The Vilcek Foundation has invited filmmakers who have had an impact in the US but were born outside that country, to apply for the $25,000 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise.

'After researching a multitude of arts categories, filmmaking seemed to be an incredibly flourishing field, and we thought it would be a great category for the inauguration of this new prize,' Jennie Rains, the foundation's associate programs officer,' told Next time a different arts and culture category will be chosen for the annual prize.

Applications are open to people who have demonstrated outstanding achievement but are no more than 38 years of age: the foundation wants to encourage and support filmmakers in the first half of their lives when there can be a lot of challenges. The deadline for applications is July 11 and the award will be presented during the foundation's annual awards ceremony in New York in March 2009.

The Vilcek Foundation was set up in 2000 and aims to heighten public awareness of the contribution made by immigrants to sustaining excellence and vibrancy in the sciences, arts and culture in the US. It also showcases the work of people in the arts who have yet to achieve critical acclaim.

The foundation celebrates the opportunities the US gave husband-and-wife team of Dr. Jan Vilcek, a professor and research scientist at the New York University School of Medicine, and art historian Marica Vilcek. The couple were born in Czechoslovakia.