September 3, 2014

Fall 2014 Grants & Opportunities

The 2014 Fall granting cycle is full of opportunities! Several of the major players like NEH, ITVS and Tribeca are open for submissions, offering substantial amounts of funding to documentary filmmakers. Any filmmaker would be happy to work with these esteemed organizations, which is why it’s important to remember that each grant is also quite competitive. Be sure to do your homework to find out if a particular grant is right for your film.

If grants are a large part of your fundraising strategy, you might think about branching out from documentary-specific grants to look toward subject-specific possibilities. Is your film about an endangered toad species in the Amazon? Try visiting the Foundation Directory Online to research grantors who support environmental projects in that specific region. Look into organizations that have funded similar films in the past and see if there are funding opportunities that could be a good fit for your project.

Identifying what makes your subject unique and then finding the grants to match will help create some diversity against the competitive documentary funding landscape.

Without further ado, here are some great funding opportunities for the Fall granting cycle!
 

GRANTS & OPPORTUNITIES

TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE
TFI Documentary Fund
Grants and guidance to support exceptional character-driven, non-fiction works-in-progress that sit outside of the social issue landscape. For films, based anywhere, that are in advanced stages of development or in production or post-production. Grants of at least $10,000. TFI/ESPN Prize and TFI/A+E Feature Doc Workshop are programs within the fund.
Submissions open: September 5, 2014
Submissions close: November 5

TFI New Media Fund
Funding and support to non-fiction, social issue media projects which go beyond traditional screens—integrating film with content across media platforms, from video games, apps, social networks and Web. For projects based anywhere in advanced development or beyond. Grants range from $50,000 to $100,000.
Submissions open: September 5, 2014
Submissions close: November 5

Tribeca All Access
Celebrating over ten years, TAA supports working filmmakers and producers, based in U.S. and Puerto Rico, who come from communities statistically underrepresented in the film industry and whose projects are in all stages of production or post. Grants of $15,000, plus eligibility for our on-going alumni grants.
Submissions open: September 5, 2014
Submissions close: November 5

NEH – DIGITAL HUMANITIES START-UP GRANTS
The NEH funds programs that reach the general public (digital projects, museum exhibitions, radio, library events, documentaries etc.). This digital projects category presents a new funding initiative such as games, apps, websites, immersive experiences etc. There is no emphasis on innovation in terms of technology. There are two stages  of planning including Discovery  (up to 25K) and Prototyping/Testing (up to 100K).
Deadline:  September 11, 2014

MOVIES THAT MATTER
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.
Deadline: September 15, 2014

 

ROY W. DEAN FALL GRANT
Applications are now being accepted for the Roy W. Dean Fall Grant.   The grant gives filmmakers a chance to get their films going or completed with an award of $2,500 in cash and $30,000 in film products and services.  Films can be documentaries, short films, and features and must be unique and contribute to society.  Deadline for submission is Deadline: September 30th, 2014

 

THE WOMEN'S FILM PRESERVATION FUND
The Women's Film Preservation Fund, founded by New York Women in Film & Television, seeks proposals for the preservation or restoration of American films, from any era, in which women have held significant creative positions, including, but not limited to, writer, director, producer, editor and performerApplicants are encouraged to apply early so that we can check to make sure the application is complete.
Deadline: October 1, 2014

 

ITVS DIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT FUND
The Diversity Development Fund (DDF) provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Funded activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early phase activities.
Deadline is now extended: October 24, 2014

 

FILM INDEPENDENT DIRECTING LAB
Directors prepping their independent feature films are invited to apply to Film Independent's Directing Lab, an intensive eight-week program that runs in Los Angeles from February to March. Accepted filmmakers receive individualized mentorship while workshopping select scenes from their feature projets with actors, cinematographers and editors.
Deadline: October 6, 2014

 

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, 2014

SHAW MEDIA-HOT DOCS FUND
Established in April 2008, the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds consist of a $3-million Completion Fund and a $1-million Development Fund that aim to provide Canadian documentary filmmakers with much needed financial support at critical stages in their projects. Hot Docs will manage and disperse the Funds’ benefit monies over a seven-year period.
Deadline: October 22, 2014

 

FRAMELINE COMPLETION FUND
The Frameline Completion Fund provides grants to emerging and established filmmakers. 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.
Application Deadline: October 31, 2014

 

2015 MEREDITH-CRONKITE FELLOWSHIP
The Meredith Corporation and its Phoenix television station, KPHO CBS 5, sponsor a weeklong multimedia fellowship program for top broadcast journalism students from underrepresented groups at the Cronkite School and around the country. Ten fellows are selected each year in a competitive process, half from the Cronkite School and half from other schools around the country. Students leave with a highly polished newscast from KPHO’s studios. Students from universities outside of the region each receive a $2,000 stipend to cover expenses. Cronkite students receive a $500 stipend.
Deadline: October 31

 

ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATION PUBLIC TELEVISION GRANTS
Grants support "capstone" funding 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.
Deadline: November 1

 

THE FUSION DOC CHALLENGE
The Fusion Doc Challenge is a timed filmmaking competition sponsored by Fusion where filmmakers from around the world sign up to make a short documentary in five days that is 4-7 minutes in length. The Fusion Doc Challenge is very similar to International Doc Challenge, but filmmaking teams get to choose the five days they would like to make their film between now and November 5, 2014. After November 10, the top 12 films are determined by an esteemed panel of judges and premiere at the Fusion Doc Challenge Screening at Slamdance in January 2015.
Deadline: Open August 25 - November 5 2014

 

PACIFIC PIONEER FUND
The Pacific Pioneer Fund supports emerging filmmakers committed to the craft of making documentaries, who have demonstrated that commitment by several years, but no more than ten, of practical film or video experience. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000. Please note: grants are limited to filmmakers or videographers who live and work in California, Oregon and Washington. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis as the committee meets twice each year.
Deadline: December 1, 2014

 

ROLLING DEADLINES

THE BERTHA BRITDOC DOCUMENTARY JOURNALISM FUND
The Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund is a new global fund awarding £10,000-50,000 to documentary filmmakers from any country as a mixture of grants and investments. The fund supports projects at the intersection of film and investigative journalism that break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, bring attention to unreported issues, and cameras into regions previously unseen. Grants are recoupable.
Application Now Open

ITVS (U.S. PUBLIC TELEVISION)
LINCS (Linking Independents and Co-Producing Public Television Stations 
Provides matching funds (up to $100,000) to partnerships between US public television stations and independent producers. To apply for LINCS funds, independents must first approach a public television station and establish a partnership. Single documentaries and innovative genre combinations will be considered. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress tape.
Discretionary Funding

ITVS Commissioned Funding
ITVS accepts proposals on an ongoing basis for documentary projects that fall outside of the standing initiatives (DDF, LINCS, Open Call). For development funding, activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early-phase activities. For production funding, all production and post-production activities are eligible. Commissioned Funding is not a grant; applicants receive funding in the form of a development agreement or production agreement that assigns ITVS certain important rights over the project during the term of the contract.
Deadline: Year Round

JEROME FOUNDATION - NEW YORK CITY FILM AND VIDEO GRANT PROGRAM
The Jerome Foundation's Film and Video Grant Program is a production grant program for individual film and video artists who work in the genres of experimental, narrative, animation, and documentary production. Applicants must reside in one of the five boroughs and must be emerging artists whose work shows promise of excellence.
Deadline: Rolling

NATIONAL FILM AND  VIDEO FOUNDATION (SOUTH AFRICA)
Individuals, companies and organizations may submit funding applications to the NFVF for grants or grant loans for South African productions in any of the four funding categories; education and training, script development, production, marketing and distribution.  Please check website for eligibility and other regulations.
Deadline: Rolling

NPBC – AFROPOP: THE ULTIMATE CULTURAL EXCHANGE SUBMISSIONS (U.S. Public Media)
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is a US based public television show featuring independent documentaries and short films about life, art, and culture from the contemporary African Diaspora. NBPC is looking to support and broadcast strong stories that will capture the breadth and scope of the diversity of experiences of contemporary African peoples.
Deadline: Year Round

WORLD CINEMA FUND
The World Cinema Fund works to develop and support cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, while fostering cultural diversity in German cinemas. The World Cinema Fund supports films either in production or distribution. Eligibility requires that the director originates from one of the listed WCF regions ( Africa, Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Caucasus) and have a German partner, normally working as a co-producer or distributor.
Distribution Grant Deadline: Rolling (Production Grant Deadline: February 26, 2015)

 

FESTIVALS

CAAMFest
Regular submission deadline: September 15
Late submission deadline: September 29

Sundance Film Festival
Short films late submission deadline: September 15
Feature films late submission deadline: September 29

2014 PaleyDocs Pitch Workshop Contest
Late deadline: September 17

Toronto International SHORT Film Festival
Extended deadline: September 19

SXSW Film Festival
Early submission deadline: October 2
Regular submission deadline: October 30

SFFS San Francisco International Film Festival
Early deadline: October 6
Regular deadline: November 3
Final deadline for short films: December 1
Final deadline for features: December 8

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Late Deadline: October 14
Final Deadline: October 25

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Regular submission deadline: October 15

Environmental Film Festival in the Nations Capitol
Deadline for a variety of awards: December 1

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