For documentary filmmakers looking for funding (and who isn’t?), here is a list of organizations offering grants for both international filmmakers and those in a specific region, as well as for various stages of production and outreach. Future articles alerting filmmakers to more grants will be coming. Note that these are listed in order of deadlines:
Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund
What It Does: The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund provides grants of $95,000 for the production of original, independent, and feature-length documentary films. These must be concerned with social and political issues in the United States 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.”
Deadline: March 31
More Information: http://www.documentary.org/parelorentz
Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, Public Television Grants
What It Does: Provides partial support for PBS-airing programs in late stages of productions.
Deadline: On or before April 1 (and again the same for November)
More Information: http://www.avdf.org/FoundationsPrograms/PublicTelevision.aspx
Good Pitch Australia
What it Does: The winning applications are invited to this annual event where about 75% of filmmakers successfully locate funding for their films, which can be at any stage between early production and festival runs. They do not guarantee funding, but “can promise to help you develop your impact ideas, research the landscape and connect you first to the community of like-minded filmmakers and then to a world of potential partners and advocates.” For further details on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Website below.
Deadline: April 11
More Information: https://goodpitch.org/filmmakers
MacArthur Foundation Documentary Open Call
What It Does: Provides significant funding for both U.S. and international documentary filmmakers, covering production and post-production activities. Applications must be through an organization or company and priority is given to experienced filmmakers. According to their Website, they “seek to fund documentary projects that address the significant social challenges of our time or explore important but under-reported topics in a journalistic manner.”
Deadline: April 14 – May 1
AlterCine Foundation, Documentary Film Grants
What It Does: This Canadian grant is for assisting documentary filmmakers working in any language but born and living in Asia, Latin American, or Africa. Applications must be in English, Spanish, or French.
Deadline: April 15
More information: http://www.altercine.org/html/en/programme-de-bourses.php
What It Does: BRITDOC offers an array of grants, including the PUMA Impact Award for documentary projects exploring such issues as human rights and ecological sustainability (April 28 deadline) and the Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund, which supports outreach campaigns for socially-conscious documentaries (March 24 deadline).
Deadline: April 28
More Information: http://britdoc.org/real_funds
Pacific Pioneer Fund
What it Does: Supports emerging filmmakers who have already demonstrated a commitment to documentary filmmakers. It is also open to organizations within the United States that are considered charities by the IRS. Applicants must live and work in California, Oregon, or Washington.
Deadline: May 1
More Information: http://www.pacificpioneerfund.com
Abu Dhabi Film Festival, SANAD
What It Does: SANAD offers funds for directors from the Arab world working on documentary (and narrative) feature-length films. Grants are either for development or post-production.
Deadline: The upcoming application window is June 1 – July 15.
More information: http://www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae/en/sanad-fund/about
Moving Image Grant Funds, LEF Foundation
What it Does: The upcoming deadline is for pre-production stage funding and covers long-format documentary films and video projects in the New England region.
Deadline: June 6
More Information: http://lef-foundation.org/NewEngland/Guidelines/tabid/162/Default.aspx
Documentary Fund, Sundance Institute
What it Does: Provides significant funding in all stages of production for independent, international documentary filmmakers. The fund offers “$1M-$2M in non-recoupable financing annually across all stages of development, production, post-production, and strategic audience engagement.”
Deadline: July 8
More Information: http://www.sundance.org/programs/documentary-fund/