New York, N.Y. — March 8, 2018 — American Documentary (AmDoc) announced the launch of the Knight-AmDoc Patron fund today, a $100,000 program supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will use Kickstarter to advance nonfiction film and media projects and help filmmakers promote their work in the 26 cities where Knight invests.
Organized in coordination with Kickstarter, the Knight-AmDoc Patron fund will allow AmDoc to explore projects suited for multiple platforms—whether broadcast or digital—ensuring it supports the broadest spectrum of storytellers across the United States.
“Documentary films have the power to engage, educate and energize viewers by showcasing unique personal stories and perspectives. AmDoc programs provide a public platform for stories rarely seen in mainstream media and champion diversity on both sides of the camera. Through this initiative, the organization will maximize Kickstarter’s innovative crowdfunding platform to help emerging filmmakers gain critical support,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for arts.
The fund kicks off as AmDoc is celebrating more than 30 years in creating, identifying and presenting the best in documentary filmmaking through its flagship PBS series ‘POV.’
“Throughout its 30-year history, it’s been AmDoc’s longstanding mission to elevate independent, nonfiction storytellers and to make their work accessible,” said Justine Nagan, executive director of American Documentary. “Creating the fund is part of AmDoc’s effort to expand its field-building initiatives and meet mediamakers where they are. Kickstarter and Knight Foundation are the perfect organizations for this partnership. By targeting the 26 Knight communities across the country and often in small to mid-size cities, as well as the innovative filmmakers and creatives using Kickstarter, we hope to give emerging filmmakers the push they need to tell their story.”
Special priority will be given to active Kickstarter projects with a demonstrated commitment to diversity across the entire production team and in the focus of their work. The fund will also seek nonfiction storytelling projects that embrace traditional and emerging digital media platforms, explore interactivity, and play with the nonlinear nature of the web. In keeping with its editorial standards for broadcast films, AmDoc will consider projects that demonstrate exceptional artistry, bold content, timely topics and an intimate point of view.
The fund will be administered by a rotating committee of AmDoc staff that will evaluate and select projects on a biweekly basis. After an initial contribution of $1,000 – $10,000, AmDoc may provide additional support—including outreach guidance to help the project achieve its funding goal as well as project feedback and mentorship from AmDoc staff.
When a project successfully completes its campaign, AmDoc will follow up with creators to offer additional media support, and other opportunities to gain feedback, mentorship and engagement strategies from AmDoc staff.
About American Documentary (AmDoc)
A national media arts nonprofit organization, American Documentary (AmDoc) supports bold documentaries and documentarians for the public good. Best known for its 31-year-old documentary series ‘POV’ on PBS and ‘America ReFramed,’ now in its sixth season on WORLD Channel, AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture and engagement. Through civic activities around socially relevant content, films presented online, on broadcast or in-person are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
About Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.