2015 Spring + Summer Grants & Opportunities
By Lisa Hasko
LATINO PUBLIC BROADCASTING—PUBLIC MEDIA CONTENT FUND
The Public Media Content Fund is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for a program, limited series or short web-based digital video (no longer than 20 minutes, for distribution on PBS.org or another public media web platform) on any subject that relates to or is representative of Latino Americans that is appropriate for public television and/or one of its platforms. Up to 100K in funding for programs & 20K for new media.
Deadline: June 1, 2015
PACIFIC PIONEER FUND
The Pacific Pioneer Fund provides support to emerging documentary filmmakers. The term "emerging" is intended to denote a person committed to the craft of making documentaries, who has demonstrated that commitment by several years -- but no more than ten -- of practical film or video experience. Grants are to support filmmakers are limited to filmmakers or videographers who live and work in California, Oregon and Washington, and range from $1,000-$10,000.
Deadline: June 1, 2015
NEH – DIGITAL PROJECTS FOR THE PUBLIC
Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with the humanities. Digital platforms—such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments—can reach diverse audiences and bring the humanities to life for the American people. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work).
Deadline: June 10, 2015
NEH – BRIDGING CULTURES THROUGH FILM: INTERNATIONAL TOPICS
NEH’s Division of Public Programs supports activities that engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas. The Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program supports films that examine international themes and subjects in the humanities. The films are meant to spark Americans’ engagement with the broader world by exploring countries and cultures outside of the United States.
Deadline: June 10, 2015
CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES ACCELERATOR LAB
The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting a diverse group of women nonfiction directors who are first- and second-time filmmakers, with the aim of helping them break into the documentary film world, keep on track within the industry’s pipeline, build toward sustainable and successful careers, and tell the most powerful and impactful stories they can. The Accelerator Lab consists of four areas of filmmaker development: Funding & Mentorship, Retreats, Industry Meetings, Peer Support for projects currently in development or up to mid-production. Each film will receive $35,000.
Opens: May 11, 2015
Closes: June 10, 2015
SHAW MEDIA-HOT DOCS COMPLETION FUND
The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Completion Fund is a grant program that will provide financial support of up to $100,000 (limited to a maximum of 20% of a project’s budget) for production companies to complete specific projects. The Completion Fund is open to producers who have attracted demonstrated market interest in their documentaries. The Completion Fund is expected to support on average six to nine projects per year.
Opens: June 3, 2015
Deadline: June 24, 2015
LEF FOUNDATION – MOVING IMAGE FUND GRANTS
The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region, and to broaden recognition and support for their work, both locally and nationally. It also supports programs that highlight the rich history and ongoing legacy of innovation within New England’s independent film community. In order to apply for funding, the main creative personnel, which is the director and/or producer, must live in one of the six New England states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine.
Deadline: June 19, 2015
THE FLEDGLING FUND
Grants support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film and other storytelling projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the most vulnerable. Grants typically range from $10K - $25K. There are two types of grants available: audience engagement planning grants or audience engagement implementation grants. Grants are NOT available to support production or post-production.
Open: July 1, 2015
Deadline: Rolling (applicants will be notified within three months)
ITVS – DIGITAL OPEN CALL
The Digital Open Call provides up to $50,000 in R&D funding to develop and pilot digital series concepts on any subject, and from any viewpoint, for public media’s digital platforms. Projects must be in development, and cannot have begun principal production. The Digital Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories. Carefully review the full eligibility criteria before beginning an application.
Deadline: July 1, 2015
TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE – TFI/ESPN FUTURE FILMMAKERS PRIZE
The TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize will award three up-and-coming media makers (currently pursuing a master’s degree) devoted to creating short-form documentaries highlighting the exceptionally creative work of an athletic community or organization that is working towards solving social issues in the United States and around the world. Three filmmakers will each receive a grant of $25,000 to use towards the development, production or post-production of their film. In addition to financial support, grantees will receive professional guidance and mentorship through a two-day workshop in the fall of 2015, led by TFI and select industry leaders.
Opens: May 5, 2015
Deadline: July 5, 2015
SUNDANCE DOCUMENTARY FUND
The Sundance Documentary Fund provides strategic financial support to cinematic, feature documentaries from independent filmmakers globally. We provide $1M-$2M in non-recoupable financing annually across all stages of development, production, post-production, and strategic audience engagement.
Open: February, 2015
TFI Documentary Fund
The TFI Doc Fund provides grants and guidance to feature-length, character-driven documentaries, in advanced stages of development, production or post-production. These projects shine a spotlight on contemporary themes with original focus and bold, creative filmmaking.
Open: June 15, 2015
Deadline: August 3, 2015
CAL HUMANITIES COMMUNITY STORIES GRANT
Cal Humanities welcomes applications for the next round of Community Stories, our ongoing competitive grants program of support for public humanities projects that explore the California experience by recording and sharing stories through performances, panels, websites, video, radio, and exhibits. Note that this grant has a total project budget cap of $50,000, and applicants cannot apply for this and the California Documentary Project grant at the same time.
Open: July 1, 2015
Deadline: August 3, 2015
ALTERCINE FOUNDATION – DOCUMENTARY FILM GRANT
Altercine awards 10,000 Canadian dollars to a video or filmmaker to assist in the production of a documentary project. The grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation.
Deadline: August 15, 2015
KNIGHT PROTOTYPE FUND
The Knight Prototype Fund helps media makers, technologists and tinkerers take ideas from concept to demo. With grants of $35,000, innovators are given six months to research, test core assumptions and iterate before building out an entire project.
Deadline: August 17, 2015
ALBA HUMAN RIGHTS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its fifth year, ALBA's documentary film festival creates a community-wide dialogue about justice, equality, and humanity through the presentation of documentaries on human rights issues, post-screening Q/A sessions with the film directors, and community talk-backs with human rights advocates and activists.
Deadline: August 20, 2015
2016 KNIGHT-MOZILLA FELLOWSHIP
Are you a developer, designer, technologist, civic hacker, or data cruncher who wants to help change the world of journalism? Apply to become a 2016 Knight-Mozilla Fellow and spend ten months embedded in one of the best newsrooms in the world, writing open code and becoming a leader in the international journalism tech community.
Deadline: August 21, 2015
MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: DOCUMENTARY FILM GRANT
MacArthur funds the production of documentary films and participatory web-based documentaries that combine exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. They look for projects that challenge preconceptions and examine underreported social issues. These documentaries are intended to reach a large U.S. broadcast audience and, often, a targeted audience of educators, community leaders, advocates, and policymakers.
Deadline: September 1, 2015
MOVIES THAT MATTER SUPPORT PROGRAMME
Movies That Matter seeks to promote the screenings of human rights cinema worldwide, Movies that Matter Support Programme offers modest small grants to human rights film events in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, especially in countries with limited resources and freedom of press. These events can take various forms, such as human rights film festivals, LGBT festivals, mobile cinema projects, school screenings, grassroots distribution and film outreach projects. Movies that Matter offers grants up to EUR 7,500.
Deadline: September 15, 2015
CAL HUMANTIES – CALIFORNIA DOCUMENTARY PROJECT (CDP)
Guidelines are now available for the CDP, a competitive grants program of Cal Humanities that supports documentary film, radio, and new media productions that enhance our understanding of California and its cultures, peoples, and histories. Projects must use the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective and be suitable for California and national audiences through broadcast and/or distribution. Eligible applicants may apply for Research and Development or Production grants. Award amounts range from $10,000 up to $50,000.
Deadline: October 15, 2015
THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS – PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL MEDIA
Grants support "capstone" funding ranging from $100k-$500k, to complete production for major series assured of national airing by PBS. These should include innovative uses of technology to enhance community outreach and contribute to teaching in grades K-12 and beyond. Preference is given equally to children's series and programs of enduring value on subjects such as history and science. Consideration is given on occasion to single stand-alone programs of exceptional merit with a confirmed national airing. Programs whose primary purpose is advocacy, topical news coverage or entertainment may not be competitive.
THE BERTHA FOUNDATION BB DOCUMENTARY JOURNALISM FUND
The Documentary Journalism Fund is an international film fund dedicated to supporting long form feature documentaries of a journalistic nature. They are looking for films that break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, bring attention to unreported issues and cameras into regions previously unseen. This fund recognizes such films are often delicate and protracted, making them difficult to fund. With a mission to enable in-depth analysis of issues through long-form investigative filmmaking, we are particularly looking to work with filmmakers with a journalistic background or those who are collaborating with journalists.
Deadline: Rolling (funding decisions will be made within 8 weeks of application)
In the spirit of fostering great work, the Filmmaker Fund is committed to both proven and emerging filmmakers with assistance at every stage of production and post-production. Primarily, our role is to remove the obstacles that lie in the way of great work. From early stage funding, through production to the last edit, it is our aim to alleviate artistic encumbrances. To be selected as a project of the Filmmaker Fund is to have a partner in the entirety of the journey. That includes grants of up to $75K as well as an invitation to our annual retreat, festival navigation and distribution strategy.
Deadline: Rolling (submit at beginning of each month, decisions made at the end of each month)