Information About Documentary Film Grants

Documentary films are non-fiction films that capture some aspect of life and the world. Some documentary types include biographical documentaries, sports documentaries, examinations of specific topics and more. While they may not seem to be as popular as fictional films, there are a lot of resources out there for documentary film directors.

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP)

The DFP is an important resource for documentary directors who plan to shed light on human rights issues through their projects. Not only do directors receive funding, but the DFP can help get filmmakers widespread distribution, theatrical release, DVDs and online distribution. DFP provides grants in four categories including development, production or post-production, audience engagement and discretionary. Individuals can learn more by visiting Sundance.org.

The Center for Independent Documentary

The Center for Independent Documentary has been assisting independent filmmakers for more than 25 years. They offer assistance in the creation of independent documentaries, including as a fiscal sponsor, managing project funds, providing creative and technical support and advice on fundraising and distribution. Individuals who are interested in learning more can visit Documentaries.org.

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund helps directors finish feature-length documentaries that feature subjects of social importance. They pay special attention to films that boast “thoughtful and in-depth storytelling, bolstered by a compelling visual approach.” The grants are available for filmmakers in any location and they range from $10,000 to $25,000. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund is more likely to award grants to individuals who have brought to light a subject that hasn’t been previously covered in documentaries. Individuals can learn more by visiting Tribecafilminstitute.org.

Tribeca All Access

Tribeca All Access is a resource available for working filmmakers who come from communities that are statistically underrepresented in the film industry. They provide grants as well as various resources and access to industry contacts that can help with the film. It’s available for filmmakers based in the US and Puerto Rico and grants of $15,000 are available with the potential for receiving an additional $10,000 Creative Promise Award. Individuals can learn more at Tribecafilminstitute.org.

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Comprehensive List

Individuals can look through a comprehensive list of grants available for documentaries by visiting Documentary.org/content/grants. This list contains grants available to filmmakers based all over the world, including state-only grants and grants available to filmmakers in specific countries. Individuals can use the filter at the top of the page to find grants that have deadlines, in order to apply quickly and get an application in before the due date. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it’s a great starting point for filmmakers who need financial help.

Grants for documentary films are typically available for filmmakers who want to highlight social issues such as human rights problems in various places and more. It’s best to have a full outline of the project or to have the project started before applying for grants, as many are available to finish the project and ensure that it receives attention in the film industry.

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