June 13, 2018

HBO Documentaries and IFP Have Teamed Up to Bring Your Doc Series To Life

The two giants of documentary announce their "New True Stories Funding Initiative."

HBO and IFP have joined forces to create a new grant specifically designed for multi-format nonfiction storytellers. The IFP/HBO New True Stories Funding Initiative supports several different types of makers in the early stages of development. It doesn't matter if you're working in print, audio, or, of course, video, as long as your intention lies in bringing your work to life visually. That means that if you want to make short form, feature-length or serialized content, this could be a good one to check out.

IFP explains the grant is for "projects on the arts, humanities, contemporary societal and political issues, and personal documentaries with approaches that range from traditional and character-driven narratives or journalistic perspectives to those more adventurous, creatively risky and formally challenging."

Grants will typically range from S10,000 – $30,000, depending on the scale and scope of the project. The projects are accepted on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline per se, but the first step is to fill out a Letter of Inquiry, so there's a bit of screening involved. 

It's no secret that serial documentaries have skyrocketed in both popularity and profitability due to the success of streaming platforms like Netflix. Generally, they're cheaper to create than the big-budget flagship series we're used to seeing across cable, while some (think Making a Murder, or more recently Wild Wild Country) have the potential to draw in just as much of an audience. 

As noted by Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller, Executive VPs of HBO Documentary and Family Programming, there's no better place to find a pool of young creators with the potential to produce their next hit than at IFP. “Our team has a long history of working closely with IFP, which has an amazing capacity for identifying and supporting emerging talent with fresh ideas, and we’re honored to work with them to discover some exciting new voices coming from the non-fiction field.”

In return, Joana Vicente, executive director of IFP added, “HBO has been a longtime supporter of the IFP, and with HBO Docs’ rich history of championing non-fiction work, this grant will allow us to continue a strong tradition of supporting projects that are exploring even broader, new formats in non-fiction media.” Seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved. Especially those recipients of the grant.

Fill out your Letter of Inquiry today. Good luck!       

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