HBO Documentary Films and the Gotham Film & Media Institute’s Expanding Communities program want to help filmmakers from underrepresented communities. 

HBO Documentary Films and the Gotham announced its Documentary Development Initiative, which aims to support storytellers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and storytellers with disabilities. The intention of the program is to provide resources to further develop thought-provoking, character-driven narratives for documentary films and limited series. 

Ten selected filmmakers will be given grants of $50,000 for research and creative development at an early stage in the documentaries’ or limited series’ production. They will also provide resources and mentorship to support the development of the projects. Select grantees will also have the opportunity to receive additional funding sponsored by HBO Documentary Films, OneFifty, and WBD Access. 

To apply for the Documentary Development Initiative, the filmmaker must be 18 years of age or older, submit two films they've directed (either two short films or one short film and one feature film), be allowed to work in the United States, have a letter of recommendation from a TV or film director, producer, writer, or professor, and the project should not have funding from any broadcast, digital platforms, or any other U.S. distribution entity. 

Karen Horne, the Senior Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at Warner Bros. Discover, said in a statement, “We are so proud to announce this initiative, which will provide resources to filmmakers from historically excluded communities as they develop creative and thought-provoking documentaries. We are thrilled to champion these voices as they further their careers in the entertainment industry.” 

“OneFifty is thrilled to expand upon our long-standing relationship with the Gotham Film & Media Institute, an organization deeply committed to identifying talented emerging independent artists,” said Axel Caballero, Head of OneFifty & Vice President, Artistic and Cultural Innovations at Warner Bros. Discovery.

Those who are interested in applying for the grant can do so here. Applications will be accepted until July 26, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.