DOCUMENTARY FILM FUNDING GRANTS

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

 

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AMERICA REFRAMED Submissions AMERICA REFRAMED seeks completed American independent documentaries that showcase our nation’s diversity in front and behind the camera, present themes and perspectives underexplored in mainstream media, and shine a light on socially-relevant issues through personal, intimate storytelling. They must be 50-90 minutes in length and exhibit strong craft.
American Documentary Film Festival American Documentary Film Fund 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.
American Experience Submissions   American Experience looks for good dramatic stories out of the American past, stories about people both ordinary and extraordinary, about events that helped define who we are as Americans and why we are the way we are. They accept completed films and works-in-progress (including films in production, films at rough cut and films with substantial funding in-hand.) They are not currently accepting proposals for film ideas.
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee JDC Archives Documentary Film Grant Eligible films will focus on twentieth century Jewish history, humanitarian assistance, and related topics. Applicants must have a proven track record as a filmmaker. The $10,000 grant is for post-production and/or distribution costs of a documentary film which draws on the JDC archival collections (http://archives.jdc.org). Topics can include issues, events and personalities related to overseas Jewish communities during the last century.
Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Public Television Grants 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.
Black Public Media (NBPC) NBPC360 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. The 360 incubator and fund features training, mentorship and funding support for producers of color, designed to harvest and pipeline important, engaging stories.
Black Public Media (NBPC) Submissions NBPC has a legacy of proudly supporting producers and digital media storytellers who represent the global Black experience. It's a goal to provide funding and distribution within NBPC's affiliated public media networks including representation on their dedicated online/web series channel BlackPublicMedia.org.
Catapult Film Fund Catapult Film Fund Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes. Our mission is to enable filmmakers to shoot enough footage in order to fundraise for the rest of the project. Grants range from $5,000 to $20,000, and recipients also have access to an informal mentorship program.
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) CAAM Documentary Fund CAAM provides production funding to independent producers for national 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.
Derek Freese Film Foundation Derek Freese Documentary Fund  Derek Freese Documentary Fund (DFDF) provides production support for feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and compelling story, across a broad spectrum of subject matters. This award is given biennially to an independent filmmaker and provides up to $35,000 in finishing funds.
Doc Society Circle Fund The Doc Society Circle Fund is a funders group bonded by a passion for enabling the very best documentary film. The fund was set up in response to the growing demand by individual philanthropists and family foundations who are committed to helping secure a diverse and independent future for media.
Doc Society Connect Fund The Bertha Doc Society Connect Fund is the first European based outreach and engagement fund and is open to filmmakers from around the world.
Doc Society Gensis Fund The Pulse Doc Society Genesis Fund is an international film fund supporting the inception of long form feature documentaries driven by imaginative and innovative storytelling.
Doc Society Documentary Journalism Fund The Bertha Doc Society Journalism Fund is an international film fund dedicated to supporting long form feature documentaries of a journalistic nature.
Filmmakers Without Borders FWB Documentary Grants FWB provides grant funding for both short and feature length documentary films 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).
Fledgling Fund Grant Program Fledgling has an open rolling application process for grants to support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the most vulnerable. Typically, film projects have at least a rough cut. Grants typically range from $10K – $25K. 
Fledgling Fund Special Fund for Rapid Story Development Fledgling's Special Fund for Rapid Story Deployment provides grants ranging from $2,500-$10,000 to support short films and/or other visual stories that can be completed and distributed quickly. Priority will be given to projects that have a plan to distribute the work in ways that deepen the debate around our most critical social issues. We are open to funding at all stages (production, post-production, distribution and outreach).
Ford Foundation JustFilms JustFilms supports ideas, individuals, institutions, and networks that accelerate progress toward social justice through creative, artist-driven visual storytelling, with a special focus on documentary work. We build and support networks to increase resources in the field, develop artists as leaders, and connect film and interactive storytellers with the tools and talent they need to do their best work, amplify their message, and extend the impact of their projects.
Fork Films Fork Films Fund Since 2011 Fork Films has supported independent filmmakers by making grants and strategic investments in films that align with our mission. Awarded grants for feature length documentary projects in development, production and post-production. Generally range from $10,000 to $50,000.
FRONTLINE Proposals FRONTLINE is committed to providing a venue for engaging documentaries that fully explore and illuminate the critical issues of our times. They seek credible, thoughtful reporting combined with powerful narrative, and a good story well told. FRONTLINE accepts well-researched film proposals, completed films and works-in-progress.
Hot Docs CrossCurrents Doc Fund The CrossCurrents Doc Fund is an international production fund that fosters storytelling from within communities whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented or marginalized. The Fund supports filmmakers from within these communities, especially emerging talent, who can illustrate a relationship between their film's subject and their own experience. 
Independent Lens Submissions Independent Lens is currently seeking submissions of films in advanced rough cut or fine cut stage or completed films to broadcast. When selecting programs, Independent Lens considers a range of factors, including the quality of the filmmaking, the timeliness of the story, and audience appeal. Programs should offer a fresh perspective, especially if the topic has been explored on other PBS series.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) Digital Open Call The Digital Open Call provides up to $30,000 in R&D funding to develop and pilot digital series concepts on any subject, and from any viewpoint, for public media’s digital platforms. Projects must be in development, and cannot have begun principal production. 
Influence Film Foundation Influence Film Foundation Influence Film Foundation provides funds for passionate films made by passionate filmmakers. We provide completion funding to character driven feature-length documentaries that address issues of social importance from around the world. We bring financers and filmmakers together to make films that tell the stories of our time.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) Diversity Development Fund (DDF) The Diversity Development Fund (DDF) provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Funded activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early phase activities. DDF is not a grant; applicants receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS certain important rights over the project during the term of the contract.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) Open Call ITVS provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. While there is no minimum or maximum amount you can request, the average ITVS Open Call production agreement falls in the range of $150,000 - $350,000. Be realistic and request what you need to finish your program.
International Documentary Association (IDA) IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund, with major support from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, provides production and development funds to feature-length documentary films taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. In addition to funds, grantees will receive additional resources and expertise tailored to the needs of the project. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.
International Documentary Association (IDA) Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund The fund supports full-length documentary films that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz's work, exhibiting objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, high production values, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork and editing. A program of the International Documentary Association, the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund is made possible by The New York Community Trust.
Manuel Rivera - Ortiz Foundation “Short-Short” Documentary Grant The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film will award a US$5,000 grant to a single completed “Short-Short” documentary film project. Our grant is open to up-and-coming, independent film makers and directors in all countries. Participant must be committed to the field of reportage and documentary film making.
Mountainfilm Festival Commitment Grant Every year, we award five grants for $5,000 each to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to move audiences to action on issues that matter. Interested parties should apply if they’re creating a work that can be presented in a theater, gallery or more broadly on television and online. In particular, we seek projects that will have a positive and tangible effect on specific and vital issues. 
NALAC Fund for the Arts Artist & Ensemble Grants NFA Grants for Latino Artists and Ensembles support the work of individual artists and ensembles in all disciplines. Open to Latino artists and ensembles in the United States.The NFA offers three grant categories for artists and ensembles: Project Grant ($5,000), Master Artist Grant ($15,000) and the San Antonio Artist Project Grant ($5,400).
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Media Projects: Production Grants Media Projects: Production Grants support film, television, and radio projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement 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. Production grants support the production and distribution of films, television programs, and radio programs that promise to engage a broad public audience.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Media Projects: Development Grants Media Projects: Development Grants support film, television, and radio projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement 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. Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. outreach and public engagement.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Projects for the Public Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with the humanities. Digital platforms—such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments—can reach diverse audiences and bring the humanities to life for the American people. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work).
National Institute for Healthcare Management (NIHCM) Journalism Grants NIHCM Foundation supports timely health care journalism that informs efforts to improve the health of Americans and that examines emerging health issues and their implications for cost, quality and access. The grant divides a total of up to $250,000 among six to eight projects to provide funding for: health reporting, educational opportunities for health care reporters, and support for documentary films and their public engagement campaigns.
Open Meadows Foundation Open Meadows Foundation Grant Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization seeking projects that promote gender/racial/economic justice. The projects must be led by and benefit women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable communities. Open Meadows Foundation funds projects that do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual identity and expression, age or ability. It offers grants of up to $2000.
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) Media Fund Media Fund has four funding calls per fiscal year. Two calls for R&D funding applications, and two calls for Production or Completion funding applications. Applicants may apply with only one project per call. Each Media Fund call has four phases, and the entire process from Phase 1 to Phase 4 can take up to 10 weeks. Media Fund provides up to $15,000 for Research & Development (R&D), up to $50,000 in Production funding and up to $50,000 in Completion funding. 
PBS/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Open Grants 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.
POV Call for Entries  POV, public television's premier showcase for independent, nonfiction film seeks programs from all perspectives to showcase in its annual PBS series. All subjects, aesthetic approaches and lengths are welcomed.
Rogovy Foundation Miller / Packan Film Fund The Miller / Packan Documentary Film Fund provides grants to feature-length non-fiction projects that address social issues and inspire others. The Fund supports filmmaking in advanced development (up to $10,000), production and post-production stages (up to $25,000).
Roy W. Dean Film Grant  From The Heart Productions The Roy W. Dean Grant funds short films, documentaries, and independent features that are budgeted under $500,000. They must be films that are unique and make a contribution to society. We fund compelling stories about little known subjects, historical films, and films that touch hearts. We like films that expose, and bring, important information to light; as well as films about little known people when there is a good story. We are story-tellers, and that is the main criteria for entering and winning our grants; stories that can change, heal, and enrich, our lives.
Sundance Institute Documentary Fund  The Sundance Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for projects that display: artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience. Preference is given to projects that convey clear story structure, higher stakes and contemporary relevance, forward going action or questions, demonstrated access to subjects, and quality use of film craft. Grants include development (up to $20,000), production/post-production (up to $50,000), audience Engagement (up to $20,000) and additional opportunities by nomination.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund  We provide finishing funds to feature-length documentaries which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. For films, based anywhere, that are in production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) TFI Documentary Fund  TFI Documentary Fund supports exceptional character-driven, nonfiction works that spotlight contemporary themes with an original focus and bold, creative filmmaking. The TFI Documentary Fund supports feature documentaries, from all over the world, that are in advanced stages of development or in production or post-production. Grant amounts range from $25,000 - $50,000.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Tribeca All Access Celebrating over ten years, TAA supports working filmmakers and producers, based in U.S. and Puerto Rico, who come from communities underrepresented in the film industry and whose projects are in all stages of production or post (except for TAA Interactive which is only for projects in development). 
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund The Tribeca Film Institute's Sloan Filmmaker Fund provides grants and professional guidance in support of innovative and compelling narrative features that offer a fresh take on scientific, mathematic and technological themes. Project Status: For films in any stage, based anywhere. Grants range from $10,000-$75,000. 

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