ITVS Doc Funding – Open Call 2017 closes in 11 days

Open Call provides documentary funding and co-production support so you can complete your nonfiction work in progress, then air it on public television. Open until February 10, 2017 4:00 PM PST.


Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

L7: Pretend We’re Dead

Women’s Film Institute is proud to co-present:

Coming soon to Noise Pop 25 Film Series

Documentary: L7: Pretend We’re Dead Directed by Sarah Price

Grab your backstage pass and take a visceral immersion into the 1990s with one of its seminal grunge punk bands, L7. Pigeonholed as an all-female band despite their every effort, L7’s fierce members struggled against music industry and fan expectations even as they contended with questions of celebrity and success. Assembling a dynamic combination of never-before-seen home video footage, candid interviews, and raucous performances, director Sarah Price explores the rise and fall of the influential band. Filmmaker and members of L7 expected in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

Date: Friday, February 17th, 2017
Location: Roxie Theater, SF
Time/Admission: 9:00PM / $12

Buy Tix:


Sundance Documentary Fund Application is now OPEN

The Sundance Documentary Film Program supports non-fiction filmmakers worldwide in the production of cinematic documentaries on contemporary themes. Established in 2002 with founding support from Open Society Foundations, the Program is a vibrant global resource for independent non-fiction storytelling. How to Apply:

Looking for funding for your film? The Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of funding opportunities. When you make a gift in any amount today, you will receive the complete list of 200+ funding opportunities in your inbox.

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

Tribeca Film Institute, through its Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, will offer grants ranging from $10,000 – $25,000. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund will provide funding to 6-10 feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. Funded films will be driven by thoughtful and in-depth storytelling, bolstered by a compelling visual approach. More than half of the fund will support projects about women and youth around the globe, and illuminate the ways they are working to improve their communities, their futures and the world.

Eligible films for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund challenge the status quo not just as it pertains to subject matter, but also in form. Films should also be able to exist on multiple distribution platforms and resonate with a wide audience. We are seeking feature-length documentaries that are in advanced development, production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition date after June 2017.

Deadline: February 5, 2017 & Apply today:

Get film grants and deadlines in your mailbox. Sign up today! Never miss an opportunity to find funding for your film. Once a month you will receive upcoming film grants and deadlines via email with lots of time to apply.

IDA Seeks Applications to Support Independent Documentary Films

PL2015_647The International Documentary Association is accepting applications for the creation of original, independent documentary films that illuminate pressing issues in the United States.Through the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, IDA will award production grants of up to $25,000 to up to a dozen 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, and/or the illumination of pressing social problems.

Projects must be in production at the time of application, with the bulk of research and development completed but still having substantial production or post-production related work and expenses remaining. Grant funds may be used for production and post-production related expenses incurred during the period of support. To be eligible, the applicant must be 18 years of age or older and be a producer and/or director of the submitted work. In addition, the applicant must be an independent filmmaker working on an original project. The applicant also should be an experienced filmmaker with at least one key above-the-line (producer, director, co-director, co-producer) or other principal creative (director of photography, editor) credit on a previously completed documentary.

IDA will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until July 31, 2017. Applications will be reviewed throughout the period, with grants being awarded quarterly. See the IDA website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Get your FREE Bonus report includes a list of 30+ funding opportunities for filmmakers! 

Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab for Documentary & Narrative

labsfullweb-400x167IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most:  through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their films.  Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.

Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production. 2016 Program Dates:

Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab
Documentary: May 9 -13, 2016
Narrative: May 23 – 27, 2016

More info:

We are so excited to Co-Present Ninth Floor at CAAMFest2016!

Ninth Floor

Directed by Mina Shum

DOCUMENTARY / Canada / 2016 / Documentary / 81 mins / English

In 1969, 400 students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Canada, occupied a computer lab to send a clear message to administrators: Mistreatment of students of color would not be tolerated. In particular, the core activists were of Caribbean descent, including students who had landed in Canada to study medicine.

The ensuing clash between student activists and police on the ninth floor lab made the events one of the most infamous acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

Director Mina Shum (DOUBLE HAPPINESS) brings a smart and unwavering sensibility to her first feature-length documentary. The film’s use of astounding archival footage brings viewers back in time, juxtaposed with interviews of the student leaders today and those on the administration’s side. Several of the activists became prominent leaders including Roosevelt “Rosie” Douglas, who became prime minister of Dominica and Anne Cools, the first black person to serve on Canada’s Senate.

Over four decades later, the lessons from the Sir George Williams events are still relevant in today’s climate of tenuous race relations in the US.

Location: Roxie Theatre
Date: March 12, 2016
Time: 2:40 pm

Co-presented by: Women’s Film Institute


Twitter: @CAAM

Instagram: @caamedia


Youtube (Find Trailers here):

Film Independent Documentary Lab – Apply today (Deadline 12/7)

WFI_resourcespage_pic01What is Film Independent’s Documentary Lab?
Held in Los Angeles in April, the Film Independent Documentary Lab is an intensive five-week program designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films. Through a series of meetings and workshops, the Documentary Lab provides creative feedback and story notes to participating filmmakers, while helping them to strategize for the completion, distribution, and marketing of their films.

Additionally, the program serves to advance the careers of its Fellows by making introductions to film professionals who can advise on both the craft and business of documentary filmmaking. Lab Fellows attend multiple guest-speaker sessions with established documentary directors, producers, and editors, and each is paired with an experienced Creative Advisor who can provide support and insight as the Fellows ready their projects for release.

Applications for the 2016 Documentary Lab are OPEN.
Application deadline: December 7, 2015 – APPLY HERE

Looking for funding and support for your film? Make a donation of any amount today and receive a Grants List for All Filmmakers as a free gift!  CLICK HERE


Tips on finding and securing funding for your film

scarlettinred01Where can I find grants for film?
By Scarlett Shepard, Founder of the Women’s Film Institute

Where’s the money? This is a common question that every filmmaker asks themselves when they need to advance their project to a certain phase of production. There are millions of dollars out there for your film, you just need to know where to find it! Are you wondering where to start? Finding funding and support during the early stages is always key to bringing you closer to finishing your film.  It’s good to start early because many grant deadlines are offered once a year and funders can take months to reach a decision whether to fund you or not. Here are some key components to have in place before applying to grants:

Know Your Story / Set Your Fundraising Goals – Start by setting goals that will help you to understand your story and scope of need. Remember that Foundations are mandated to give money to people and projects that match their current goals. You are helping them to fulfill their mission and support work that they cannot do on their own.

Build Your Fundraising Committee of 5 to 7 people – Assemble a team that has experience in funding and grant writing and that can leverage their networks and community to raise funds for your film.  Make sure to keep your committee engaged by providing them with regular progress updates, offer support and guidance, and reminding each member of fundraising goals. Bottom line, fundraising committees are the work of a team with a strategic plan (a clear roadmap on how to obtain funds) and not pure luck. Fundraising is not just asking for money. It is the process of identifying potential donors, cultivating them, asking for funds, and stewarding them.

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit! First things first—figure out who should be on your fundraising committee. Start by making a list of all the people who are already close to your project; include a diverse group of people who have different skills (and connections) that are critical to the needs of your film.

Trailer – According to Fernanda Rossi, New York-based story expert advises: “The length of your trailer can range from one minute to 20 minutes. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, for example, prefers the term “work-in-progress,” and advises that submissions be 10 to 30 minutes-which is the benchmark range for most grantmakers. For pitch forums like Sheffield Doc Fest’s Meet Market, IDFA’s Forum and Hot Docs’ Toronto Documentary Forum, the trailer ranges from one to 5 minutes. For fundraising events, your trailer can be as long as seven minutes. And a general fundraising trailer might be as long as 20 minutes.”

Write a Kick-Ass Funding Proposal – In addition to the trailer, you should have proposal that clearly outlines your project.  Grantors want compelling proposals and films. More pointers here: Writing a Kick-Ass Funding Proposal

Build trusted relationships with FundersCarole Dean, president of From The Heart, authored “The Art of Film Funding”, says: “Don’t be shy. You would never enter a grant without first making contact with the grantor. This is your great opportunity to introduce yourself and make an important connection. Place your call in “prime time” from 10 to 12 or 2 to 4 and ask to speak directly to the operations officer in charge of the grant. If they don’t answer, try again later or get information on the best time to reach them. More information: How to Win a Film Grant

Website & Social Media & Community – Start building a community and fan base for your film right away.  It takes a village to make and raise money for your film. How many friends do you have on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter?? Your community should start with your inner social circle. Share and promote your film (clips, photos, articles, etc.)  with friends and family, and give them concrete ways to support you and your film. More info: 10 Social Media Tips for Filmmakers (Especially When Crowdfunding)

Prepare for the highs and lows of securing funding – Sometimes you have to hear “NO” to get to “YES.   This doesn’t mean your film sucks and you should quit filmmaking because you didn’t receive a grant or a funder passes on your project. Applying for a grant requires plenty of tenacity, preparation, and research.  Ask the funder for feedback to continue to build the relationship, and for referrals for anyone they might know that would be interested in learning about your film.  Keep in touch with the funder with updates about your project because they might fund you later on a different phase of your production, or on a different project.

Remember, Grantwriters fund projects based on what matters to them and aligned with their mission/objectives/initiatives.  Your grant proposal has to have a solid plan for using the money. Whether you’re just starting out or need that last bit of money to finish your film, here’s some resources for funding and Request for Proposals:


NYFA Source is the nation’s most extensive database of awards, services and publications for artists of all disciplines including dance, folk, traditional, media, performance, interdisciplinary, visual, music, literature, theater, and arts management.

The Foundation Center – Where can I find grants for film or videomakers? At the Foundation Center you can find information about nearly 90,000 grantmakers.

The Women’s Film Institute has gathered a list of filmmaking tools, discounts, services and information on our site.  This site is helpful to all filmmakers.  We’ll be adding more tools and discounts to this page every week! I recommend bookmarking it for your reference.

Women’s Film Institute Podcast:The Art of Securing Funding For Filmmakers with Morrie Warshawski. In this podcast episode, Scarlett Shepard (Founder of the Women’s Film Institute) speaks with Morrie Warshawski. Morrie offers some really helpful tips on raising money for filmmakers. Learn how to secure funding for your film from individuals, foundations, and corporations.

SFWFI_Funding_Filmmakers_website_01Grant researching takes times and grant writing can seem daunting. Women’s Film Institute has compiled a comprehensive list of over 200++ funding opportunities and professional development programs to serve U.S. and international women filmmakers. We’ve compiled this list so that you can start your search right away and start taking steps to build relationships with funders to secure your film the funding it deserves.

Always remember that you and your film have tremendous value to the world, and making a film is not an easy undertaking. Do something everyday to advance your project, even if it seems like a tiny step that you wished were bigger. Keep in mind that, no matter how small, each step will get your film closer to the next phase of production and will bring you closer to fulfilling your dream of reaching the big screen.