Lynn Shelton "Of a Certain Age" Grant

Lynn Shelton



Aug 02, 2023


Jul 03, 2023

The Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” Grant is a project-based award that provides $25,000 to an individual woman, non-binary, and/or transgender U.S. filmmaker, age 39 or older, who is working on their first narrative feature (65 minutes or over) as a director.

This grant seeks to recognize a film director for their distinct vision, storytelling, and singularity.

In 2020, The Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” Grant was established by Northwest Film Forum alongside Duplass Brothers Productions, and with major support from COLOR and Eliza Flug, to honor Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who passed away on May 16th, 2020. Lynn Shelton often spoke of feeling inspired after seeing filmmaker Claire Denis speak at Northwest Film Forum and learning that Denis did not make her first feature until age 40. Shelton went on to make her own first feature film (We Go Way Back) at the age of 39. In the years since, she built a prolific canon of feature and television work and made an indelible mark on the landscape of American cinema.


  • Eligible filmmakers must have “director” credit on at least one short film or feature documentary and have a desire to work in the narrative space. Filmmakers with “director” credit on a feature-length (70+ min) narrative film will not be considered.
  • Filmmaker should be a woman, non-binary, and/or transgender individual, and be 39 years or older at the time of their application.
  • Filmmaker must be able to receive income in the U.S.
  • Filmmaker should be at a point in their career where such recognition would be meaningful and provide needed support.
  • They strongly encourage filmmakers to apply who identify as either disabled, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color), LGBTQ2IA+, or who live in rural areas.

Ineligible applicants for this grant are:

  • Members of the NWFF Board of Trustees, their business partners, or family members
  • Northwest Film Forum staff members, interns, their business partners, or family members
  • Members of the current year Award Selection Committee
  • Past recipient of the Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” Grant
  • Individuals who have received a Northwest Film Forum grant in the same calendar year
  • Filmmakers with “director” credit on a feature-length (65+ min) narrative film

Application Instructions

To be eligible for this grant, applicants are required to submit the following materials:

  • Biography (150 words or less) – Tell the story of you and your work as a filmmaker and/or director
  • Logline (75 words or less) – Distill the central conflict and important elements of your screenplay
  • Film Résumé or CV (5 pages or less) – Upload your film résumé or CV
  • Director Statement (300 words or less) – Articulate your filmmaking voice/philosophy and what about you and your process or work makes you singular as a director
  • Film Project Overview (300 words or less) – A holistic summary of your pre-production or in-development narrative feature film that articulates the story, vision, and scope of the film, and gives the reader a feel for its main characters, plot, and themes. It should clearly describe what your film is about and give readers a reason to want to watch it
  • Past Project Work Sample (2-3 minutes) – Provide a URL link to a video sample from a completed work (not a rough cut or work-in-progress) that you have directed within the last 10 years. If you are submitting links to platforms like Vimeo or Youtube make sure you include a password, if applicable. Indicate your start and stop time for the excerpt (e.g., “Start at 3:30 and end at 5:30”). If no start and stop time is provided, panelists will begin watching at the beginning and will watch for a maximum of three (3) minutes
  • Narrative Feature (Proposed Project) Work Sample – Provide a URL link to one (1) of the following materials from your narrative film project that you are directing: ten (10) pages of your script (can be from any portion), a pitch deck, or clip (2 minutes or less)
  • Work Sample Context (50 words or less each) – Provide 1-2 sentence explanations for both your completed project and your current project that provide context for the reviewers for where we are in the story when your work sample starts.

Apply through the application portal.