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 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.

For more information, read "Learn Documentary Grant Writing from the Funder and the Funded" by Dana Merwin, Program Officer.


  • 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.

  • Fri. March 8, 2019 @ 3:00pm
    Austin, TX

    We are teaming up with Austin Film Society to provide a free two-hour grant writing workshop including a case study with filmmaker Jenifer McShane (Ernie & Joe, 2019 SXSW Premiere) and an opportunity for feedback on your project synopsis.