Filmmakers have a new reason to rejoice. The U.S. unit of Munich-based camera and imaging giant Arri has expanded its Franz Wieser Grant program, which provides aspiring creatives with access to Arri products and resources.
The program will now extend beyond features, shorts and documentaries to encompass photography, live events, worship, and broadcast projects. The initiative, open to U.S. filmmakers, has supported 45 feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, and music videos since its inception.
Launched in 2013 as the Amira Grant program, it is now named after the late Franz Wieser, the longtime Arri exec who worked to empower filmmakers. Bavaria-born Wieser first joined Arri in the U.S. as an intern nearly three decades ago, rose to the position of VP, marketing and was a force behind the industry’s transition from film to digital. He passed away in 2019.
Filmmakers benefiting from the program include Brenna Malloy, writer and director of “Rocket,” winner of the 2016 Student Academy Award (pictured above).
Other recipients: Elizabeth Lo, director and cinematographer of “Stray,” nominated for two Cinema Eye Honors Awards, including Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film and Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, along with a Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nod for Best First Documentary Feature; and Star Victoria, director of “La Ruta,” DGA jury award-winner for Best Woman Student Filmmaker in the West Region.
Last year, in collaboration with Arri Rental US and Illumination Dynamics, Arri fortified the grant program to provide filmmakers with equipment valued at up to $200,000.
“At Arri, we are committed to helping the next generation of filmmakers through education and support programs like the Franz Wieser Grant program,” says Peter Crithary, Arri VP of marketing and market development. “Last year, we expanded the program to further concentrate our efforts on supporting talented filmmakers that were looking for that stepping stone needed to launch their careers; and now by expanding the number of qualified categories, and expanding the offerings of equipment, we hope to foster even more new talent.”
The application process for the program is open year-round, with projects selected by the grant committee. Each qualified project receives support with a bespoke equipment package.
“Our goal is to challenge and inspire filmmakers to create the best projects they possibly can,” says Franz Wieser Grant program chair Ksenia Lappo.