Grant writing is tedious. From navigating the guidelines to receiving feedback, it’s a part of the creative process that is often overlooked. As a funder, IDA, in partnership with Sundance, has led the shift towards a more transparent and equitable application process through the Documentary Core Application Project. To further assist filmmakers, IDA has taken its Grant Writing Master Class on the road to demystify the application process for more creators around the world. In each city, we not only break down best practices but sometimes also enlist an IDA-funded filmmaker to share their application as a case study. Grant seekers have the unique opportunity to directly hear from their colleagues, learning from their mistakes and successes. Together, our goal is to impart skills and knowledge that will strengthen every documentarian's grant-writing process.


  • Dana Merwin, IDA's Program Officer, is a caucasian woman. She has short curly brown hair and is wearing a washed denim jacket and a red paisley bandana around her neck. On top of her headshot, bottom left corner text reads "VIDEO CONSORTIUM WORKSHOPS." To the right, the text reads "$$$ GRANT WRITING FOR YOUR FILM."
    Mon. December 14, 2020 @ (All day)

    Video Consortium Education Committee member Julia Pontecorvo speaks with Dana Merwin, Program Officer in the Grants Department at the International Documentary Association, about the documentary funding landscape and how to get your funding pitch noticed.

  • Fri. October 9, 2020 @ (All day) PDT

    IDA’s Program Officer Dana Merwin is joined by IDA grantees Deirdre Fishel and Beth Levison, to offer an in-depth case study of how to weave your film’s loglines, synopsis, treatments and more into a compelling package for potential funders.

  • Fri. May 15, 2020 @ 12:30pm PDT

    IDA’s Program Officer Dana Merwin chats IDA grantees Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia, whose film, And She Could be Next, offers an in-depth case study of how to weave your film’s loglines, synopsis, treatments and more into a compelling package for potential funders.

  • Sat. June 22, 2019 @ 9:30am
    Washington, DC

    In this highly practicable session, moderated by International Documentary Association (IDA) Program Officer Dana Merwin, we unpack the grant-writing process with director Beth Aala and producer Beth Levison, whose documentary Made in Boise has its world premiere at this year's AFI DOCS.