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Documentary Film Grants: Filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America with a documentary project in your native language on the theme of rights and freedoms.
Astraea Lesbian Action Foundation
U.S. Fund Grants are issued to U.S.-based lesbian, trans and LGBTI social change organizations and projects, including cultural and film/video projects.
Berlinale World Cinema Fund
The World Cinema Fund works to develop and support cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, while fostering cultural diversity in German cinemas. The Fund provides support for feature films and feature-length documentaries by filmmakers in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Caucasus, as well as Mongolia, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka. Plus – only for WCF Europe – Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. Projects should deal with the cultural identity of their regions and should contribute to the development of the local film industry. Priority is given to projects that tell strong stories, that are creatively and visually innovative, and that have the potential to enjoy international success—as well as being of cultural and political relevance. Production funding of up to 60.000 euros, post-production funding of up to 40.000 euros and distribution funding of up to 10,000 euros is available.
The Bertha DocSociety Documentary Journalism Fund
The Bertha Doc Society Journalism Fund is an international film fund dedicated to supporting long form feature documentaries of a journalistic nature.
BFI Doc Society Fund
The BFI/Doc Society Fund supports creative and hybrid feature documentaries and short films by diverse creative voices from all over the UK. The fund has three calls a year for feature documentaries, and one for shorts.
Catapult Film Fund
Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to help story-driven and cinematic documentary films get off the ground. Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story, and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes. Our mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their films to the next level at a moment where funding is hard to find.
Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) BRIO Individual Artist Grant
A pioneering advocate for cultural equity, the Bronx Council on the Arts nurtures the development of a diverse array of artists and arts organizations and builds strong cultural connections in and beyond The Bronx.
They are an independent nonprofit organization and a partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1975, they have been promoting the humanities as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. They produce, fund, create, and support humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences and meaningful conversations. During the past 40 years, California Humanities has awarded over $29 million in grants across the state, reaching every Congressional district.
Canada Council for the Arts
In 2017-18, over 2,300 Canadian artists and almost 1,900 arts organizations received Canada Council grants. We will amplify the quality, scale and sharing of art through digital technology, which is changing the way we relate to the arts and culture, and how we connect with each other and the world. Artists and arts organizations need to be able to thrive in this radically changing environment. Increased financial support will help them take advantage of technology to create new artistic visions and experiences.
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
Funds US or Int’l documentary intended for Public TV broadcast. All projects must have a key personnel member with prior public television credit to be eligible and have a full-length rough or fine cut to be considered.
Center for Cultural Innovation
Center for Cultural Innovation Grants will focus on “first time” applicants who have not previously received an ARC grant.
Chicken & Egg Pictures
Supporting women filmmakers who are as passionate about the craft of storytelling as they are about the social justice, environmental and human rights issues they’re embracing, translating and exploring on film.
Cinereach supports feature-length nonfiction and fiction films that are at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry, and vital subject matter. Grants from $5k-$50k.
Organization that provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. Must be at least 25 years old and have three years of professional experience in your field.
Creative Work Fund
Creative Work Fund projects feature one or more artists collaborating with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The Fund encourages the artists and organizations to “come together” for the sake of this collaboration. It can be a visual art project in any form, but it must feature a lead artist with a strong track record as a traditional artist or a visual artist.
Experimental Television Finishing Funds
ETC’s mission is to encourage the creation of work using new electronic media technologies, to encourage an informed appreciation of media art, and to help honor our independently created moving-image heritage by initiating projects and participating in partnerships which address the needs for research, education and preservation, and place independent works within a larger cultural context.
The Filmmaker Fund
In the spirit of fostering great work, the Filmmaker Fund is committed to both proven and emerging filmmakers with assistance at every stage of production and post-production. From early-stage funding, through production, to a DCP, it is their aim to alleviate artistic encumbrances.
The Film Fund
The Film Fund serves as an alternative to film industry funding platforms such as screenwriting contests, time-intensive grant applications, and crowdfunding campaigns found on websites such as Kickstarter. You could even use The Film Fund in conjunction with crowdfunding. We want to see films happen, and we’re here to make it easier for them to come to life.
Filmmakers Without Borders
Filmmakers Without Borders supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange
The Fledgling Fund supports innovative media projects that can play critical roles in igniting social change. Mostly interested in Documentaries and the average grant size is $10k-$13k.
The Fleishhacker Foundation makes grants to film projects within its Small Arts Grants Program. We are more interested in supporting an artist’s vision than educational documentaries. Applications are only accepted for the post production phase of the project based on rough cut. Most grants are in the range of $2,000 – $5,000. It is preferred that a Bay Area arts organization serve as the fiscal sponsor.
Frameline’s mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. As a media arts nonprofit, Frameline’s integrated programs connect filmmakers and audiences in San Francisco and around the globe. Frameline provides critical funding for emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers, reaches hundreds of thousands with a collection of over 250 films distributed worldwide, inspires thousands of students in schools across the nation with free films and curricula through Youth in Motion, and creates an international stage for the world’s best LGBTQ+ film through the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival and additional year-round screenings and cinematic events.
JustFilms focuses on nonfiction film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world.
Invests in and creates media that make an important social contribution, with a particular emphasis on material that has been overlooked, people who tend to be underestimated, and stories that have been left out of the mainstream historical record.
Fundacion Puertorriquena de Las Humanidades
Funds projects that offer a greater appreciation of Puerto Rican culture contributing to develop a sense of history and awareness in the society about the cultural links that unite us to the Caribbean.
The Future of Film is Female
“The Future of Film is Female” project provides financial and promotional support to women filmmakers who are in pre/post-production of a short film. As part of the larger conversation happening in the film community about the lack of female filmmakers, this project has been initiated for positive change. Because providing financial assistance is the first step to increasing the representation of women’s voices in the industry, this project awards individual grants from $500 – $1000 (quantity dependent on sales) on a quarterly basis. All proceeds from “The Future of Film is Female” project go to female filmmakers with a short film in any stage of production. We have also partnered with the Museum of Modern Art to screen an ongoing, seasonal film series.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Charitable Trust (the HFPA Trust) was established to provide financial support for educational and cultural non-profit organizations whose primary focus is the entertainment industry. The HFPA Trust is the philanthropic arm of the HFPA. Funding for HFPA Fellowships and Grants is derived from HFPA’s income from the Golden Globe Awards. In the past 31 years, the HFPA Trust has bestowed more than $29 million in fellowships and grants to film schools and non-profit organizations.
Hubert Bals Fund
The Hubert Bals Fund is designed to bring remarkable or urgent feature films by innovative and talented filmmakers from developing countries closer to completion.
Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund
Established in 2018, Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund aims to address industry inequities through providing direct financial support to women, non-binary, and / or trans filmmakers telling LGBTQ stories.
Established through a lead gift from Martha McCain, the fund has distributed more than $50,000 in festival travel grants and professional development programs for filmmakers since its creation.
In 2019 Inside Out has extended the impact of the RE:Focus Fund by launching the Post-Production Grants to support the post-production of short and feature films.
Contact: Jenna Dufton / [email protected]
International Documentary Association
In addition to production grants up to $100K, grantees will receive additional resources and expertise tailored to the needs of their project. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.
IDFA Bertha Fund
Offering €5,000 for projects in development and €17,500 for projects in Production or Post-production.
Accepts proposals on an ongoing basis for documentary projects that fall outside of the standing initiatives (DDF, LINCS, Open Call). For development funding, activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early-phase activities. For production funding, all production and post-production activities are eligible. Commissioned Funding is not a grant; applicants receive funding in the form of a development agreement or production agreement that assigns ITVS certain important rights over the project during the term of the contract.
There are no deadlines for New York City residents to apply. Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.
The Film and Video programs award production grants to emerging artists, whose work shows promise of excellence, in the genres of experimental, narrative, animation, and documentary production.
Jewish Film Institute
The Jewish Film Institute provides significant creative support to both established and emerging filmmakers through its year-round exhibition calendar, competitive filmmaker residencies, artist consultations, awards recognition and education initiatives. JFI champions filmmakers and projects whose stories promote the exploration and understanding of modern Jewish identity and embrace the full spectrum of media platforms.
Latino Public Broadcasting
Latino Public Broadcasting is the leader of the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community on public media throughout the United States.
The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region, and to broaden recognition and support for their work, both locally and nationally.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Manhattan Community Arts Fund
LMCC values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world and actively works to counter discrimination on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, citizen status, ancestry, age, religion, disability, sex or gender identity. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities and are committed to providing opportunities that help to rebalance those inequities in our work.
Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
MDBF supports cultural organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence and elevate the profile of the Triangleâ€™s arts scenes, both locally and nationally. MDBF also supports new, emerging, or grassroots cultural organizations and initiatives that document, preserve, or present the values, spirit, and diversity of the Triangleâ€™s cultural community. Grants are made to develop and sustain strong Triangle-area organizations.The maximum grant is $10,000.
The MacArthur Foundation
MacArthur supports the production and distribution of news and documentary programs for television, radio, and the web that help inform the American public about important domestic and international current affairs and policy issues.
Mountainfilm is committed to help creative individuals tell stories that support our mission. Each year, we award a total of $30,000 in grants to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to inspire audiences to create a better world. Interested parties should apply if they’re creating a work that can be presented in a theater, gallery or online. We seek projects that will have positive and tangible effects on specific and vital issues. The overarching goal of our granting program is to help ensure that important stories are both told and heard.
MovieMaker Production Services
MovieMaker is a magazine and website focused on the art and craft of making movies. Our Production Services program has helped hundreds of productions get deals, make connections, publicize their films, and save tens of thousands of dollars.
For an accepted film, a producer invests at least $10K into the program. MovieMaker Production Services then doubles the value of that investment for almost anything that’s needed to get the movie to market — editing, visual effects, DCP, color correction, publicity, you name it. Your $10K gets you $20K in services, $15K gets you $30K, $25K gets you $50K. Once your film is complete, MMPS will help promote the film through MovieMaker Magazine, MovieMaker.com, and our social channels.
National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates Americaâ€™s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.
National Endowment for the Humanities
Funds innovative nonfiction storytelling that presents multiple points of view addressing international and transnational topics and themes, such as:
• an examination of a critical issue in ethics, religion, or history, viewed through an international lens;
• an exploration of a topic that transcends a single nation-state, with the topic being explored across borders; or
• an exploration of the history and culture(s) of a specific region, country, or community outside of the United States.
New York State Council on the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York’s citizens. NYSCA upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development and quality of life.
New York Women in Film and Television
New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) advocates for equality in the moving image industry and supports women in every stage of their careers. As the preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers.
One World Media
One World Media is a non-profit organization that supports international journalism and promotes media coverage of global issues. For 30 years we have been working with partners in the UK and internationally to enable media that informs and connects the world’s people. One World Media’s mission is to support strong vibrant and independent media that empowers citizens, promotes justice and contributes to international development. We believe that the media can be a powerful force for good. It provides valuable information, increases cultural understanding and contributes to global fairness and justice. Our vision is of a world where every country has free and plural media providing accurate information and high-quality content.
Open Meadows Foundation
Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization for projects that are led by and benefit women and girls, and that reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership and organization. Open Meadows Foundation funds projects in the U.S. and abroad that are run by and for women and girls.
Pacific Islanders in Communication
PIC awards up to $50,000 for Production and Completion proposals. Because these are public television funds, the project must be intended for national public television broadcast.
The Puffin Foundation Ltd. continues to make grants that encourage emerging artists whose works might have difficulty being aired due to their genre and/or social philosophy.
Queens Council on the Arts
This grant is intended to fund individual visual, literary and performing artists in the creation of new work, culminating in a public event that must be accessible to the general public of Queens County.
The Redford Center
The Redford Center uses impact-driven film and media to galvanize the movement toward environmental justice, protection and repair.
The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries that Educate, Inspire and Enrich. The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation. The Fund began granting in 2016. Each year, grants totaling $200,000 are awarded to between eight and twelve filmmakers. The fund operates an open call submission process, and awards are announced bi-annually. Each grant is one-time only and offered in amounts up to $25,000.
Roy W. Dean Film and Video Grants
Funds films that are unique and make a contribution to society. Also open to shorts, low budget features and documentary projects. We want stories that can change and stories that can heal and enrich our lives.
Samuel Rubin Foundation
For projects dedicated to the pursuit of peace and justice and the search for an equitable reallocation of the world’s resources which can be achieved only through the fullest implementation of social, economic, political, civil and cultural rights for all the world’s people. Grants ($5k-$10k) are not awarded to individuals, but to specific projects within an organization.
SFFILM Documentary Fund
SFFILM champions the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sarah Jacobson Film Grant
This annual international film grant is intended to honor the spirit and legacy of Sarah Jacobson. Sarah, whose feature film Mary Jane’s Not A Virgin Anymore screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, died in 2004 after a battle with cancer. Sarah led a DIY (“Do It Yourself”) movement in the 1990s, promoting and distributing her own work with her producer and mom, Ruth Ellen Jacobson, speaking at festivals and events everywhere, and writing about film for a number of publications. A tireless, at times even shameless, promoter of her own work, Sarah was also a passionate advocate for the films of fellow filmmakers. The Free History Project, Sarah’s family and a number of her friends have contributed money in order to give out a small annual grant to one or more female, transgender, genderqueer, or gender non-conforming filmmakers whose work embodies some of the things that Sarah stood for: a fierce DIY approach to filmmaking, a radical social critique, and a thoroughly underground sensibility.
The aim of Screen Australia’s Documentary Development program is to assist documentary makers in achieving planned outcomes for the development of their projects.
The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation
Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.
Southern Documentary Fund
Production Grant/Research and Development Grant for documentary films made in the American South, with running time of at least 26 minutes
Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund (AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY)
The Austin Film Society awards grants to emerging film and video artists in the state of Texas . Grants can cover production, post-production and distribution.
TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund
The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund provides grants and professional guidance in support of innovative and compelling narrative features that offer a fresh take on scientific, mathematic and technological themes.
• Project Status: For films in any stage
• Region: For filmmakers based anywhere
• Funding: Grants range from $25,000-$50,000
Trust for Mutual Understanding
TMU provides grants specifically for international travel associated with professional exchanges in the arts and environmental sciences. Approximately two-thirds of TMU’s awards are for arts and culture and one-third for environmental projects.
University Film & Video Association
Applicants must be a student (undergraduate/graduate) at the time the application is made. A faculty member who is an active member of the University Film & Video Association or staff at a UFVA member institution must sponsor the applicant.
Funds fiscally sponsored projects pertaining to social change for women and girls.
Vision Maker Media
Vision Maker Media works with VMM funded producers to develop, produce and distribute programs for all public media. We support training to increase the number of Native Americans and Alaska Natives producing public broadcasting programs. A key strategy for this work is in partnerships with Tribal nations and Native organizations and communities.
visions sud est
The Swiss fund visions sud est was initiated in 2005 by the Foundation trigon-film Baden and the Fribourg Film Festival, with the collaboration of Nyon’s Visions du Reel and the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. In 2011, the Locarno Film Festival has joined the fund and since 2019 the Short Film Festival Winterthur is also part of it. The fund supports film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, aims at making them visible worldwide and guarantees their distribution in Switzerland. In case a project is being supported, all rights for Switzerland are automatically transfered to visions sud est.
Women in Film Finishing Fund
The Women In Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats, in all genres—narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental. To apply for the Finishing Fund, the filmmaker must have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of application (rough cuts must be uploaded at time of submission). You do not have to be a Women In Film member to apply and international submissions are welcome. Please note that student films and television/web pilots are not eligible to receive Finishing Funds for their projects.
Stella Artois is proud to continue their support of female filmmakers with $100,000 in grant money for the Women In Film Finishing Fund. Stella Artois will provide four $25,000 grants for fiction and documentary films that inspire social change, with particular consideration given to films with a water social action theme. There is also a general fund with grants ranging from $1,000-$20,000. The amount of films we select ranges from year to year depending on the submission pool we receive. Film Finishing Funds are given out annually.
Women in Film & Video
The WIFV Board of Directors is pleased to offer a Seed Fund for Documentary Filmmakers to support the work of its members. WIFV believes this initiative to be a tremendous member benefit and that this program furthers our mission to provide resources for women in the film, television and media industry. Grants may be used in the research and development phase of any documentary project and must be spent within 12 months of notice of the award.
New York Media Arts Map
This list details opportunities by funders who support the New York-based organizations included in the New York Media Arts Map, as well as opportunities for individual media artists in New York State.
Want to submit your film funding organization? Click here.