Series/Organization Name Description
AMERICA REFRAMEDSubmissionsAMERICA 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 ExperienceSubmissionsAmerican 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 MastersProposalsAmerican Masters, Thirteen/WNET's award-winning biography series, celebrates our nation's arts and culture. Launched in 1986 and still acclaimed as "the best biographical series ever to appear on television," American Masters has produced an exceptional library exploring the lives and illuminating the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists and filmmakers. In content and in style, these are uniquely crafted programs, reflecting the particular attention deserved by subjects, resonating the extraordinary mosaic of creative heritage and traditions. American Masters produces most of its programming in-house and is able to accept very few proposals. Proposals can be submitted, in writing only, to Executive Producer Susan Lacy.
Black Public Media (NBPC)NBPC360The 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)SubmissionsNBPC 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
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)CAAM Documentary FundCAAM 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.
FRONTLINEProposalsFRONTLINE 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—including films in production, films at rough cut and films with substantial funding in-hand.
Independent LensGeneral SubmissionsIndependent 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 CallThe 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. The Digital Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories. Carefully review the full eligibility criteria before beginning an application.
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)LINCS (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.
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.
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)Public Media Content Fund (PMCF)The Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for a program, limited series or short web-based digital new media video projects (no longer than 20 minutes) for distribution on or another public media web platform on any subject that relates to or is representative of Latino Americans that is appropriate for public television and/or one of its platforms. LPB funding will average between $5,000 and $100,000 for programs of most genres, including documentary, narrative, performance, mixed genre or new media. LPB is interested in funding projects at the production and post-production stage.
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)Media FundMedia 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.
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)SubmissionsPIC is seeking programs in many genres including documentary, performance, and cultural/public affairs. Projects submitted must be intended for national public television broadcast. In addition PIC is now accepting completed short films of Pacific Islander content for its Short Film Acquisition Call. The acquired short films will be streamed on PIC's website non-exclusively for a period of three years.
PBS/Corporation for Public BroadcastingOpen GrantsCPB 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.
POVCall 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.
Vision Maker MediaPublic Media Content FundVision Maker Media invites proposals for programs intended for Public Television that represent the experiences, values and cultures 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.

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Last Updated: 12/19/2014

More information about public media funding

Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive, Alexandria, VA 22202
(703) 739-5000; (703) 739-5295 fax

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a private, non-profit corporation whose members are America's non-commercial public television stations. PBS provides quality TV programming and related services to over 350 stations serving all 50 states. For over four decades, PBS has set the standard of excellence in U.S. television programming, with more viewers turning to PBS than any other TV resource for engaging, accessible and intellectually satisfying programs. Proposals are evaluated on an ongoing basis

Corporation for Public Broadcasting
401 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004-2129
(202) 879-9600; (202) 879-9700 fax

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967. The mission of CPB is to facilitate the development of, and ensure universal access to, non-commercial high-quality programming and telecommunications services. It does this in conjunction with non-commercial educational telecommunications licensees across America.

Independent Television Service (ITVS)
651 Brannan Street, Suite 410, San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 356 8383; (415) 356 8391 fax

ITVS' mission is to create and present independently produced programs that engage creative risks, advance issues and represent points of view not usually seen on public or commercial television. ITVS is committed to programming that addresses the needs of underserved and underrepresented audiences, and expands civic participation by bringing new voices into public discourse. ITVS has a number of funding initiatives, including LINCs and Open Call.

PBS Series

American Experience

Since its debut in 1988, American Experience has brought stories of the people and events that shaped this country into nearly eight million homes each week. As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation and has garnered every major broadcast award. American Experience will only consider proposals in writing. Producers should not call or e-mail first "to test out ideas" before submitting. Faxed proposals and those sent via e-mail will not be accepted. Proposals should be sent to the attention of Proposal Coordinator

American Masters

American Masters, Thirteen/WNET's award-winning biography series, celebrates our nation's arts and culture. Launched in 1986 and still acclaimed as "the best biographical series ever to appear on television," American Masters has produced an exceptional library exploring the lives and illuminating the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists and filmmakers. In content and in style, these are uniquely crafted programs, reflecting the particular attention deserved by each of our subjects, resonating the extraordinary mosaic of our creative heritage and traditions. American Masters produces most of its programming in-house and is able to accept very few proposals. Proposals can be submitted, in writing only, to Executive Producer Susan Lacy.


Since 1983, FRONTLINE has served as PBS's flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over the years is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience. Story ideas can be sent to the attention of the FRONTLINE Series Editor. FRONTLINE welcomes suggestions from viewers and reviews all letters and ideas. The series produces approximately 18 new programs each season and evaluates over 600 program suggestions and proposals.

Independent Lens

Independent Lens is a 29-week national PBS primetime series that features programs united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent producers. Presented by ITVS and curated with PBS, Independent Lens is supported by interactive companion websites, series marketing efforts, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Independent Lens celebrates innovation and the full spectrum of independent film by American and international producers including history, drama, animation, shorts and social-issue documentaries.


Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and celebrating its 25th Anniversary on PBS in 2012, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today's best independent documentary filmmakers. POV, which airs June-September with primetime specials during the year, has brought more than 300 documentaries to millions nationwide. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today's social issues.

Minority Consortia

Center for Asian American Media
145 Ninth Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-0814; (415) 863-7428 fax

Founded in 1980, the Center for Asian American Media -- CAAM (formerly the National Asian American Telecommunications Association) is at the forefront in creating opportunities for Asian American media through production funding, national public television broadcasts, educational distribution, and the annual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

In 1990, Center for Asian American Media established the Media Fund, made possible with funds from the Congress mandated Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the goal of increasing visibility of Asian American programs on public television and impacting the way in which Asian Americans are perceived and understood. To date, over $3 million has been granted to over 150 projects.

Latino Public Broadcasting
2550 N. Hollywood Way, Suite 301, Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 847-9656; (818) 847-9663 fax

Latino Public Broadcasting supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television programming that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, LPB acts as a minority consortium with a mission to provide a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States.

LPB funds television programs including dramas, documentaries, comedies, satire or animation. These may be single programs or limited series, new productions or works-in-progress.

National Black Programming Consortium (Black Public Media)
68 E. 131st Street, 7th Fl., New York, NY 10037
(212) 234-8200; (212) 234-7032

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is a non-profit national media arts organization committed to the presentation, funding, promotion, distribution and preservation of positive images of African Americans and the African Diaspora. NBPC sets the standard for and is one of the leading providers of historically accurate programming about the African American experience on American public television.

NBPC funds, commissions, acquires and awards talented makers of quality African American film and video projects. Selected programs reflect a variety of subjects and production styles. NBPC funds every phase of the production process -- research and development, scripting, production, post-production, and outreach. Since 1979, NBPC has provided more than $5 million dollars in grants to both independent and station-based producers.

Native American Public Telecommunications (Vision Maker Media)
1800 No 33 St., Lincoln, NE 68503
(402) 472-3522; (402) 472-8675 fax

Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) aims to inform, educate and encourage the awareness of tribal histories, cultures, languages, opportunities and aspirations through the fullest participation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in creating and employing all forms of educational and public telecommunications programs and services, thereby supporting tribal sovereignty. Funding guidelines are available on their website.

Pacific Islanders in Communications
1221 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 6A-4, Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-0059; (808) 591-1114 fax

Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) aims to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges. PIC funds and distributes film, video, and new media to the broadest possible audience, and supports media talent through scholarships, training, and professional development.

Last Updated: 5/23/2016