New Webinar Series! The Skills That Pay the Bills: Fundraising, Pitching, Financial Management and Proposal Writing

Join us for a four-part comprehensive series for filmmakers at every stage Focusing on the hard skills that lead to success, including fundraising, pitching, financial management, and proposal writing, we’ll combine expert insights, practical tips, and live consultations with filmmakers all designed to empower and boost your creative process.  In each session, we will tackle documentary filmmakers’ challenges, including where and how to raise funds, how to calm one’s nerves during big moments like pitching, best practices for financial management, and how to craft winning proposals when the film is still evolving. Whether you’re emerging, mid-career, or a seasoned filmmaker, there is always more to learn Join us as we focus on the hard skills necessary to excel and succeed in the constantly evolving, dynamic realm of documentary filmmaking.

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Session 1: Fundraising Attracting and Securing Funding 

Fundraising can be daunting: it can be a giant puzzle that you piece together, and it equally can be an exciting journey to find the best, most direct pathway to fund your film.  It’s an opportunity to think outside the box to make the actual film you want to make.  

Whether you have a new project or need ideas to jumpstart one that has stalled, join WMM’s Executive Director, Debra Zimmerman, as she leads us through this invaluable webinar, one of WMM’s most popular. This vital information session will offer an overview of fundraising sources, including foundations, government funds, corporate contributions, crowdsourcing, individual donations, and strategies to maximize your success with digital fundraising.    Zimmerman has been helping filmmakers secure their funding for more than 40 years; in this webinar, she shares her wealth of knowledge to help you! 

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Session 2: The Winning Pitch: What Do Commissioning Editors and Funders Really Look For?

Join us for an immersive webinar exploring the art of preparing a competitive pitch that triumphs in securing the funds for your film. Led by Erika Dilday, Executive Director/Executive Producer of American Documentary, and Megan Gelstein, Co-Director / Chief Program Officer of Catapult Film Fund, we’ll explore the intricacies of perfecting a pitch and discover the key elements that leave a lasting impression, overcome nerves, and exceed what judges expect! 

We’ll also explore the secrets of presenting at pitching forums, understanding their significance, and why they play a pivotal role in the funding journey.  This webinar goes beyond theory — as we invite you to witness live pitches from three unique filmmakers.  Throughout the process, gain a deeper understanding of the concepts shared and learn how to craft a pitch that unlocks the funding necessary to bring your unique vision to life. Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your pitching skills and propel your project towards financial success. See you there!

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Session 3: How to Manage Finances: Strategies That Work!

You do not have to be a mathematician or a magician (or both!) to manage the finances of your production successfully. Don’t let the numbers intimidate you! This Women Make Movies webinar, led by production accountant/filmmaker/writer June Frances Coleman, will take a step-by-step approach to identifying and analyzing the creative and logistical components necessary to keeping your film’s finances up to date with cost reports, production reports, 1099’s, taxes, and more.

Constructing a responsible financial system requires an intricate dance between vision, time, money, and resources. How to Manage Finances will give you the skills and even a little swagger to handle the money side of production confidently. You will never fear requests for reports from funders, 1099s, or the bookkeeping process again! Whether you are a first-time filmmaker or a seasoned pro, don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your documentary film accountancy skills. See you there!

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Session 4: Proposal Writing: Commanding the Page

Unlock funding opportunities in the documentary film space by mastering the art of proposal writing. Proposals serve as the key to securing funding.

In this session, led by Proposal and Grant Writer, June Chua, we’ll guide you on how to craft proposals that not only tell but vividly “show”. Learn to answer questions precisely yet infuse proposals with the heart of your narrative even when your film is still in the shaping process.  

Join us for a session that uncovers the nuances of narrative crafting on the page—how detailed it is and what to leave out for maximum impact. Addressing common proposal questions such as why this story, why now, and why you as the filmmaker, this session will guide you on formulating compelling responses and include proposal excerpts from prior funded proposals for analysis. Whether you are a first-time filmmaker or a seasoned pro, don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your documentary film proposal writing skills. See you there!

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***If you cannot participate live, recordings of these webinars will be available to all registrants for three months after the recording is posted. To register for just one or two of these webinars, please go to their individual registration pages. 

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