The Johnny Brenden Filmmakers Award

The Johnny Brenden Filmmakers Award is a feature incubator that encourages undergraduates to develop their advanced projects. A $25,000 grant is given every two years to support the production of an outstanding feature-length film. Application cycles are in even years (2016, 2018, 2020, etc).

Applying for the Award

For the first round of the 2018 cycle, loglines and scripts are due by 11:59 pm on November 15th. Stories must be pitched to UNLV Film faculty in a 10-minute session, by the author or another leader of the project (director, producer). Top projects will advance to the next round, which will involve developing a full production plan and having a director or producer pitch their vision for making the film.

Pitches should be dynamic, well-structured, and engaging. Each pitch should include the following elements:

  1. Time and place of story
  2. Protagonist(s)
  3. Objective (What will or must be accomplished?)
  4. Stakes
  5. Obstacles
  6. Resolution (What has changed?)


Questions about the competition?

Please contact the chair of UNLV Film, Heather Addison.

Scripts should follow industry-standard rules of formatting and style.

Applicants must be UNLV undergraduates majoring in film who are enrolled at the time of completion of the project; seniors who have fulfilled their degree requirements must continue to enroll in at least one credit per semester during the entire period of award disbursement.

Note: The funds will be given to the designated leader of the winning project (director, writer/director, producer, etc.). Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or have proof of permanent resident status, and should select key team members who are current or recently graduated film majors at UNLV.

Submit a logline and script by filling out the following application.

Award Announcement

The final winner of the 2018 Johnny Brenden Filmmakers Award will be announced at the UNLV Film Honors Celebration on May 6, 2019.


The first winner of the Johnny Brenden Filmmakers Award was producer Constanza Castro. Her feature film Liars, Fires and Bears was the official selection of a dozen film festivals. The second award was to Ryan LeBoeuf. His feature film Rabbit Days was completed in the spring of 2014, and is currently streaming on Amazon with a new title: The Beast.