Winter 2015 Grants and Opportunities
By Lisa Hasko
Another year means another chance to get funds for your documentary! Below is your essential guide to grants, awards, open calls, and opportunities to be had in the first quarter of 2015.
LATIN AMERICA MEDIA ARTS FUND
Supports innovative film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America whose works reflect their diverse cultures in the documentary or mixed media form. Grants up to $10,000 for projects that are in production or post-production. The Latin America Workshops are within the fund.
Opens: December 5, 2015
Deadline: February 5, 2015
GUCCI TRIBECA DOCUMENTARY FUND
Provides finishing funds to feature-length documentaries which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. For films, based anywhere, that are in production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000.
Opens: December 5, 2015
Deadline: February 5, 2015
DEREK FREESE DOCUMENTARY FUND
Derek Freese Documentary Fund (DFDF) provides production support for feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and compelling story, across a broad spectrum of subject matters. This award is given biennially to an independent filmmaker and provides up to $35,000 in finishing funds.
Opens: January 6, 2015
Deadline: June 8, 2015
PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS – MEDIA FUND
Media Fund provides up to $15,000 for Research & Development (R&D) funding for single programs of standard broadcast length (56:46 or 26:46). In rare cases, when the story warrants it, PIC will consider feature-length programs in accordance with PBS broadcast specifications. Producers applying for R&D funds will need to enter into an exclusive four-year public television broadcast rights license for the US and its territories – this is not a grant.
Deadline: January 9, 2015
CATAPULT FILM FUND
Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes.
Opens: January 12, 2015
Deadline: February 16, 2015
Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Grants should result in a script or a design document and should also yield a detailed plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.
Deadline: January 14, 2015
Production support the production and distribution of films, television programs, radio programs, and related programs that promise to engage the public. Film, television, and radio projects that are disseminated only online are supported at the production stage but not at the development stage.
Deadline: January 14, 2015
**Note: all projects fiscally sponsored by the IDA must have a consultation with Lisa Hasko before applying to NEH grants**
The Fleishhacker Foundation makes grants ranging from $2000 to $5000 to film projects within its Small Arts Grants Program. Applications are only accepted for the post-production phase of the project, based on rough cut. Artists may only apply once for any given film project, and only if they have already secured a fiscal sponsor. These organizations’ missions must correlate with that of the film project, it is preferred that a Bay Area arts organization serve as the fiscal sponsor.
Deadline: January 15, 2015
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 bring cameras into regions previously unseen. Grants are recoupable.
Opens: January 20, 2015
WELLCOME TRUST - ARTS AWARD
Arts Awards support the creation of new artistic work that critically engages artists and audiences with biomedical science. We strive to work with all art forms and the diverse community we support includes artists, scientists, curators, writers, academics, producers, directors and education officers. Arts Awards encourage creative collaborations between art and science. Grants are UK and/or Republic of Ireland specific.
Large Arts Awards (larger projects - above £40 000)
Large Arts Awards can support full or part production costs for high-quality, large arts projects that aim to have significant reach or impact on audiences.
Deadline for Letter of Interest: January 23, 2015
Small Arts Awards (small- to medium-sized projects - up to and including £40 000)
Small Arts Awards can support the R&D of new project ideas or ways of working, investigate and experiment with new methods of engagement through the arts, or fund or part-fund final production costs.
Deadlines: May 1, 2015 and August 7, 2015
LEF NEW ENGLAND MOVING IMAGE FUND
LEF New England launched the Moving Image Fund (MIF) in 2002 to support new film and video work. The Moving Image Fund provides funding across all phases of production, supporting films from the early risk-taking stage, through a film’s completion. In this way, MIF offers a continuum of support for selected projects, while also identifying new talent.
Deadline - Production & Post-Production LOI: January 23, 2015
Deadline - Pre-Production Proposal: June 5, 2015
ITVS OPEN CALL
Open Call provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video. Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories. Open Call is not a grant. ITVS provides a co-production investment in the program.
Deadline: January 30, 2015
IDFA BERTHA FUND
The IDFA Bertha Fund is the only fund in the world dedicated solely to stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.
IBF Classic : The Fund gives support to documentary projects in the development or production/post-production phase, and in 2016 will extend funding to documentary film festivals in countries on the DAC-list.
IBF Europe : Aims to stimulate the collaboration between independent European producers and producers from developing countries by supporting the production and distribution of documentaries realized thru co-productions.
Deadline for both Classic and Europe: February 1, 2015
Creative Capital is one of the only national nonprofit organizations that awards grants to individual artists through an open application process. They make a commitment to work with each artist over a three- to seven-year period that involves a high level of engagement between Creative Capital and the artist.
Letter of Inquiry opens: February 2, 2015
Deadline: March 2, 2015
OPEN MEADOWS FOUNDATION
Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization for projects that are led by and benefit women and girls, and that reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership and organization. Open Meadows Foundation funds projects in the U.S. and abroad that are run by and for women and girls and offers grants up to $2000.
Deadlines: February 15, 2015 and August 15, 2015
NALAC FUND FOR THE ARTS (NFA)
The NALAC Fund for the Arts is a field-advised, grant program designed to help Latinos develop their creative talents and make lasting contributions to our communities and society as a whole. Latino artists and arts organizations are often at the forefront of social change and have made significant contributions to social justice efforts. Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000.
Deadline: February 19, 2015
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 that could not be made without additional funding: films that stand out with an unconventional aesthetic approach, that tell powerful stories and transmit an authentic image of their cultural roots. 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 as a co-producer or sometimes distributors.
Deadline - Production: February 26, 2015
Deadline – Distribution: Rolling
GRANTS WITH ROLLING DEADLINES
THE MILLER / PACKAN FILM FUND
The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries that Educate, Inspire and Enrich. The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation. We believe in the transformational power that comes from enlightening narratives and inspiring characters. The Fund begins granting in 2016. In its first year, grants totaling $150,000 will be awarded to between six and ten filmmakers. The fund operates an open rolling submission process, and awards will be announced bi-annually.
JEROME FOUNDATION GRANT PROGRAM
The Jerome Foundation operates production grant programs for individual film and video artists who reside within five boroughs of New York City and Minnesota. These programs serve artists who work in the genres of experimental, narrative, animation, and documentary production. It does not support installation, new media, or interactive work, which are subsidized in other Foundation programs. It also does not support commercial, industrial, informational, or educational work.
NYC Deadline: Rolling
Minnesota Deadline: TBD
Creative District’s mission is to help film and media makers #createmore. They give away up to $5,000 in grants each month to projects at any stage. Once your project is submitted into the grant program, it remains eligible for a grant on a rolling basis. Keep your project updated with new content so we can keep track of your progress.
PANAVISION’S NEW FILMMAKER PROGRAM
More than 25 years ago, Panavision launched the New Filmmaker Program, an ongoing grant program that loans camera packages to film schools, training programs, and independent filmmakers – at little or no charge. The New Filmmaker Program loans film or digital camera packages (based on availability) to filmmakers for student thesis films, “low-budget” independent features, showcase reels, Public Service Announcements, or any other type of short not-for-profit project.
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. LINCS is not a grant; ITVS provides a co-production investment in the program.
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.
TEXAS FILMMAKERS’ TRAVEL GRANT (AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY)
The Austin Film Society sets aside $10,000 annually for a travel grant program for Texas filmmakers on a rolling, year-round basis. The program is intended to help offset travel costs for Texans whose work is invited to prestigious film festivals and events around the world. Eligibility is based on the festival or event that the film has been invited to, not on the film itself, and you need not be a member of the Austin Film Society to apply. Grants will be given out as follows: $500 for a North American festival (U.S, Canada, Mexico) $1000 for an international festival.
FESTIVALS & OTHER OPPORTUNITIES
NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
New York International Short Film Festival is accepting submissions of live-action, documentary and animated short films and videos for its international competition, which will take place May 31 – June 2, 2016 at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in New York City.
Deadline: February 13, 2015
SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST MARKETPLACE PITCHING INITIATIVES
MeetMarket: In 2014 Doc/Fest’s flagship pitching initiative MeetMarket was attended by over 300 commissioners and Decision Makers, and 64 international projects pitched. These projects were part of more than 1,500 match-made meetings that took place over two days with an average of 18 meetings per project, resulting in approximately £8m worth of deals.
Crossover Market: Back for a third edition and also open to international submissions. A parallel version of MeetMarket, Crossover Market offers a dedicated pitching opportunity for projects led by digital or interactive media. Projects submitted to the Crossover Market can work across all media platforms in their delivery, with some going beyond factual media into hybrid genres and fiction.
Deadline for both: March 18, 2015
HOT DOCS FORUM 2015
The Hot Docs Forum is a dynamic pitching event that stimulates international co-production financing for projects at various levels of completion. The Hot Docs Forum is a two-day, limited-seating event. Focused around a slate of pre-selected international project presentations showcased in front of a round table of commissioning editors, film fund representatives, financiers, programming executives and delegates from around the globe, the Hot Docs Forum’s intimate and intense format has proven extremely successful in building international partnerships and raising additional financing for both presenting and observing producers.
Forum Dates: April 29-30, 2015
Deadline: January 12, 2015
BAY AREA VIDEO COALITION - MEDIAMAKER FELLOWSHIP
BAVC's MediaMaker Fellowship provides in-kind training and production grants for independent artists at work on social-issue film and multimedia projects, with a particular focus on supporting emerging artists and underserved communities. The ten-month program will support project development and will include professional mentorship in multiplatform and transmedia storytelling, curriculum development, social media and marketing, fundraising and distribution strategy support.
Early Deadline - Free: January 16, 2015
Final Deadline - $40: January 23, 2015
The Peabody Award recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations, and individuals. Reflecting excellence in quality, rather than popularity or commercial success, the Peabody is awarded to about 25–35 winners annually from more than 1,000 entries. Entries may be submitted by any person or organization wishing to direct the attention of the Peabody Board to a meritorious program, series, individual or organization.
Deadline: January 15, 2014
The Realscreen Awards will pay tribute to outstanding content from around the world at the industry’s global celebration of non-fiction and factual entertainment excellence. Entries are being accepted in the following categories: Competition, Lifestyle, Reality, Non-Fiction, Digital & Branded Content
Ceremony: June 2, 2015
Deadline: February 6, 2015
CMSI MEDIA THAT MATTERS CONFERENCE (Washington, D.C.)
Media That Matters is an annual conference presented by the Center for Media & Social Impact at American University. It is designed for established and aspiring filmmakers, nonprofit communication leaders, funders, and students who want to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter.
Dates: February 19-20, 2015