Get your project made and seen

Find grant information, film festivals, new media funding, fiscal sponsors and more.

Documentary Film Funding

Looking for funding for your documentary? Check out the list below for U.S. and international funders. Note that some funders only give grants to organizations and others only to individual artists.

Program

Documentary Film Grants

Organization

AlterCine Foundation

Description

This $10,000 (Canadian dollars) grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation.

Program

American Documentary Film Fund

Organization

American Documentary Film Festival

Description

An amount up to $50,000 may be awarded or distributed in any given year to independent American filmmakers for financing new projects as well as works in progress.

Program

Cinema General Grant

Organization

Arab Fund for Arts and Culture

Description

AFAC's cinema funding is open to all kinds of fiction film projects – short, medium and feature narratives, animation and experimental films. AFAC offers funding for development/scripting, production and post-production.

Program

Documentary Program

Organization

Arab Fund for Arts and Culture

Description

The AFAC Documentary Program (ADP), launched 2013, is a program that funds and supports creative documentary films in the Arab region. The program welcomes submissions of short, medium-length and feature documentary film projects that are in development, production or post-production phases.

Program

Public Television Grants

Organization

Arthur Vining Davis Foundation

Description

Grants primarily provide partial support for major series with lasting educational value that are assured of national airing by PBS. Consideration is given on occasion to single stand-alone programs of exceptional merit. Recent "capstone" produc­tion grants have ranged from $100,000 to $500,000.

New Media Funding

Looking for funding or other opportunities for your nonfiction new media project? Check out the list below. Note that some funders only give grants to organizations and others only to individual artists.

Program

NBPC360

Organization

Black Public Media

Description

The 360 Incubator and Fund is a funding initiative of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) devised to help launch multi-part, non-fiction broadcast projects, non-fiction and scripted web serial content, as well as interactive or "trans-media" projects, about the Black experience.

Program

California Documentary Project Grant

Organization

California Humanities

Description

The California Documentary Project (CDP) is a competitive grant program that supports the research and development and production stages of film, audio, and interactive media projects that enhance our understanding of California and its cultures, peoples, and histories. Projects should use the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective and be suitable for California and national audiences through public and educational screenings and presentations, broadcast, distribution, and/or online.

Program

FWB New Media Grants

Organization

Filmmakers Without Borders

Description

FWB provides grant funding for narrative, documentary, and experimental new media projects at various stages of production (development, production, post-production, distribution) that align with themes of social justice, women's voices, youth voices, identity, cultural exchange, or climate change. Award amounts are up to $5,000 USD. Note: There are three grant cycles throughout each year (Spring/Summer/Fall).

Program

Digital Open Call

Organization

ITVS

Description

ITVS is looking for exceptional stories on any subject. They provide up to $30,000 in research and development funding to help you take your original digital content idea to the pilot stage for distribution on public media. Digital Open Call is only open to pre-production projects.

Program

Funding Opportunities in Media Arts

Organization

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Description

The National Endowment for the Arts provides several funding opportunities for organizations working in media arts.

Program

Media Projects: Development Grants

Organization

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Description

The Media Projects program supports film, television, and radio projects that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, film studies, literature, drama, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology. Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical (rather than celebratory). The approach to the subject matter must go beyond the mere presentation of factual information to explore its larger significance and stimulate critical thinking.

Program

Electronic Media & Film

Organization

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

Description

Electronic Media and Film (EMF) advances artistic exploration and public engagement in the media arts. EMF is dedicated to experimental and creative expression in all genres of time-based and moving image media, including emergent technology. Support is provided for projects that employ electronic media, film and technology as an art form, including historical and rarely seen works that enable media arts appreciation.

Program

Public Media Fun: New Media

Organization

Vision Maker Media

Description

Vision Maker Media invites proposals for programs intended for Public Television that represent the experiences, values and cultures of American Indians and Alaska Natives. It provide funding for filmmakers to research, produce and complete innovative "short form" (no more than 20-minute) projects for primary distribution over the Internet and/or another Public Media platform, and include vignettes, webisodes and other new media content.

Public Media Funding

Looking for opportunities from public media? The chart below includes major opportunities for feature documentaries and shorts.

Program

360 Incubator +

Organization

Black Public Media

Description

Program

CAAM Documentary Fund

Organization

Center for Asian American Media

Description

With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CAAM provides production funding to independent producers who make engaging Asian American works for public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public television broadcast. Awards typically range between $15,000 and $50,000.

Program

Open Grants

Organization

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Description

CPB provides funding for the development of public media television, radio, and digital content as well as multiplatform projects that reflect public media’s mission to educate, inform and inspire the American public by providing stories through diverse perspectives, genres, styles and technologies.

Program

Diversity Development Fund

Organization

ITVS

Description

Diversity Development Fund gives producers of color up to $15,000 in research and development funding so you can develop your documentary for air on public television. Pre-production nonfiction projects only.

Program

Open Call

Organization

ITVS

Description

Open Call provides documentary funding and co-production support so you can complete your nonfiction work in progress, then air it on public television.

Program

Public Media Content Fund

Organization

Latino Public Broadcasting

Description

The Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for documentaries, limited series or short digital video programs for online distribution (no longer than 20 minutes) that meet LPB's Content Priorities and are appropriate for public television and/or one of its platforms.

Program

Media Fund

Organization

Pacific Islanders in Communications

Description

PIC uses these following criteria and more when considering projects for funding: Compelling storytelling; Accurate and authentic representation of the Pacific Islander experience; Programs that shed light on the Pacific Islander experience.

Program

Digital Shorts Fund

Organization

Pacific Islanders in Communications

Description

The Digital Shorts Fund is PIC's new and exciting initiative, which provides funding of up to $25,000 for the completion of fiction and non-fiction short content of untold stories and fresh perspectives on the Pacific Islander experience. Projects that are completed will be distributed on public media digital platforms with an option for public television broadcast.

Program

Proposals

Organization

THIRTEEN

Description

THIRTEEN accepts proposals for limited series, single stand-alone programs that can be broadcast as specials, single programs that fit existing strands, and short program segments that can fit existing programs. When submitting a proposal to THIRTEEN you will need to indicate to which content area or program you are submitting. THIRTEEN's programming includes Performance and Arts, News and Current Affairs, Science & Nature, Documentaries, and Children’s and Educational Media. Existing national programs include American Masters, Great Performances, Nature, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, and PBS NewsHour Weekend.

Fiscal Sponsors

Fiscal sponsors are intermediates that allow documentary filmmakers to receive funding that would not usually go to individuals. The organizations below have indicated that they allow fiscal sponsorship for documentaries. Some will charge fees for this service, but they might also provide other services to help manage the documentary fundraising process.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Brooklyn Arts Council

Description

Brooklyn Arts Council offers fiscal sponsorship to artists and arts organizations that are based in Brooklyn or primarily serve Brooklyn residents. The program provides individual attention and advice, feedback on grant proposals, online giving tools, low fees and fast turn-around.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Center for Independent Documentary

Description

CID has been collaborating with independent producers in the creation of independent documentaries for more than 25 years. CID can act as fiscal sponsor, manage project funds, provide creative and technical support, and can offer advice on fundraising and distribution.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Creative Visions

Description

Our fiscal sponsorship program is one of the many ways that we support creative activists, people who use the power of media and the arts to inspire positive social change.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Docs in Progress

Description

Docs In Progress offers financial oversight by monitoring reports and managing funds to ensure that funder requirements are adhered to by filmmakers. We also organize an annual meet-up of sponsorees to share strategies for fundraising.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Documentary Educational Resources

Description

Documentary Educational Resources welcomes applications for fiscal sponsorship of film and media productions, particularly in projects that support the mission to foster cross-cultural understanding, but will consider a wide range of social issue documentaries.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Film Forum

Description

Film Forum, Inc. provides fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers in support of their projects. Film Forum accepts project that are feature length films by experienced filmmakers. To be as inclusive as possible, there is no set criteria for the style or types of films that will be accepted.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Film Independent

Description

Film Independent's Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists, supporting projects at every stage in the process – from development to distribution and beyond.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Filmmakers Collaborative

Description

FC offers low cost fiscal sponsorship to independent filmmakers around the world. For 30 years we have have provided sponsorship and support to hundreds of filmmakers managing more than $50 million in grants and donations.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Fractured Atlas

Description

As the country's largest arts fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas provide accessibility, efficiency and affordability. Fractured Atlas work with thousands of artists and arts organizations to provide education and support for raising funds.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Independent Arts and Media

Description

IAM offers fiscal sponsorship to projects and producers that raise the educational and social levels of the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding regional and national communities, through the development of non-commercial, educational and cultural media, news and arts projects for the benefit of the general public.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Independent Filmmaker Project

Description

IFP Fiscal Sponsorship is exclusively for creative, artistic and/or educational film, video and transmedia projects, giving filmmakers the benefit of our focused experience and reputation in the field.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

IFP Chicago

Description

IFP Chicago's Fiscal Sponsorship program was created to assist members applying for these funding opportunities. Additionally, this arrangement enables individuals to take contributions to sponsored projects as charitable contribution deductions on Federal tax returns.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

International Documentary Association

Description

For almost 30 years IDA's fiscal sponsorship program has been helping independent documentary projects of all types get funded, finished and seen. Our fiscal sponsorship program is open to independent filmmakers and documentarians, regardless of education, background or previous credits.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Media Alliance

Description

Media Alliance has offered fiscal sponsorship to new not-for-profit organizations and temporary media projects that align with our mission and are compatible with our values for more than twenty

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

New York Foundation for the Arts

Description

NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship is one of the oldest and most reputable programs of its kind in the country. It gives individual artists and artist-run organizations increased access to greater funding and enhances their fundraising capabilities.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

The Southern Documentary Fund

Description

The Southern Documentary Fund offers fiscal sponsorship for documentary projects made in or about the American South.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

The Film Collaborative

Description

As a fiscal sponsor, The Film Collaborative serves as a conduit for financial resources, and provides some support and oversight for independently produced film projects.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Third World Newsreel

Description

In accordance with its mission, TWN serves as a fiscal sponsor of independent film and electronic media productions, as well as artistic, educational and cultural projects emphasizing social justice issues and the concerns and interests of people, groups, and nations often marginalized in mainstream media.

Program

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organization

Women Make Movies

Description

Women Make Movies Fiscal Sponsorship is designed for women filmmakers who are actively fundraising for their film or video project and need 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status.