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Documentary Funding Resources

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.

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Organization Fund Description
AlterCine FoundationDocumentary Film GrantsThis $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.
American Documentary Film FestivalFilm FundAwards independent American filmmakers up to $50,000 for new projects or works in progess. Winning filmmakers will be required to share their finished film at the American Documentary Film Festival within the first year of completion. All filmmakers submitting for this fund must be U.S. citizens or legal residents in order to participate and they must attend festival for pitches and awards ceremony.
Arthur Vining Davis FoundationPublic Television GrantsGrants 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 $400,000.
Asian Cinema Fund Asian Network of Documentary FundThe Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund is a loose coalition of film festival organizers committed to supporting the production and distribution of Asian documentaries. There are funds for specifically Korean films, as well as Asian documentaries in general.
Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)Bay Area Video Coalition Mediamaker FellowshipThe 10-month program will support the development of projects at all stages of production, and will include professional mentorship in multiplatform and transmedia storytelling, curriculum development, social media and marketing, fundraising and distribution strategy support.
BRITDOCConnect FundThe Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund is the first European-based outreach and engagement fund, and is open to filmmakers from around the world. The fund is looking to support smart, strategic outreach campaigns for ambitious independent documentary films with a social issue at their core; films which have the ability to achieve real change on a local, regional or global level. Social impact can be achieved in a myriad of ways and we are looking for outreach plans that engage audiences, have identifiable goals and partners to help achieve them. Grants will be in the range of £5,000 - £50,000.
BRITDOCDocumentary Journalism FundThe new Bertha BRITDOC Fund for Journalism is an international film fund dedicated to supporting long form feature documentaries of a journalistic nature. Grants from £5,000 to £50,000 are available.
BRITDOCPUMA.Creative Catalyst AwardPUMA Catalyst Awards are an international documentary fund offering independent filmmakers catalytic support at crucial junctures in their documentary film. BRITDOC welcomes one-off, creative documentary ideas of any length and subject, in any style and form, but are particularly keen on ideas that speak to PUMA's core values around issues of Humanity and Creativity, Ecology and Sustainability and Labour issues and Workplace ethics.
British Council Travel GrantSupported by the BFI, the British Council offers grants to cover travel and accomodation costs to enable filmworkers to attend international film festivals where their work has been invited to screen. Awards range from £100 to a maximum of £1000, depending on location of festival.
Cal HumanitiesCalifornia Documentary Project GrantThe California Documentary Project Grant supports documentaries, radio and new media productions that focus on California's history, culture and peoples and that are of significance to Californians. CDP grants provide financial support at the research and development, production and public engagement stages. Research and development grant awards range up to $10,000, production grants range up to to $50,000 and public engagement grants range up to $10,000.
Camden International Film Festival (CIFF)Points North FellowshipThe Points North Fellowship is a unique opportunity for five documentary filmmakers (or filmmaking teams) to develop their works-in-progress through a combination of focused industry mentorship, workshops, meetings and a public pitch session. The industry panel will award one project the Points North Pitch Award, which includes a $1000 cash prize from Documentary Educational Resources, three consultations with the Tribeca Film Institute, and a discounted post-production package from Modulus Studios.
Catapult Film FundCatapult Film FundCatapult 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. Catapult Film Fund's mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their film projects to the next level at a moment where funding is hard to find. They support powerful stories, and moving storytelling, across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives.
CEC ArtsLinkArtsLink ProjectsArtsLink supports exchange between artists and arts organizations in the United States and eligible countries. Since 1993, ArtsLink has disbursed over $1.6 million in awards to 323 U.S. arts professionals undertaking projects abroad.
Chicken & EggCall for SubmissionsChicken & Egg Pictures is a film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers who are as passionate about the craft of storytelling as they are about the social justice, environmental and human rights issues they're embracing, translating and exploring on film. They match strategically timed financial support with rigorous, respectful and dynamic mentorship, creative collaboration and community-building to nurture women filmmakers whose diverse voices represent a range of lived experience and realities that have the power to change the world as we know it.
CinereachReach Film Fellowship The reinvented Reach Film Fellowships program is tailored to each fellow, creating an environment of risk-taking and artistic exploration as fellows work towards developing new concepts.
CinereachReach GrantsCinereach supports feature-length nonfiction and fiction films that are at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry and vital subject matter. Grant amounts can range from $5,000 - $50,000 per project and can be awarded to support any stage of production, including development, production and post-production.
Creative CapitalGrantsCreative Capital provides each funded project with up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development services valued at $40,000, for a total commitment of up to $90,000 per project.
Film IndependentCanon Filmmaker AwardA program for Film Independent Fellows, alumni of the Los Angeles Film Festival and Spirit Awards nominees and winners. The award includes a camera package of one Canon Cinema EOS C300 package loaned to assist the winning filmmaker with a qualifying feature.
Film IndependentElizabeth Peña FellowshipThe Elizabeth Peña Fellowship awards a $10,000 grant for production to a Latino filmmaker who has participated in Project Involve.
Film IndependentFellowshipsThrough donor-named fellowships, Film Independent supports fellows with cash grants.
Film IndependentIn Kind Produciton GrantsEach year, Film Independent awards a number of in-kind production grants to qualified Film Independent Fellows who are filmmakers in production on a feature film.
Film IndependentJameson Find Your Audience AwardIncludes a cash grant of $50,000 designed to assist the winning filmmaker with building the audience for his or her with qualifying feature film.
Film IndependentSloan Fast Track GrantFunded by the Alfred P. Sloan Doundation, the Sloan Fast Track Grant awards one participant of Film Independent's Fast Track a production grant of $20,000. The applicant must be the producer with the rights to the script of the film. The screenplay must have a scientific, mathematical or technological theme with a leading character working in the sciences.
Film IndependentSloan Producers GrantThe Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards one participant in Film Independent's Producing Lab the annual Sloan Producers Grant. The recipient receives a $25,000 development grant, admission to Film Independent's Producing Lab and year-round support from Film Independent.
Ford FoundationAdvancing Public Service MediaThe Ford Foundation provides support in the areas of content, public interest infrastructure and public engagement. There is no deadline, and grants are made throughout the year to both for-profit and non-profit federally identified businesses working in the public interest. Grant amount varies for specific projects.
Ford FoundationJustFilmsJustFilms focuses on film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world. Initiative funds will be distributed through three distinct paths: partnerships with major organizations such as the Sundance Institute, the Independent Television Service and the Tribeca Film Institute, collaboration with other Ford Foundation grant-making programs where the introduction of documentary film could help draw attention to an issue or advance a movement, and an ongoing open-application process that will help JustFilms stay attuned to fresh ideas and stories wherever they may emerge.
FramelineFrameline Completion FundThe Frameline Completion Fund provides grants to emerging and established filmmakers. This program seeks to provide a much-needed source of financial contributions to artists who often struggle to secure funding to complete their works. Submissions are being accepted for documentary, educational, narrative, animated or experimental projects about LGBTQ people and their communities. Grants up to $5,000 are available for films that represent and reflect LGBTQ life in all its complexity and richness.
Fritt OrdDocumentary Film GrantThe Freedom of Expression Foundation awards a grant for production support for several documentaries selected by a jury. Documentaries should be relevant to public issues, contribute to public debate and meet ambitious genre requirements.
Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling FellowshipThe Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is supported by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The fellowship provides a grant for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries regarding a globally relevant theme.
Hartley Film FoundationGrants with Fiscal SponsorshipThe Hartley Film Foundation awards grants for documentaries in the areas of world religions and spirituality. In return, the grantees agree to pay Hartley a small percentage of any net profits derived from the film project. In conjunction with its grants, Hartley also provides filmmakers with fiscal sponsorship services.
Hot DocsBlue Ice Group Documentary FundThe Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund is a grant program providing financial support to African documentary filmmakers for development and production. Development grants of $3,000 - $8,000 and Production grants of $5,000 - $40,000 are awarded to approximately four to 10 projects annually.
Hot DocsShaw Media FundsThe Completion Fund will provide financial support of up to $100,000 (limited to a maximum of 20 percent of a project's budget) for production companies to complete specific projects. The Development Fund will provide no-interest loans averaging between $10,000 - $15,000 in the early development stage, when projects are at the highest risk and may have not yet secured a market partner.
IdeasTapIdeas Fund: InnovatorsThe Ideas Fund Innovators grant, funded by IdeasTap, awards £500 for projects from any creative field. Applications are open all year, with four deadlines for submissions.
IdeasTapIdeas Fund: ShortsThe Ideas Fund Shorts grant, funded by IdeasTap, encourages collaboration between IdeasTap members by bringing together screenwriters and filmmakers. Filmmakers apply to produce the winning scripts.
Impact PartnersImpact Partners FundsImpact Partners looks to finance powerful documentaries that address contemporary social issues. They welcome unsolicited submissions.
Independent Filmmaker Project MNThe McKnight Fellowships for Media ArtistsThe purpose of the fellowship program is to support excellence in the media arts for mid-career artists in Minnesota. Three $25,000 fellowships will be awarded in 2014. Eligible applicants include independent producers, directors, writers and developers in film, television, radio, web, computer/video games, transmedia and other emerging forms of media.
International Documentary Association (IDA)Pare Lorentz Documentary FundThe Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund will provide annual production grants totaling $95,000 to be used in the creation of original, independent documentary films that illuminate pressing issues in the United States. Grants will be made to up to six projects that tell a compelling story and focus on one of Pare Lorentz's central concerns - the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all or the illumination of pressing social problems.
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)Bertha Fund (formerly IDFA's Jan Vrijman Fund)The IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentaries that make a difference. Documentaries are not only a creative form of artistic expression, but also an expression of a world-view and a lifestyle. These documentaries therefore often tackle controversial issues in developing countries covering such themes as social injustice, freedom of expression, human rights, poverty, economic justice and education.
International Film Festival Rotterdam Hubert Bals FundThe Hubert Bals Fund is an initiative of the International Film Festival Rotterdam that provides grants to remarkable cinema projects in various stages of completion. Dutch producers may apply for individual grants of up to €10,000 for script and project development and €20,000 for post-production. Selection rounds take place twice a year.
International Film Festival Rotterdam Hubert Bals Fund PlusThe Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam supports filmmakers from developing countries with contributions in the stages of script development, post-production and distribution. Annually, between 20 to 40 film productions are realized with the support of the Hubert Bals Fund. In order to stimulate Dutch producers to get involved in international co-productions, and to support the Hubert Bals Fund projects in the stage of actual production as well, the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlandse Filmfonds) and the HBF set up the Hubert Bals Fund Plus.
ITVSDiversity 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.
ITVSLINCS (Linking Independents and Co-production Stations)LINCS (Linking Independents and Co-producing Stations) provides matching funds to producer-station partnerships. Up to $100,000 in matching funds is available for a single broadcast program. LINCS applications are accepted year round. The review process of a complete submission can take up to two months. Around 8 to 10 percent of LINCS applicants will receive funding.
ITVSSeries & Special ProjectsITVS accepts proposals on an ongoing basis for commissioned documentary projects that fall outside of the parameters of the standing initiatives. For development funding, activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels or other early-phase activities. For production funding, all production and post-production activities are eligible.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur FoundationDocumentary Film GrantsMacArthur's goal in media grantmaking is to provide the public with high-quality, professionally produced documentary films, deep and analytical journalism, and well-produced news and public affairs programming. In a media environment characterized by proliferating information sources of varying degrees of reliability, the Foundation seeks to support serious, fact-based journalism for television, radio and the web, the type of original reporting that is likely to be blogged about, linked to, tweeted and otherwise circulated throughout the Internet.
LEF FoundationMoving Image Fund GrantsThe goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region, and to broaden recognition and support for their work, both locally and nationally. Pre-Production Grants of $5,000 will be awarded to projects in the pre-production phase of development. Production Grants of $15,000 each will be awarded to projects in the production phase during LEF's major grants review. Post-Production Grants of $25,000 each will be awarded to projects in the post-production phase during LEF's major grants review
MEDIA Programme - European CommissionDevelopment - Single ProjectsProvides funding for independent European producers of audiovisual projects with a European dimension, both upstream of the production stage and during production. The minimum grant is EUR 10,000. The maximum grant is EUR 60,000 except for feature-length animations for theatrical release, for which the maximum is EUR 80,000.
Mountainfilm FestivalCommitment GrantThe Telluride Commitment Grant is open to anyone who has participated in Telluride Mountainfilm as a filmmaker or presenter or has been recommended by a previous participant. Previous grants have awarded $5,000 and a MacBook pro. Projects should focus on relevant issues that move audiences on issues that matter.
Movies That Matter Funding Support ProgrammeTo promote human rights film screenings worldwide, Movies that Matter has provided an additional incentive for the wider distribution of human rights films. Through its Support Program, Movies that Matter offers modest financial assistance (up to €5,000) to human rights film events in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Naked Edge FilmsCapital InvestmentNaked Edge Films (NEF) supports entrepreneurial documentary filmmakers through capital investment and co-production. Their films are story-led, not issue-led, and are boldly told, globally relevant and have strong potential for critical and commercial success. They invest at any stage of a film's production - from concept to release - and we consider films year-round.
NALAC Fund for the ArtsArtist & Ensemble GrantsNALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) grants for Latino artists and ensembles support the work of individual artists and ensembles in all disciplines. They provide three different funding opportunities: Project Grant ($1,000 - $10,000), Fellowship ($1,000 - $5,000) and Master Artist Grant ($10,000 - $20,000).
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)Funding Opportunities in Media ArtsThe National Endowment for the Arts provides several funding opportunities for organizations working in media arts.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)America's Media MakersAmerica's Media Makers (AMM) grants support the following formats: interactive digital media, film and television projects, and radio projects. Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Grants should result in a script or a design document and should also yield a detailed plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)Bridging Cultures Through Film The Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program supports documentary films that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities. These projects are meant to spark Americans' engagement with the broader world by exploring countries and cultures outside of the United States. Proposed documentaries must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship.
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)Artists FellowshipsArtists' Fellowships are $7,000 cash awards made to individual artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use.
Pacific Pioneer Fund Pacific Pioneer FundThe purpose of the fund is to support emerging documentary filmmakers. The term "emerging" is intended to denote a person committed to the craft of making documentaries who has demonstrated that commitment by several years - but no more than 10 - of practical film or video experience. It provides $1,000-$10,000 in grants to support filmmakers who live and work in California, Oregon and Washington.
Pulitzer Center on Crisis ReportingTravel GrantThe Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting awards travel grants for travel for an international reporting project. More competitive projects should include print, photography, radio and video. Projects should have an emphasis on underreported issues in mainstream American media. In the past, most awards have ranged from $5,000 to $15,000.
Rooftop FilmsFilmmakers Fund The goal of the Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund is to help our filmmakers make creative, intelligent, low-budget films. Since Rooftop Films inception in 1997, the mission of the organization has been to support an independent filmmaking community, and to help filmmakers at all stages of the process, from production to exhibition. The Rooftop Filmmakers' Fund has seven grants available for both short and feature-length films.
Screen AustraliaDocumentaries International ProgramThe Documentaries International Program, funded by Screen Australia, provides funding and support for Australian projects. Specifically, project must have international finance and a domestic broadcast license fee. The selected projects should be made available on at least one digital media platform other than broadcast television. Funding allocation in 2012/13 provided $3.5 million distributed in three rounds.
Screen Institute BeirutFilm FundThe Film Fund offers documentary production grants to regional projects. Applicants are encouraged to produce films relevant to their own realities. Projects will be awarded a budget that reflects realistic, low-budget costs in the country of production. Financing matters must be finalized before applying. In addition, the Film Fund will set up their own expectations that the applicants must meet. The Film Fund expects to fund 10-15 projects annually.
Sundance InstituteDocumentary Fund Sundance Institute's Documentary Fund and Awards division is a core element of the DFP, granting between $1 and $2 million per year to support U.S. and international contemporary independent documentary films. With submission deadlines in February and July each year, and other special invitation only opportunities, the Fund reviews 1,700-2,000 proposals annually, and grants about 45-55 projects from filmmakers around the world.
The Fledgling FundField Building GrantsThese grants focus on building the capacity of our grantees and the social issue documentary field. They range from programs, institutes and residencies that strengthen outreach and audience engagement skills to film festivals and other events that showcase social issue documentaries as a tool for change. They are usually between $5,000 and $25,000 and are considered in the spring and fall funding cycles.
The Fledgling FundFilm & Creative Media GrantsMost of these grants support outreach and audience engagement for social issue documentaries and range from smaller planning grants to implementation grants for projects that have a clear plan ready to launch. A small number of these grants support post-production for timely projects that have strong social change potential. They typically range from $5,000 to $30,000 and are considered in our spring and fall funding cycles.
The Fledgling FundImpact GrantsThe Fledgling Fund awards two types of impact grants. Documenting Impact grants provide support for short videos or other media that captures, explains and communicates impact (up to $10,000). Evaluating Impact grants are reserved for the design or implementation of a structured evaluation effort (up to $20,000).
The Japan Foundation New YorkJFNY Grant for Arts and CultureThe Japan Foundation New York office (JFNY) accepts applications for projects that take place within the 37 states east of Rocky Mountains. This grant aims to support projects that will further understanding of Japanese arts and culture. Successful projects may be granted up to $5,000. Priority will be given to those projects that have secured additional funding from sources other than the Japan Foundation.
The Jerome FoundationGeneral Grant ProgramThe Jerome Foundation offers grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and to fiscal sponsors applying on behalf of artists for the creation, development and production of new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Provides finishing funds to feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. Funded films are driven by thoughtful and in-depth storytelling, bolstered by a compelling visual approach. 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 The TFI Documentary Fund provides grants of at least $10,000 and guidance to support exceptional character-driven, non-fiction works-in-progress that sit outside of the social issue landscape and aim to take audiences into someone else's environment and spotlight the journey of the individual. They are for films, based anywhere, that are in the advanced stages of development or either in production or post-production.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)TFI Latin America Media Arts FundThese $10,000 grants support innovative film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America whose works reflect their diverse cultures in the documentary or mixed media form. Funding is reserved for projects that are in production or post-production.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)Tribeca All AccessThe Tribeca All Access Grant supports filmmakers and producers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who come from communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media. Applicant's projects should either be mid-production or post-production.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)TFI Sloan Filmmaker FundThe Tribeca Film Institute's Sloan Filmmaker Fund provides grants and professional guidance to projects focusing on a scientific, mathematic or technological theme. Projects are eligible at any point in development. Grants range from $10,000 to $75,000.
Vision Maker MediaPublic Media Content FundVision Maker Media invites applications for projects intended for public media that represent the cultures, experiences and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Projects should be accessible to a broad audience, have the potential for a national broadcast and be used for effective outreach/community engagement activities to reach audiences beyond a public television broadcast.
Visions Sud EstSwiss Production FundThe Swiss Visions Sud Est fund supports film productions from Asia, Africa and Latin America and helps in making them visible in Switzerland. The fund aims to fill a void in existing forms of help by supporting authentic and compelling projects - both full-length fictional works and creative documentaries - without imposing conditions and by doing its best to ensure their distribution and visibility in the country itself.
Women In Film Film Finishing FundThe Women In Film Foundation's Film Finishing Fund (WIFF FFF) supports films by, for or about women by providing cash grants of up to $15,000 and in-kind services.
World ViewProject Development FundWorldView is a project of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. It aims to improve understanding and awareness of the wider world among a global audience via mainstream broadcast and digital media. Only established program-makers/media producers/production companies may apply. Individual producers are not excluded from applying to the fund, but are encouraged to approach established production companies to umbrella their projects.
Your WorldviewOne World Media Production FundThe One World Media production fund offers financial support for projects that focus on a non-fiction story in a developing country. Ideal candidates are young media makers. The fund provides up to £1,000 to assist in travel and production costs.

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Last Updated: 1/28/2015