Deeyah Khan, White Right

Current Webinar Series



Leveraging the Power of Story to Finance Your Film

A four-part webinar series on getting your independent film financed!

May 11 – June 1, 2023

A strong, compelling story about why your film matters and a well-thought-out fundraising plan are your two greatest assets when it comes to raising money for your film! In this four-part webinar series, seasoned professionals and experts in the independent film industry will walk you through financing strategies and developing the story you tell about your film, including perfecting proposal and pitch materials to get buy-in from funders and raise money! This is a great series for those working on their first feature, as well as experienced filmmakers looking for fresh ideas and perspectives on how the fundraising landscape has changed in independent film. 

Sign up for the series and get four sessions for the price of three! If you are a WMM filmmaker or a member of one of our partner organizations, the discount is even greater (be sure to insert discount code before checkout)! Sign up.

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Story Is Everything! – How to Work It, Write It, and Pitch It

Thursday, June 1· 12 – 1:30pm EDT

Writing a treatment or a synopsis is not easy. It starts with an idea, or a photo, or a piece of archival footage. You may have a semblance of what you want this film to be, what you want an audience to take away. But how do you make it make sense to a reader, a listener, or someone who can donate to, make a grant for, or invest in your project? How do you hook that person to say, “Yes! We are on board.”

In this special one-of-a-kind workshop, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon) and Senain Kheshgi (Nine for IXThe Diplomat) will show you the tools to hone your story, to get it right for the array of funders and financiers you will meet in your journey to make your film, whether in the U.S. or internationally. This dynamic duo invites you to bring your pitches and questions; and they will provide case studies and years of experience to help bring your pitch – written and verbal – to the next level. Sign up.


Find the Money: Fundraising for Film

This workshop occurred in the past, but you will receive a video recording if you sign up for the series.

Back by popular and ever-needed demand, WMM’s Executive Director, Debra Zimmerman, leads us through strategies to build a fundraising and financing plan that best suits your film. Whether you have a new project or need ideas to jumpstart one that has stalled, this webinar will offer an overview of fundraising sources that will encourage you to go get that money! This session will teach you everything you need to know about sourcing funds from foundations, government funds, corporate contributions, crowdsourcing, and individual donations, as well as strategies to maximize your success with digital fundraising. 


The New Nonfiction Core Application: What’s Changed and Why It’s Important

This workshop occurred in the past, but you will receive a video recording if you sign up for the series.

The new  Nonfiction Core Application, created by the Sundance Institute and the International Documentary Association (IDA), was developed so that filmmakers would only have to create one basic proposal (and focus on the craft of their film!). Since 2016, it has been used by over fifteen funders, fiscal sponsors, and artist organizations, including WMM. The updated 2021 version asks questions that reflect cultural shifts, market demands, and collective movements we are currently living through. 

Join Sundance Institute and former Sundance Documentary Program’s Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, who was key in drafting both the original and updated versions of the application, and Rahi Hasan, documentary filmmaker and impact strategist. There are no two better folks to lead us through the changes in the Core Application, why this was needed, and to help us understand what funders are looking for in this new era of non-fiction filmmaker but how to be true to your own vision and still get funded.


Creating the Winning Proposal

This workshop occurred in the past, but you will receive a video recording if you sign up for the series.

Having a great story and a provocative work sample are both vital to raising funds for your film, but not enough – you need to sell it! Necessary Pictures’ multi-award-winning producer Heidi Reinberg (producer, 93Queen) shares her expertise and well-honed perspective on rethinking the proposal. Every question must be answered succinctly, so it grips and captivates and there’s no wasted space (we’re looking at you, pesky word counts!). Good proposal writing will get you noticed and advanced to the final phases of any submission — be it a grant cycle, commissioning process, or equity investment.

Besides securing the money to make your film, a strong proposal can help you to envision the story and direction of your project. It is your roadmap, your blueprint, to move you forward! Let’s get funded!


Buy Past Workshops On Demand
Back to Current Workshops

Buy Past Workshops on Demand



Making Your Film Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Making your film stand out competitively in today’s media market is no easy feat! Filmmakers must begin strategizing during development, through production, and all the way to distribution. In this four-part webinar series, experts in the fields of marketing, PR, sales, and film festival strategy will teach you everything you need to know about developing your release plan, building your audience, and maximizing the reach of your film.

This series has ended, but the series, and each individual workshop is now for sale On Demand.

Buy Now



The Business of Film Production

A four-part webinar series on legal, accounting and business issues for independent filmmakers!

Whether you are making your first feature or are a seasoned filmmaker, Women Make Movies’ latest webinar series has essential information you need to know about the business and legal side of filmmaking. These four webinars are skill-building workshops for creating the right business structure for your film production, securing various rights, establishing agreements between all entities, and tracking finances in and out of a project. Guided by experts in each field, we will breakdown, examine, and give a rundown of the legal and financing issues you need to know about to produce your independent film.

This series has ended, but the series, and each individual workshop is now for sale On Demand.

Buy Now


Producing for Documentary Film

A four part webinar series on creative producing, impact and engagement, executive producing, and archival producing!

Whether you are looking for a producer, want to be a producer, or are confused by what kind of producer does what and/or what you need for your project and your team, this series is for you! 

In our constantly changing industry, the title ‘producer’ gets muddled with many descriptions, what does the work entail, but how specifically do we break this down into what a producer is, does, and is credited? It’s not a catch-all by any means. And if you want to be a producer, how does one make it a sustainable career?

These four webinars are skill-building workshops for creative producing, producing for impact and engagement, executive producing, and archival producing. With experts in each field, we will break down, examine and define what each bucket of producing entails and how to make it work successfully.

This series has ended, but the series, and each individual workshop is now for sale On Demand.

Buy Now 


Fundraising for Success

Fundraising for Success

A four part webinar series on fundraising strategy, financial planning, proposal writing, and visual messaging for your film! Fundraising can seem like the hardest part of making a film. This 4-part series brings together seasoned professionals in the documentary field to give you all the tools you need to tackle the challenge – especially in the virtual world. From creating a fundraising strategy, crafting a budget and financing plan, to writing a standout proposal and learning how to visually sell your story, we’ve got you covered! A great series for those working on their first film as well as experienced filmmakers looking for new ideas and to learn what’s working in 2021.


These events are targeted at all levels of filmmakers. They provide networking opportunities as well as valuable and practical information about the business of filmmaking. 


WMM Production Assistance Program and Distribution Filmmakers can receive a special discount for being part of our programs. Please email [email protected] if you are in need of the promo code. Members of WMM partner organizations can receive $15 off admission of the full webinar series or $5 off individual sessions. Please contact your organization for more info.

Discount Partner Groups include:

Bay Area Video Coalition
Black Documentary Collective
Black Film Space
Black TV & Film Collective
Black Public Media
Brown Girls Doc Mafia
Catapult Film Fund
Chicana Directors Initiative
Chicken & Egg
Cinema Tropical
Diverse Filmmaker’s Alliance
Documentary Alliance of Europe
Documentary Producer’s Alliance
European Women’s Audio Visual Network
Film Fatales
Film North
Firelight Media
The Gotham
LEF New England
Meerkat Media
Mezcla Media Collective
New Orleans Film Society
NYC Women Filmmakers
Pacific Islanders in Communications
Producers Guild of America (PGA)
Scribe Video Center
She Films
Southern Documentary Fund
Sunny Side of the Doc
Third World Newsreel
Union Docs
Vision Maker Media
All chapters of Women in Film (NYWIFT, WIFVNE, etc)
Students enrolled in college or university


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