May 24, 2016

4 Rolling-Deadline Doc Grants You Should Apply to This Instant

You can apply for these generous grants any time, so why not do it now?

It's rolling grant season. Well, every season is rolling grant season. If you are a documentary filmmaker, these are the few that you need to take advantage of, especially right now when there aren't a lot of other major grant deadlines looming.

1. Sundance Documentary Fund

In addition to their robust Creative Labs programs, which includes several invite-only opportunities for doc-makers, Sundance offers some sizable grants with an open application process.

Description (from site)
The Sundance Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for projects that display: artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience. Preference is given to projects that convey clear story structure, higher stakes and contemporary relevance, forward going action or questions, demonstrated access to subjects, and quality use of film craft.

Grant amount 
$40,000-60,000

Eligibility

  • US & International Filmmakers
  • Maximum two submission attempts per project

Grant categories

  • Development (up to $20,000): There is no reel required with an application, but clips, teasers, trailers, or images are highly encouraged. A previous work sample is required.
  • Production/Post-Production (up to $50,000): Production/post-production grants provide funds to projects offering 10+ minutes of edited material for the project being proposed. The reel should convey the narrative and aesthetic approach for the final film. A previous sample work must also be included with the application.
  • Audience Engagement (up to $20,000): Audience Engagement grants provide previously granted projects funding for strategic audience and community engagement campaigns.

Apply here.

The Eagle Huntress
Sundance Documentary Fund 2015 grantee 'The Eagle Huntress'

2. Catapult Film Fund

Description (from site)
Our mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their film projects to the next level at a stage where funding is hard to find. Catapult gives early support to propel projects forward that hold the promise of a unique story that should be told in film. We don’t require that films fit within specific issue categories. We support powerful stories and moving storytelling across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives. As a result, we support of a range of films, from individual portraits to stories with global implications.

Grant amount 
$5,000 to $20,000 (Recipients also have access to an informal mentorship program)

Eligibility

  • US & International Filmmakers
  • Must have secured access to your story
  • Funds must specifically be used for the process of completing a fundraising piece, which may include writing, shooting and editing
  • Recipients must be 501(c)(3) organizations or fiscally sponsored by one

Apply here.

3. Ford Foundation's JustFilms

Description (from site)
As the Ford Foundation works to reduce inequality in all its forms, we support artist-driven film and new media projects, and other forms of creative visual storytelling, that explore the rich diversity of the human experience. These stories inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes, and help transform attitudes that perpetuate injustice. Projects will be judged on the basis of, among other factors: artistic excellence, contemporary relevance, potential for strategic impact and a focus on vulnerable populations.

Grant amount 
$50,000-$200,000

Eligibility

  • Films must highlight social justice issues and be aligned with Ford Priorities
  • Projects must be independently produced, and final editorial control must lie with the filmmaker or project team 

Apply here.

4. The Jerome Foundation

Description (from site)
The Jerome Foundation seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. The Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City. 

Grant amount 
$10,000-$30,000

Eligibility

  • Must have street mailing addresses Minnesota and/or New York City
  • Emphasis is on funding projects in their early stages (Requests for productions that are more than half completed are eligible but represent a lower priority.)
  • Projects must be independently produced, and final editorial control must lie with the filmmaker or project team 

Grant categories

  • New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Programs: open to emerging individual film, video, and digital production artists. (Note: the Minnesota film grant is not rolling. Applications are accepted once annually.)
  • Travel and Study: open to emerging artists who create new work. This program alternates eligibility cycles, awarding funds in Music, Theater and Visual Arts in odd years and Literature, Dance, and Film and Video in even years.

Note that this foundation also offers an emerging composer fellowship and general program grant for arts orgs applying on behalf of emerging artists.

Apply here.

Now, stop reading this post and start writing a grant proposal. Good luck!

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