Stay Informed!

Be the first to know with our newsletter! By subscribing, you’ll receive exclusive community updates, news and events straight to your inbox.

The NIAF/De Laurentiis Film Prizes

Aurelio De Laurentiis & Filmauro

In his career, Aurelio De Laurentiis, through his company Filmauro, has produced and distributed more than 400 films directed by such filmmakers as Mario Monicelli, Carlo Verdone, Ettore Scola, Ridley Scott, David Cronenberg, Luc Besson, Paul Haggis, Joel and Ethan Coen, David Lynch, Roberto Benigni and many others.


The NIAF and Aurelio De Laurentiis Film Prizes are dedicated to supporting aspiring filmmakers, who wish to tell a story pertaining to Italians and Italian Americans. The prizes provide critical funding for their budgetary needs to help tell that story. Each year, the program will award five filmmakers with a $10,000 grant. The grantees will have one year to create their film project and submit their film for review. Documentary, narrative, fiction, and nonfiction are all acceptable formats. The 5 films will be chosen to screen during the NIAF Gala weekend, and the award-winning filmmaker will receive a mentorship opportunity with Aurelio De Laurentiis and his team and an additional $10,000 winning prize to promote the film.


The film prizes program is open to all aspiring filmmakers from around the world of any nationality and age. The program is not limited to film students.

Rules & Rights

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.  Filmauro will carefully review the winning short but also the other finalist ones for commercial exploitation potential and wherever feasible, will do its best effort to craft a commercial strategy which can include, among the others:

  • Festivals enrollment. The Festival route is one of the best tools to bring prestige and visibility to a short and to create commercial appeal. From prestigious and famous Festivals (like Venice or Cannes) to smaller but Academy qualifying ones (like the Los Angeles Short Films Festival), Filmauro will evaluate the appropriate Festivals applications and submit for enrollment shorts deemed appropriate for this route.
  • Commercial Distribution. If any the shorts show prominent commercial appeal (alone or together in an anthology package), Filmauro will use its extensive network to submit the shorts to streamers and broadcasters to evaluate with them the possibility of a commercial distribution. Aurelio De Laurentiis will retain full ownership of the short films through his Company, Filmauro.



Application opens: January 3, 2024
Application deadline: March 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. PT
All applicants notified.  Grant awards announced and funds disbursed: April 1, 2024
Deadline to submit completed film projects: April 1, 2025, 11:59 p.m. PT
Screening of five films during the NIAF Gala Weekend: October 2025
Winning film announced at the NIAF Gala Dinner: October 2025