IDA+XRM Media Incubator FAQ

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicant must

  • be 18 years of age or older,
  • be the director and/or a producer who shares creative and editorial oversight of the project,
  • have directed and/or produced a minimum of one short documentary film (at least 20 minutes)

Are there any regional restrictions to the fund?

Applicant does not need to be a US citizen or US resident. However, grants to non-US citizens or non-US residents may be subject to mandatory US government withholding.

Does my proposal have to be in English?

Yes. We can only consider proposals written in English, accompanied by a budget translated into USD, and visual material in English or with English subtitles.

What qualifies as a short film?

The final project must be 40 minutes or less. It should be a standalone film, and should not be part of a series.

What is the difference between character-driven vérité versus a profile?

We are looking for strong character-driven films that are immersive with unfolding scenes and potential journey and transformation. We are not looking for profiles -- films about celebrities, historical figures and individuals, that mainly consist of reflections and expositions.

What qualifies as production and post-production activities?

Eligible projects will be in production or post-production having completed the bulk of research and development. Editing and other post-related work are also eligible to receive funding. Expenses may include line items such as principal photography, travel, equipment purchase or rental, insurance, rights and clearances, editing and filmmaker salaries. The fund does not support expenses related to fundraising, distribution, publicity, marketing or outreach.

How can funds be used?

Grant funds can be used to advance or reimburse production and post-production expenses.

When will the application guidelines and checklist be made available?

Monday, June 28, 2021.

Is a prior work sample required?

Yes. The applicant must have directed or produced a vérité documentary film (at least 20 minutes). All samples must be submitted as a link via a streaming platform such as Vimeo or Youtube. No DVDs will be accepted. 

Is a current work sample required?

Yes. For the current work sample, the video must include the participant featured in the proposal. The suggested length is a minimum of 5 minutes. There are no restrictions on the type of sample. It can be one scene, a string out of scenes, an interview with a character. Please make certain the audio can be heard. Be sure to give context of what the sample is in the proposal. We encourage applicants not to expend extra resources to prepare the sample.

Can I submit multiple projects?

No, only one project per applicant is allowed.

Does the fund accept co-productions?

Yes.

I am co-directing the project with another director, are we still eligible to apply?

Yes. One of you must choose to be the main contact via Submittable. You can explain more about your team in the application.

Can I apply with a short that already has a distribution deal?

Films must not already have a distribution deal nor should they be attached to any broadcaster or platform.

If I receive the grant, is distribution with XRM Media guaranteed?

Distribution is not guaranteed if you receive the grant. Similar to previous IDA grants, the Incubator grant is unconditional.

When will I be notified?

Applicants will be notified in November 2021.

What are the other requirements for this grant?

Applicants must complete their project within a year from receiving the grant—by November 2022.

Additional Questions

Please contact grants@documentary.org with any questions not covered here or pertaining to your project's eligibility.