Skip to main content

In-Kind IDA Documentary Screening Series Grants

By Jina Chung

Collage of previous BIPOC filmmakers that received IDA Documentary Screening Series In-Kind Grants.

IDA is proud to officially announce an open call for In-kind IDA Documentary Screening Series Grants. During the 20-21 events season, we hosted screenings and provided advertising support to five independent BIPOC filmmakers. This year, we are expanding our support to historically excluded communities. Our goal is to minimize the financial burdens associated with pursuing a film awards campaign. Learn more about how we are changing our Screening Series to better reflect our mission of building a more equitable documentary culture.

Grant Amount  

IDA will provide ten filmmakers with an in-kind awards campaign package valued at $15,000 each. Each grant provides the following services and support: 

  • One IDA Documentary Screening Series virtual screening event with moderated Q&A
  • Complimentary IDA digital and print advertising in Documentary magazine 
  • One complimentary annual individual-level membership 

Applicant Eligibility

The Screening Series Grants are open to directors or producers from historically excluded communities (including but not limited to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, D/deaf and disabled filmmakers). International filmmakers are welcome to apply.

Film Eligibility 

  • Oscar-qualifying or Oscar-qualified documentary feature for the 2021-2022 awards season.
 See the 94th Academy Rules Here
  • A documentary feature must complete a theatrical release for seven consecutive days in one of the six qualifying U.S. metro areas: Los Angeles County; City of New York [five boroughs]; the Bay Area [counties of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa]; Chicago [Cook County, Illinois]; Miami [MiamiDade County, Florida]; and Atlanta [Fulton County, Georgia], during the eligibility period. OR
  • The film must have won a qualifying award at a competitive film festival, as specified in the Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List, regardless of any prior public exhibition or distribution by nontheatrical means. OR
  • The film must have been submitted in the International Feature Film category as its country’s official selection for the 94th Academy Awards.
  • The eligibility period for documentary features is between March 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
  • Films must demonstrate significant financial need (films without distribution or with a self-financed awards campaign) 

Application Evaluation 

IDA staff and a committee that may include journalists, filmmakers, scholars and industry professionals will review application materials through a confidential process. 

Application Period

Thursday, July 22, 2021 - Friday, July 30, 2021 



How is “significant financial need” being defined in the eligibility requirements? 

Films without confirmed distribution or filmmakers self-financing their awards campaigns are examples of eligible financial need. We understand there are other situations that demonstrate financial need; please contact us at and we will help assess your eligibility. 

I am a publicist. Am I allowed to complete this form for my client?

We prefer the filmmaker or producer to complete the application form. However, we understand there might be certain scenarios where this may not be possible. Please email us and we will work with you to find a reasonable solution. 

I am a producer with several Oscar-qualifying films. Can I submit more than one application?

No, please submit only one application. 

I am a BIPOC producer but my film’s director is not. Is our film still eligible for consideration?

Yes, your film is still eligible. 

I have a distribution deal but my distributor is not planning to support my film’s awards campaign. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, you are eligible to apply if you need to self-finance your awards campaign. 

I am in the middle of negotiating my distribution deal. Can I still apply?

Yes, you are still eligible to apply. If your distribution deal is finalized with guaranteed awards campaign support during the grant deliberation process, your application will not be considered.