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Submit Your Film to POV

POV's Annual Call for Entries

The POV Call for Entries (CFE) for broadcast season 2016 is now closed. Sign up for the POV newsletter to stay updated on our next Call for Entries.

POV, public television's premier showcase for independent nonfiction film and video, seeks programs from all perspectives to showcase in its annual national PBS series. All subjects, styles and lengths are welcome.

About the Series

Each year, POV brings 14 to 16 new films to public television viewers. Our summer series and year-round specials push the boundaries of nonfiction television with work from emerging and established filmmakers that reflects the range and diversity of American voices — viewpoints that enrich, enlarge, challenge and refine our experience of the world.

If your nonfiction film has a strong perspective, a dedication to craft, contemporary relevance and a passion for your topic, then the POV series is the best place for a national television broadcast. If you believe the entire country should see your film, POV is for you.

POV films are seen in 97% of the country with an average audience of 2-4 million per broadcast, making POV the most-watched independent documentary showcase on television today. Thousands see our films in community and educational screenings around the country, and our website has millions of visitors each year. We also develop strategic national press and promotional campaigns to highlight the issues explored in POV films.

POV is filmmaker-focused; intent on supporting and presenting the work of today's best contemporary storytellers. We believe in the power of stories to change minds and hearts, enlarging our understanding of the world around us. Our goal is to surround each film with the tools to ensure a long and active life on television and beyond.


POV considers work that fits the following criteria:

Non-fiction only. Works that integrate some fictional elements or create genre hybrids can be considered. Please do not submit docudramas, reenactments, or performance pieces. When in doubt, please email, and include a number where we can reach you.

Works that have not been broadcast nationally. POV expects to provide the broadcast premiere of a program. POV will, however, consider a work when it is of special merit and has had only limited television exposure (such as broadcast on local public TV stations or on cable systems with limited geographical reach).

Works by independent filmmakers. Works produced by filmmakers in association with a station or organization are acceptable if editorial control was entirely in the hands of the filmmaker. Instructional films, films made for a client, and sponsored films are not eligible.

POV welcomes and encourages submissions by both domestic and international filmmakers. If your non-fiction film has not been previously broadcast in the US, and meets all other eligibility requirements, you may submit your film to POV.

Works released within the past four years. POV will consider exceptional works completed before this date only if they have achieved significant recognition through festivals, awards or reviews. However, the producer or distributor must contact our office to obtain clearance before the work is submitted. Eligibility of films released prior to the four-year cut-off date is solely at the discretion of the Executive Director.

Works that are complete or near completion. POV considers completed work or fine cuts for standard acquisition. The series also occasionally provides limited funds for completion costs such as sound editing, mixing, negative cutting, on-line editing, etc. Co-production funds are available in certain circumstances. Completion funding will be applied towards the acquisition fee for broadcast rights. (Samples, assemblies or excerpts usually cannot be considered for broadcast in the upcoming season and should be submitted in the special category "Early Introduction." See below for details.

Works not previously submitted to POV. Exceptions will be made for work that was previously submitted in non-final form, and for a small number of producers who are invited to re-submit their films.

Works of any length will be considered. Short films (30 mins. and under) are welcomed and encouraged to be submitted in the "Short Film" category. If acquired, please note that producers may be asked to cut works to comply with the POV/PBS broadcast format.

Works that comply with PBS underwriting guidelines. For details on PBS National Program Funding Standards and Practices, please visit the PBS web site at

The Executive Director reserves the right to make exceptions to these guidelines in special cases.

Early Introduction

Early Introduction is NOT for films seeking broadcast. If you're unsure of where your project belongs please email

POV's programming team gets to as many markets, festivals and other industry events as we can. Why? Because we are always interested in what is coming down the pike. We review many projects throughout the year but many of these projects are either in development or too early production to be considered in POV's highly competitive selection process. Many projects we encounter at an early stage will eventually submit through our Open Call for Entries.

If you have a documentary project you'd like us to know about please submit under the "Early Introduction" category.

Complete only the section of the submission form that applies to your project's current stage of production (research, development, pre-production). Director and producer bios and pertinent contact information are required with any "Early Introduction" submission. You may also submit a treatment, trailer or project proposal in this category. Please specify if you do not want information about your project passed along to other parties.

Further Information

Learn more in our Resources for Filmmakers section about the variety of funding and broadcasting opportunities available to independent producers at PBS.

Questions? Call POV at 212-989-8121 ext. 380.


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The POV Call for Entries (CFE) for broadcast season 2016 is now closed.

View the guidelines (PDF) »

To be notified when the next CFE launches, sign up for the
POV Newsletter.


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