About the Fund

Based on the principles of trust-based philanthropy and mutual aid, the IDA Field-Building Fund supports equity and diversity in the field by giving microgrants and rapid-response support to independent grassroots organizations/initiatives and individuals.

This fund is made possible through the generosity of individual donors (big and small), foundation partners, and corporate sponsors.


Piloted in 2020, the Organizational Field-Building Grant awards up to $5,000 to organizations/initiatives with operating budgets under $50,000. The project-specific grant is awarded quarterly to two or three organizations. Nominations are elicited from previous grantees, IDA team members, and partners. If you would like to nominate an organization/initiative please email grants@documentary.org.

Organizational Field-Building recipients have included AXS Film Fund, BIPOC Editors Database Initiative, and Best of Intentions Workshop.

Field-Building Fund Grantees

Fall 2022

Logo: A green sun rises over a mountain range. Underneath the mountain is the text "Freetown Media Center"Freetown Media Centre

The Freetown Media Centre’s mission is to promote freedom of expression through the development of the creative industries in Sierra Leone, using community engagement, education, and capacity-building programs.  The vision of the Freetown Media Centre is to contribute to the advancement of creative arts and digital media in Sierra Leone and the world at large and to continue to lead in the promotion of storytelling and self-expression.

Projects: Idriss Kpange Filmmaker Fellowship

The WeOwnTV Idriss Kpange Filmmaker Fellowship is a film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by Sierra Leonean filmmakers. The program will provide filmmakers with funding for their projects, creative labs, one-on-one mentoring, and professional development workshops.

Idriss was one of Sierra Leone's leading filmmakers and worked as a video journalist for Reuters, as well as for local networks. Idriss loved training young filmmakers and co-founded the Opin Yu Yi Human Rights Film Festival in 2012. He was dismayed that there was no professional filmmaking school in Sierra Leone & wanted to share his passion and knowledge. Tragically Idriss died on 15 February 2022 at 43 years old. WeOwnTV is proud to continue his legacy through this fellowship program.

Impact Producers Training 

Freetown Media Centre is promoting the idea of impact production amongst its upcoming female documentary filmmakers. The project started in 2021 with five interested filmmakers who had successfully completed the Freetown Film Lab supported by the British Council. As a young industry Impact Producing is a new idea that promoted the search for creatives with interstate in that line of the documentary filmmaking spectrum. 

The Training is an in-house ten days workshop followed by three sessions of practical work with an existing project. This year's trainees will work on the impact production of the New Boat and Sister Hood, both produced by FMC mentors.

An abstract black tree with no leaves. Underneath the tree there is text that says, "Bahia Colectiva"Bahía Colectiva

Bahía Colectiva is a community of filmmakers who collaborate in cinematic practice and curation. In collectivity, we share our learnings, our inspirations, our successes, and our losses. Together, we experiment with cinematic languages and dismantle dominating modes of production. We look for forms of resistance through our exchange and the communal dissection of socio-political issues and aim to take part in the work towards de-marginalizing independent, essayistic and experimental cinema. Our work is driven by a process of questioning and centers on themes including, but not limited to: borders, immigration, trees, memory, ghosts, demons, forensics, ancestral connections, landscapes as protagonists, physical and virtual realities, the dark web, land vs territory, exile, decoloniality, gender, our mothers, our grandmothers, and waves.

Project: Adrift: A filmmaker residency program 

Adrift is a residency program curated by Bahía Colectiva where filmmakers connect with audiences and other practitioners by sharing a virtual archive of the process materials behind their film and video works. The materials showcased may include: texts, images, sounds, music, research notes, drawings, sculpture, found objects, film references, food recipes, news reports, text messages, accidental encounters, inspirations, conversations, arguments, dreams, etc. For the duration of a two-week period, the archive of unseen materials will be accessible through Bahía Colectiva’s online platform. By the end of the first week, the filmmakers’ work will be screened and followed by a discussion/workshop centered on the exposed archive. Our goal in creating process-based conversations is to share resources across various socio-cultural, economic, and geographic positions to demarginalize and demystify experimental film and art practices. Existing in virtuality Adrift is a borderless space for community building and broadening collective knowledge between filmmakers, artists, curators, and enthusiasts.

Summer 2022

Another Gaze

Another Gaze was founded in January 2016 to provide a nuanced forum for discussion about women as filmmakers, film subjects and spectators. In 2021 they launched Another Screen – an irregular streaming platform, streaming short-term programmes of films by women across modes of production and geographies, with new writing and translations about these works. anothergaze.com

Project: Critics Workshop
Open City is committed to fostering a discursive space that brings together the next generation of filmmakers, critics and other professionals working in the field of non-fiction cinema. The Critics Workshop is an immersive five-day programme developed by the Another Gaze editorial team to discuss the methodologies and practice of a politically engaged film criticism. Together we will look at questions including the purpose of criticism, editing/the editor, formal experimentation, questions of ethics, and the place of the “I” in criticism. Led by Daniella Shreir, speakers at last year’s workshop included Another Gaze co-editor Missouri Williams, critics Simran Hans, Rebecca Liu and Emily LaBarge, and co-editor of London Review of Books, Alice Spawls. 

The workshop sessions will take place in-person at the Festival Hub in central London. The writing produced in the context of the workshop will be published daily on the festival website. The 10 selected participants will receive access to the festival programme (screenings, talks & other opportunities).

Alliance of Documentary Editors -  Inclusion and Access Committee

The Inclusion and Access committee stands tall in supporting all communities including people of color, disabled and undocumented individuals as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. We aim to create an environment that is accessible and supportive within the documentary community for all marginalized assistant editors and editors. Our goal is to provide meaningful action and resources while creating a safe space for these individuals within the ADE. We have a clear vision to make sure AE and editing opportunities are spread evenly for ALL and that discriminatory practices are eliminated. allianceofdoceditors.com

The Inclusion and Access Committee members: Juli Vizza, Sarah Garrahan, Inés Vogelfang, Michaelle McGaraghan, Stephanie Andreou, Kelly Creedon, Princess Hairston

Project: Inclusion and Access Panels
The ADE’s Inclusion and Access committee is currently organizing a panel on accessibility in the edit bay to address ableism and ways to improve the edit process both in the bay and on the screen for editors and viewers with disabilities. Our aim is to host quarterly panels to uplift our community and provide more tools for their success.  Funding will enable us to recompense our panelists and to provide ASL interpreters.

2021 Grantees

IDA Field-Building Fund Grantee

AXS Film Fund

Grant Year(s):


AXS Film Fund was founded to support documentary filmmakers and non-fiction new media creators of color with disabilities. 2020 very clearly brought about the need for compassion and serious change. Between violence targeted at people of color, a fearful divided nation, and the global pandemic, it is more important now than ever to raise and support a body of more culturally diverse voices.



IDA Field-Building Fund Grantee

Best of Intentions Workshop

Grant Year(s):


Best of Intentions Workshop

Our curriculum will be designed to look at both personal and systematic racism within the film/documentary industry. During the workshop we will reflect on our own work and specific ways in which we have misrepresented and reinforced stereotypes of people of color in our films, and strengthened the racial power hierarchy by excluding people of color from decision-making roles and conversations. We will also discuss the history of structural racism in our field, look at the structures that are prevalent today and how we are keeping those structures in place, and what we can do to make change. Throughout this workshop we will look at case studies to help ground our conversations. We will look at some projects that clearly demonstrate problematic practices as well as look at models that provide guidance for how to do this work with accountability and shared power. We plan to keep the number of participants between 8-10, including facilitators, in order to foster an atmosphere for trust building and deep personal work.



IDA Field-Building Fund Grantee

BIPOC Doc Editors

Grant Year(s):


BIPOC Editors Database Initiative

The current lack of inclusion and access in documentary production is a systemic problem. The documentary community is currently mostly White, and this has led to an overwhelming system of White creatives mentoring and promoting other White creatives already in their circles. Like all areas of production, this is very true in documentary edit rooms. Without a fundamental and intentional effort to provide tangible long-term support to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) talent, these systemic issues will remain. It will take all of us to make lasting change.