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Fall 2013 Grant Opportunities

By Lisa Hasko

The fall granting cycle is right around the corner so we've listed a few opportunities that we think will be of interest to you. As with every funding application, be sure to read over the guidelines and requirements carefully to make sure your documentary is a good fit prior to applying. If you have questions along the way, contact a grant officer at the organization. They're there to help you determine if your film is right for the grant and to answer questions about the application process itself. Remember that some organizations request Letters of Intent (LOI) before you apply. If you've ever wondered how to go about starting a LOI, the Foundation Center's Grant Space provides a great resource guide.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about a particular grant or about applying for grant money in general. Good hunting!

Committed to the promotion and a wider circulation of human rights film screenings worldwide, Movies that Matter has initiated an extra stimulus for the circulation of human rights films in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Movies that Matter offers modest financial assistance up to € 5.000 of subsidy to organize various types of human rights film events in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Extended Deadline: September 15, 2013

The $10,000 award is up for grabs for one talented Latino filmmaker. “Social change has been the consistent undercurrent for HBO's critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary programs, with a myriad of issues presented in uncompromising quality and honesty.  Through this cash award, HBO wants to focus its lens on the Latino experience and support the growth of social commentary by Latino documentarians.” One of IDA’s fiscally sponsored films, Code of the West, received the award in 2011.

Deadline: September 27, 2013

The Roy W. Dean film grant provides in-kind goods and services to support compelling shorts, documentaries, and independent features with budgets under $500K. They have expanded to further their goals of creating films that are "unique and make a contribution to society." The grant now also funds shorts and low budget independents. “Student filmmakers, independent producers, or independent production companies are all welcome”.

Deadline: September 30, 2013

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 1, 2013

The Frameline Completion Fund provides grants to emerging and established filmmakers making projects about  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their communities.  This program seeks to provide a much-needed source of financial contributions to artists who often struggle to secure funding to complete their works. Submissions are being accepted for documentary, educational, narrative, animated or experimental projects about LGBTQ people and their communities. Grants up to $5,000 are available for films that represent and reflect LGBTQ life in all its complexity and richness.

Deadline: October 31, 2013


In 2014, the TFI Documentary Fund will provide grants totaling $160,000—including the TFI/ESPN Prize—to outstanding feature documentaries that aim to give audiences a unique glimpse of captivating personal stories. The TFI Documentary Fund furthers the development of exceptional character-driven, non-fiction works that spotlight contemporary themes with an original focus and bold, creative filmmaking. This fund allows TFI to fund many audience-grabbing genres that fall under the documentary umbrella including arts, sports, hybrid and experimental projects.

Deadline: November 5, 2013

The Pacific Pioneer Fund supports emerging documentary filmmakers, who have demonstrated their commitment to documentary form by no more than ten years of practical film or video experience.  Eligibility: Filmmakers that live in California, Oregon and Washington.

Deadline: December 1, 2013 (POSTMARK)