Washington Filmworks (WF) is excited to announce the return of the Filmworks Innovation Lab! The first funding assistance program of its kind in the nation, the Lab is designed to support Washington based filmmakers and those using emerging technologies. WF believes supporting the development of our local filmmakers is one of the most important things that we can do to create a long-term, sustainable film industry. Already, completed projects are celebrating success at film festivals, online, in their local communities, and across the globe!

The Filmworks Innovation Lab is designed to invest in our local creative community and to encourage the development of original storytelling that capitalizes on new forms of production and technology. In the first two cycles of the program, WF allocated funding assistance to a diverse slate of projects, from short films to features, web series to app-based projects. The wealth of creativity and ingenuity from applicants and funding assistance recipients alike was truly inspiring.

During the first two funding cycles an overwhelming majority of applicants saw participating in the program as an invaluable process that helped filmmakers better-develop their ideas and their business proposal. Applicant JD Davis of Tacoma told WF “this process forced me to take a different look at my project and focus on areas I hadn’t thought of. At the end of the day, I believe the project has a better chance of success because of it.”

The Filmworks Innovation Lab offers funding assistance as a return on qualified in-state expenditures on the production of motion picture content (including labor and talent who are Washington State residents). Projects must spend between $25,000 – $499,999 in Washington and it is important to note that this is not a grant, rather a reimbursement on a project’s investment in utilizing Washington State workers, vendors and goods. The level of funding assistance is determined per project and varies according to each approved project’s merit and requirements. “The reimbursement allows us to market our project and get people to actually see it. That kind of funding for a low budget, independent project is crucial and very rare,” said Alycia Delmore of Seattle, Filmworks Innovation Lab funding assistance recipient.


Program Highlights and Significant Changes

  • We’ve merged the funding cycles. Previously WF accepted applications for narrative film projects and those designed for multiple delivery platforms separately. No more! We now consider applications two times a year, regardless of the distribution platform.
  • From the application deadline to notification of outcome, the turnaround for applicants is significantly reduced. The next application window is slated to open in August 2014!  Look to the Innovation Lab Guidelines & Criteria for dates and deadlines.
  • Projects must spend between $25,000 – $499,999 in Washington State.
  • Projects that apply must have at least 50% of their budget secured at the time of application and be able to show proof of financing.
  • At least 75% of the motion picture content production budget must be spent in Washington State.
  • At least 75% of all production days must take place in Washington State.
  • At least 85% of the workforce for the physical production of motion picture content must be Washington residents and projects must use a majority of Washington residents in Key Creative positions.
  • A mandatory applicant meeting is now required prior to applying. Check WF website, or with staff for specific dates and details.


We can’t wait to hear what Washington is working on! Have questions or want to know if your project is a good fit for the Filmworks Innovation Lab? Contact us.

(206) 264-0667

Full Guidelines and Criteria are now available online.

(Production photos are from several of the projects that were awarded funding assistance from the Filmworks Innovation Lab: Box Walk, Rocketmen the Webseries, The Maury Island Incident and Clearwater.)