We’ve compiled 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. These are listed below in order of deadlines:
READ MORE: Indiewire’s Ultimate Guide to Documentary Filmmaking Advice
Paren Lorentz Documentary Fund
What It Does: The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund will provide production grants totaling $195,000 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 12 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.
Deadline: April 27
More Information: http://www.documentary.org/parelorentz
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 27
More Information: https://goodpitch.org/filmmakers
What It Does: BRITDOC offers an array of grants, including the Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund for films that "break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, bring attention to unreported issues and cameras into regions previously unseen" (rolling application) and the Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund, which supports outreach campaigns for socially-conscious documentaries (May 1 deadline).
Deadline: May 1
More Information: http://britdoc.org/real_funds
Pacific Pioneer Fund
What it Does: Supports emerging filmmakers who have already demonstrated a commitment to documentary filmmaking. 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: June 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
What it Does: The upcoming deadline is for pre-production funding and covers long-format documentary films and video projects in the New England region.
Deadline: June 19
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: August 3
More Information: http://www.sundance.org/programs/documentary-film/#grants
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 1 – September 1, 2015