Large granting program for emerging and established filmmakers. Grants range from $5,000 – $50,000 for feature and documentary films in all stages of production. Sign up to receive their newsletter (on website) to be informed of upcoming deadlines.
Cinereach also offers The Reach Film Fellowship, which is currently being re-designed; check the website for details.
Independent Television Service (ITVS)
ITVS seeks proposals for public TV programs that take creative risks, serve underrepresented audiences and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public TV. Applicants must be independent producers with previous film or TV production experience in a principal role. Students are not eligible.
Open Call provides finishing funds for single non-fiction public television programs on any subject, from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video.
International Initiative provides production funds for single documentaries that bring international perspectives, ideas, stories and people to television and other media platforms. Please read our new submissions guidelines carefully. We no longer have a submission deadline but consider projects on a rolling basis. You may submit a project inquiry at any time.
The Diversity Development Fund provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Producers must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
LOCAL INDEPENDENTS COLLABORATING WITH STATIONS (LINCS) provides matching funds (up to $100,000) to partnerships between public television stations and independent producers. LINCS funds single non-fiction public television programs and demonstration projects that include both broadcast and transmedia elements on any subject and from any viewpoint. LINCS proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis. Producers must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Series and Special Projects — ITVS accept proposals on an ongoing basis for commissioned documentary projects that fall outside of the parameters of the standing initiatives (DDF, LINCS, OPEN CALL).
National Endowment for the Arts
Provides grants to organizations for the production, public exhibition, distribution, and preservation of film, video, and audio works as art forms themselves. Media Arts organizations also receive funds for services to media artists, media literacy programs, publications, and professional training.
National Endowment for the Humanities
Offers grants for independent filmmakers and digital media producers whose work addresses significant subjects in the humanities; reaches broad public audiences; grows out of sound scholarship; and uses imaginative, engaging formats.
Ford Foundation Media, Arts and Culture Grants
Supports public broadcasting and the independent production of film, video and radio programming; and supports efforts to engage diverse groups in work related to the media and to analyze the media’s effect on society. The Foundation requests that you use their online inquiry form to find out which grants are available that fit your situation, rather than emailing or calling them initially.
The Fledgling Fund / Creative Media Projects
Supporting the creation and dissemination of innovative media projects that can play critical roles in igniting social change – bearing witness to the challenges faced by vulnerable individuals, families, and communities around the world; creating a broader understanding of social problems; and inspiring concrete action. Key issues: Girls Empowerment and Education, Human Rights, Migration and Immigration, Health Care, Healthy and Sustainable Communities, Cross Cultural Understanding, War and Its Aftermath.
Film and Creative Media 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.
Field Building 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.
For both types of grants there are two grant cycles each year, Fall and Spring. There is much more information on the website.
The Roy W. Dean Grants
Offers grants annually to films that are unique and benefit society. Three grants (Spring, Summer, Fall) offer services, discounts, a cash award, and other benefits to film and video makers. The foundation also sells the book, The Art of Film Funding.
Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Grants provide partial support for major educational series assured of airing nationally by PBS. Consideration is given from time-to-time to single stand-alone programs.
Grants: to $400,000
Provides grants to individual artists for specific projects, with an emphasis on experimental work. Disciplines rotate, meaning that media grants are given every third year. (As of this writing, the next grant round will open on February 3, 2014 for applications in Film/Video and Visual Arts.)
Grants: up to $40,000 in actual funds plus additional services worth up to $50,000.
Complete information is available at the website.
Sundance Documentary Fund
Supports U.S. and international documentary films and videos focused on current and significant issues and movements in contemporary human rights, freedom of expression, social justice, and civil liberties. In supporting such works, the Sundance Documentary Fund hopes to give voice to the diverse exchange of ideas crucial to developing an open society, raise the public consciousness about human rights abuses and restrictions of civil liberties, and engage citizens in a lively, ongoing debate about these issues.
Grants areas and amounts: Development, funds up to $20,000; Production/Post-Production, funds up to $50,000; Audience Engagement, funds up to $20,000. Complete information on the process, deadlines, and so forth is available on the website.
The Puffin Foundation
Grants that encourage emerging artists whose works, due to their genre and/or social philosophy might have difficulty being aired.
Grants: up to $2,500; the average grant is $1,250. Discipline categories alternate years; the next Film/Video proposals will be accepted beginning in September, 2014.
The Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund
Supports film/video on social issues.
The Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund
Jennifer Eastman, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 470
Westwood, MA 02090
Phone: (781) 329-2473
Lucius R. Eastman, President
5926 Fiddletown Pl.
San Jose, CA 95120
Phone: (408) 268-2083
Unitarian Universalist Funding Program/Fund for a Just Society
The Fund will consider funding films, publications, or curricula only if they are an integral part of a strategy of collective action for social change. Grants: up to $15,000; most from $6,000-$8,000
Distribution costs of film and video linked to social justice organizing.
Open Meadows Foundation
Projects that have limited financial access which reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our society and promote the empowerment of women and girls; and projects for social change that have encountered obstacles in their search for funding. Film and video projects will be considered only after the film/video is complete.
Grants: up to $2,000
Dance Film Association, Inc.
Members may apply for DFA’s recently redesigned grant for films about dance.
From the website (summer 2013):
“We know that whether you need to write a script, to pay for a location, or to secure an editing suite, funding is crucial at all stages of film production. So rather than only offer finishing funds, we are working on developing a new Production Grant that listens to these needs and will be able to provide not only funding but also invaluable resources and opportunities. The new application will roll out in Fall 2013, after submissions for Dance on Camera close, as an opportunity for those whose film might not have been ready to submit, providing an opportunity to receive funding and resources that will help your film be festival-ready.”
Grants: up to $2,000
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Grants support projects that aim to:
- Document, describe, and explain important current events and social issues with accuracy, balance, context, and depth.
- Attract and retain significant audiences for non-fiction content through effective storytelling techniques and the appropriate uses of technology.
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Office of Grants Management
140 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 726-8000
Fax: (312) 920-6258
A.J. Muste Institute
The Muste Institute’s Social Justice Fund will consider preliminary applications for film, video, theater or art projects if they are:
- part of a broader grassroots organizing or educational campaign; and
- will be used to further nonviolent organizing and/or activism for social justice
Priority goes to projects which:
- address the Muste Institute’s core issues of disarmament, conscientious objection or anti-war activism;
- stand little chance of finding sufficient funding from other sources
Check the website for more information.