The Russo Brothers Italian
American Film Forum Grant

The Russo Brothers

Successful Italian American filmmakers, Anthony and Joseph Russo, have a cinematic repertoire that reaches from the highest grossing Marvel films, to Emmy’s for their prime-time projects. As active members of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA), they’ve partnered with NIAF and ISDA to develop The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum.


The Forum provides an incredible opportunity for inspired and creative artists to craft films that explore the Italian American experience. Joe and Anthony invite you to explore the present, past, and future of this unique and important cultural expression and identity.

A select number of applicants will be awarded a $8,000 grant that serves as a production budget for the story they’d like to develop and create for the screen. Documentary, narrative, fiction, and nonfiction are all acceptable formats. There are few rules to the content of your film, only that it illuminates some aspect of the Italian American experience.


These grants are open to people of all nationalities and backgrounds, as the Italian American culture has touched so many of us in profound and resonant ways.

Grants will be awarded based solely on the promise of a film’s premise, how it relates to the Italian American experience, and the creative potential of the filmmakers.

The timeline below highlights all of the key dates to be aware of throughout the program’s entirety. If you’re selected for our grant, your acceptance means an obligation to deliver a film within the bounds of what you outline in the following application pages and by the due date listed below. Failure to complete a film by the final due date or delivery of a film unrelated or outside its immediate description written within the application will result in a full revocation of funds and complete disqualification.

NIAF and ISDA will display the films on their respective websites and reserve the right to screen the films at NIAF and ISDA events as well as not-for-profit events.

We couldn’t be more excited to offer a platform for voices worldwide to tell original Italian American stories.

The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Grant Awards Announcement Postponed

The National Italian American Foundation, the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, and the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Grant Committee announce the postponement of the naming of the recipients of the 2020 grant awards, which was to have taken place on April 1, 2020.

(Read more)

The current worldwide health concerns relating to Coronavirus, and the regulations being imposed to address the spread of this pandemic, create a current environment which precludes grant awardees from engaging in the filmmaking process.

This decision to postpone the granting of the awards will be reevaluated as circumstances dictate, and a final decision as to how this year’s program will proceed will hopefully be made sometime in June.

Despite this temporary setback, the committee is pleased to report that nearly 200 grant applications were submitted this year by aspiring filmmakers from throughout the world, by far the greatest number of applications submitted to date. This dramatic increase in interest in the program is clearly indicative of the passion so many individuals possess to create films that explore the Italian American experience in a very personal and relevant way. The committee wholeheartedly thanks all of the grant applicants for their willingness to commit so much of their time, effort and creativity to help preserve the Italian American heritage.

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Application opens: January 13, 2020
Application deadline: March 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. PT
All applicants notified: TBD
Deadline for completed film submission: TBD
All applicants who submitted a film notified. Three finalists chosen and invited to NIAF Gala: TBD
Screening of the three finalist films during the NIAF Gala Weekend: TBD
Announcement of the winning film during the NIAF Gala Dinner: TBD

For questions, visit our FAQs page. Still need help? Contact Gabriella Mileti at

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