST)

January 24, 2022 – Applications close (11:59 PM EST)

February 14-16, 2022 – All applicants notified of status

March 5, 2022 –  “Scaling a Short Film into a Short Form Series” Festival Panel – (JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Downtown Miami) Miami Film Festival will host a public 120-minute panel that is open to the entire South Florida film community. Panelists will discuss their expertise in development, acquisition/streaming and short film or short form series filmmaking. Panelists will share what they look for in series pitches (scripted and non-fiction), how they program standalone shorts for their platforms and answer questions from the audience. A happy hour event for filmmakers and registered guests of the Miami Film Festival 2022 will follow.. COVID safety protocols in accordance with CDC and Miami-Dade County guidelines for event gatherings will apply and be enforced.