Find a Film Funding Organization

Private Foundations and Funds can be the source of additional production funds for documentaries.

Annie E Casey Foundation
701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Phone: 410-547-6600 Fax: 410-547-6624
Email: Website:
Contact: Joy Moore, communications department

Guidelines: Focuses on initiatives that have significant potential to demonstrate innovative policy, the delivery of services, and community supports for children and families. Tends to favor production and dissemination phases.

Residency International: (project content must be US-based)
Funding Range: US$50,000-plus per project
Deadlines: None, Submit letter (three pages maximum) outlining proposal, project goals, population served, amount of funds requested, and a brief history of the organization.
Past Projects: Has funded ten documentaries in the past five years including "Hoop Dreams", by Steve James, and "This Far By Faith", by Mieko Ouchi

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
111 Riverside Avenue, Suite 130, Jacksonville, Florida 32202-4921
Phone: 904-359-0670 Fax: 904-359-0675
Email: Website:
Contact: Jonathan Howe, executive director

Guidelines: Prefer history, science and kids' programming with educational value. Emphasis on finishing funds for major educational series assured of airing nationally on PBS. Consideration also given to outstanding stand-alone programs.

Residency: United States
Funding Range: 15% of grants are typically devoted to public TV: of these funds, the largest percentage is for docs. Recent production grants have ranged from $100,000.00 to $500,000.00
Deadlines: None, Initial approach should be via letter with project description and budget.
Past Projects: "Adventures from the Book of Virtues", KCET

Creative Capital
65 Bleeker Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-598-9900 Fax: 212-598-4934
Email: Website:
Contact: Esther Robinson, program director, media and arts

Guidelines: Supports artists who take innovative approaches to form and/or content in the visual, performing and media arts. Will work closely with its funded artists to provide audience development, marketing and other forms of assistance tailored for individual projects. In return, artists share a portion of their proceeds with Creative Capital

Residency: United States
Funding Range: US$5,000 to $20,000 per project
Deadlines: Bi-annual (next grant deadline in 2002: applications available at the end of August.)
Past Projects: "Star Eaters" by Peggy Ahwesh

East London Production Fund London Film and Video Development Agency
114 Whitfield Street, London, UK W1P 5EF
Phone: 44-207-383-7755 Fax: 44-207-383-7745
Email: Website:
Contact: Jill Henderson or Rebecca Maguire

Guidelines: One of several regional offices in the U.K. geared to supporting projects in economically deprived areas. On April 1, 2001, the Film Council will begin acting as a coordinating body for these funds.
Residency: Filmmaker must establish an office and spend a percentage of money in the region where funds are designated.
Funding Range: 1,000 to 80,000 English Pounds ($US 1,500 to $118,000)-maximum 25% of total budget.
Deadlines: To be announced in April 2001.
Past Projects: "Brother Deado", by Ken Fero

Eastman Fund, Luchis and Eva
5926 Fiddletown Place, San Jose, California 95120
Phone: 408-268-2083 Fax: 408-268-2083
Email: Website: In development
Contact: Lucius Eastman, and Jennifer Eastman

Guidelines: Mainly provides completion funds for a variety of documentary and narrative projects. No specific criteria for selection. Rarely provides development funds..

Residency: International
Funding Range: US$2,500 to $5,000 per project: awarded $152,900 in 1999 to 46 projects in total, including 26 docs
Deadlines: Three times per year. January, May, and September
Past Projects: "Long Days Journey into Day", by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann, and "Like a Mother Bear", by Lynn Feinerman

Council of Europe, France 67075 Strasbourg, Cedex
Phone: 33-3-88-41-2640 Fax: 33-3-88-41-2760
Email: eurimages@coe.nt Website:
Mireille Paulus, executive secretary

Guidelines: A copro fund offering interest-free, conditionally repayable loans for feature films and creative docs. Projects must be a minimum length of 70 minutes and have at least two coproducers from different member states of the fund.

Residency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey
Funding Range: Amounts vary
Deadlines: 2001 deadlines to be posted
Past Projects: "Nuages" by Marion Hansel

Film Council (UK)
10 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JG
Phone: 44-207-861-7932 Fax: 44-207-861-7862
Email: Website:
Contact: Jenny Borgars, Head of Development Fund: Paul Trijbits, head of New Cinema Fund

Guidelines: A new organizations channeling public money for film production. The Development Fund and New Cinema Fund are best sources for doc-makers. Projects intended for theatrical distribution are preferred.

Residency: Accepts proposals from U.K. and other states of the E.U. encourages copros with international partners.
Funding Range: Each fund has an annual budget of 5 Million Pounds (US$7.4 million). Council offers 15-50% of a film's budget.
Deadlines: Accepts applications year-round.
Past Projects: None (fund began April 1, 2000

Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-573-5000 Fax: 212-351-3677
Contact: Barron M Tenny, Secretary

Guidelines: Global Foundation with arms in N.Y. Africa, Asia, Latin America and Russia. Docs are normally funded through the media division.

Residency: International
Funding Range: US$25, 000 to $1 million. Funds distributed multi-year. In 1999, total program activities were $578 million.
Deadlines: None, A letter of inquiry is advisable
Past Projects: "I'll Make me a World", Shelia Curran Bernard

Herbert Bals Fund
International Film Festival, Rotterdam, P.O. Box 21696, 3001 AR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: 31-108-909-090 Fax: 31-108-909-091
Email: Website:
: Marianne Bhalotra

Guidelines: A fund for filmmakers from developing countries for creative and feature docs. Grants to be spent in one of the developing countries. Full length only: must have theatrical potential: minimum 60-65 minutes.

Residency: Filmmaker must be based in a developing country
Funding Range: Three categories: development, US$9,000: post production, $26,000.00: distribution, $13,000. Offers a total of $850,000 annually, with individual grants of up to $50,000.
Deadlines: March 1 and September 1
Past Projects: "Crane World" by Pablo Trapero

51 Federal Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, California 94107
Phone: 415-356-8383 Fax: 415-356-8391
Email: Website:
Contact: Becky Hayes, programming & development coordinator

Guidelines: Endores programs that take creative risks and represent points of view not usually seen on commercial or public television.

Residency: United States citizen or legal resident
Funding Range: Up to US$250,000 per project
Deadlines: Open call-February 15 and August 15, 2001 (applications available in December for February deadline.)
Past Projects: "Sing Faster: A Stagehand's Ring Cycle" by John Else

Jan Vrijman Fund
Jan Vrijiman Fund/IDFA, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen, 10, 1017 RR Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: 31-206-273-329 Fax: 31-206-385-388
Email: Website:
: Noor Zwinkels, coordinator

Guidelines: An initiative of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the fund aims to stimulate productions at all stages-development, production, completion, distribution and promotion-of creative documentaries from developing countries. Submissions must be in English.

Residency: Filmmaker must be based in a developing country
Funding Range: Development, US$4,000: production and post production, $15,000.00: distribution, $7,000: workshops & Festivals, $15,000-25 projects/year for a total of $221,000..
Deadlines: Bi-annual (February 1, 2001 and June 1, 2001)
Past Projects: "Borderland" by Carl Biorsmark: Down Rockey Street, Khubu Meth; A Day Under the Sun, by Vlado Zrnic.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Office of Grants Management, 140 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: 312-726-8000 Fax: 312-920-6258
Email: Website:
Contact: Alyce Myatt, media division

Guidelines: The general program offers grants for innovative media projects, especially those that increase the diversity of voices and viewpoints in film, television, and radio. The foundation welcomes proposals that encourage community outreach and supports al phases, but tends to favor production. Does not support political activities, or attempts to influence action or specific legislation. No narrative dramas or personal documentaries.

Residency: Open to applicants of all nationalities, but the project must have a good chance for broadcast in the U.S.
Funding Range: US$25,000 to $200,000-plus per project (approximately $5.5 million awarded in media grants last year).
Deadlines: No fixed deadlines. Decisions made throughout the year. Send letter of inquiry (three pages maximum) plus project summary via mail or e-mail
Past Projects: "Well-Founded Fear" by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini: "Local News" by Calvin Scaggs and David van Taylor: "The Fights in the Fields" by Rick Tejada-Flores and Ray Telles.

John D. Rockefeller Foundation
420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-869-8500 Fax: 212-852-8438
Email:  Website:
: Joan Shigekawa, associate director, creativity & culture

Guidelines: Supports independent media artists in the U.S. and Mexico through film/video/multimedia fellowships, awarded by nomination and administered by National Video Resources. Emphasis on work "exploring the conflicts, connections, and commonalties of diverse communities."

Residency: International
Funding Range: US$20,000-plus. In 1999, funding for film, video and multimedia was $1 million.
Deadlines: None. No unsolicited proposals. Send a brief letter of inquiry describing project and its purpose.
Past Projects: "Tierra Sagrada en Zona de Conflict to" (Sacred Landin a Conflict Zone by Carlos Martinez Suarez.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
90 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-687-4470 Fax: 212-697-3248
Email: Website:
Contact: Peter Kardon, program director

Guidelines: Provides fellowships for advanced professionals in all fields except performing arts. Fellows are selected on selected on the basis of two separate competitions, one for the United States and Canada, the other for Latin America and the Caribbean. All applicants are expected to be advanced professionals in mid-career. Have awarded several grants to documentary and narrative filmmakers. Only individuals are eligible.

Residency: Must be a citizen or legal resident of the area where the competition is held.
Funding Range: US$30,000 on average.
Deadlines: Once 1 (postmarked). Latin American and Caribbean competition: December 1. Application forms available by mail in July or on the website.
Past fellowship recipients: Arthur Dong, L.A.-based producer and director: Jennie Livingston, N.Y.-based writer, director, producer

Latino Public Broadcasting
6777 Hollywood Blvd, Ste. 500, Los Angeles, California 90028
Phone: 323-466-7110 Fax: 323-466-7521
Email: Website:
: Marlene Dermer, executive director

Guidelines: Promotes participation of Latino producers, directors, writers, and on-air talent in public TV programs. Solicits films through an annual open call.

Residency: Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
Funding Range: US$10,000 to $50,000 for development: $50,000 to $100,000 for production and completion. Yearly budget for grants is approximately $634,000
Deadlines: Open call- June 2, 2001 (guidelines mailed out in December/January)
Past Projects: "Every Child is Born a Poet" by Ashley James.

National Black Programming Consortium
4802 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
Phone: 412-622-6443 Fax: 412-622-1331
Email: Website:
: Mable Haddock, executive director

Guidelines: Devoted to the preservation, production, distribution and promotion of diverse films and videos about African-Americans and African Diaspora experiences. The Program Development Fund Awards grants to films in all phases: research, script development, pre-production, production, post-production, community outreach and audience development.

Residency: Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
Funding Range: US$1,000 to $50,000 (Has provided more than $5,000,000 in grants to both independent and station-based producers since 1979
Deadlines: For 2000, in-office open solicitation-November 30., 2000
Past Projects: "Two Towns of Jasper" by Marco Williams and Whitney Dove

National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Suite 726, Washington D.C. 20506
Phone: 202-682-5452 Fax: 202-682-5721
Email: Website:
Contact: Mary Smith, media arts specialist

Guidelines: Supports the development, production, and national distribution of radio and TV programs on the arts. Priority is given to programs with the potential to reach a significant national audience. Projects may include high profile multi-part TV and radio series, single docs, performance programs, or arts segments for use within an existing series. Program may deal with any art form (e.g., music/dance/literature).

Residency: Must be a U.S. non-profit with tax exempt status (or have a fiscal sponsor with the above qualifications).
Funding Range: US$20,000 to $175,00.
Deadlines: March 2001.
Past Projects: "My Generation" by Barbara Kopple

National Endowment for the Humanities
Division of Public Programs, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Suite 426, Washington D.C. 20506
Phone: 202-606-8267 Fax: 202-606-8557
Email: Website:
Contact: Pamela Elder or Virginia Field, division of public programs

Guidelines: NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the U.S. government, dedicated to enriching American cultural life by promoting knowledge of human history, thought, and culture. Priorities include subjects of national significance, projects geared to diversified audiences, collaboration with other cultural organizations and the use of multiple formats or interactive media technology. Grants are offered for projects at various stages: planning, scripting, implementation, and production.

Residency: Must be a U.S. non-profit with tax exempt status (or have a fiscal sponsor with the above qualifications).
Funding Range: Varies depending on stage: up to US$30,000 for planning: $60,000 for scripting: $200,000 to $800,000 for production. In 1999, NEH funded 19 documentaries totaling $5.4 Million.
Deadlines: Planning grants-November 1, 2000: planning, scripting, and production-February 1, 2001.
Past Projects: "The Murder of Dr. Parkman", by Eric Strange and Melissa Banta. "Alfred Stieglitz and the Making of modern America" by Susan Lacy.

National Foundation for Jewish Culture
330 Seventh Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-629-0500 Fax: 212-629-0508
Email: Website:
Contact: Kim Bistrong

Guidelines: The fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking supports original docs that promote Jewish history, culture, identity and contemporary issues
Residency: U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Funding Range: US$20,000 to $50,000 per project. Funds four to six projects per year.
Deadlines: Early April (applications available in January).

Past Projects: "Arguing the World", by Joe Dorman. "Mayor of the West Side" by Judd Ehrlich. "The Papp Project" by Karen Thorsen and Tracie Holder, "Divan" by Pearl Gluck

Native American Public Telecommunications
1800 North 33rd Street, P.O. Box 83111, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501
Phone: 402-472-3522 Fax: 402-472-8675
Email: Website:
Contact: Carol Cornsilk, director, programming & production

Guidelines: NAPT seeks to increase awareness of cultural diversity of Native people. Annual open call funds through production licensing agreements, which give NAPT first option to distribute programs to PBS and/or educational outlets. Funds all phases. No experimental, industrial or student projects.

Residency: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Funding Range: Development US$10,000 to $20,000 per project. Production/completion: $50,000 to $100,000 per project. Typically funds up to ten projects per year, totaling $636,000
Deadlines: September, 2001.
Past Projects: "Andy Payne Story", by Dan Bigbee.

Nordic Film and TV Fund
Skovveien 2, 0257 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 47-23-283-939 Fax: 47-22-561-223
Email: Website:none
Contact: Kristin Ulseth, project consultant

Guidelines: Provides production funds for docs and fiction. Producers must already have national or TV funding before applying. The number of documentaries varies each year: 12 were supported in 1998, and 24 in 1999

Residency: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
Funding Range: 100,000 to 500,000 Kroners ($12,000 to $60,000 USD) per project- 4% to 25% of the budget.
Deadlines: Applications accepted all year.
Past Projects: "The Cinderella by Tallin", by Pirjo Honkasalo

Pacific Islanders in Communications
1221 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite #6A-4, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Phone: 808-591-0059 Fax: 808-591-1114
Contact: Annie Moriyasu, programming director, media fund

Guidelines: Interested in programs produced by and about the indigenous peoples of the Pacific, particularly those aimed at national public broadcast. Majority or projects tend to be docs solicited through PIC Media Fund, an annual, national open call with a spring deadline. Funds all stages except distribution.

Residency: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Funding Range: Up to US $15,000 for research and development: up to $50,000 for production and post-production. (In 1999, awarded $441,000 to 14 projects, the majority of which were docs.)
Deadlines: August 3, 2001
Past Projects: "Where I put my feet", "That's Hawaii" by Michael Glass and James Culp.

Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media
Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, Suite 500, New York, N.Y. 10012
Phone: 212-529-5300 Fax: 212-982-9272
Contact: Ms. Trinh Duong, program officer

Guidelines: Provides pre-production and distribution funds for projects by organizations and individual artists. Topic of interest include: AIDS and other health issues, racial and gender justice, reproductive rights homelessness and welfare reform. Women, gays, and lesbians, disabled persons, artists from communities of color and people of little recourse to other funding sources are particularly encouraged to apply (Video submissions, must be NTSC format)

Residency: International, but projects must have relevance to the U.S. population.
Funding Range: US $3,000 to $6,000 on average, to a maximum of $15,000. In 1998, $161,500 was awarded to documentaries.
Deadlines: Applications are due annually on May 15. Awards are announced in late August or early September.
Past Projects: "Family Name", by Macky Alston

Playboy Foundation
680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Phone: 312-751-8000 Fax: 312-751-2818
Cleo Wilson, Executive Director

Guidelines: Since 1978, the Foundation has awarded grants to documentary film and video projects that identify injustice and advocate social change. No religious programs, individual needs, capital campaigns, endowments, scholarships or fellowships, nor social services. Grants are limited to post phase

Residency: United States
Funding Range: US $1,000 to $2,000 per project.
Deadlines: Applications welcome year round.
Past Projects: "Grist for the Mill", Other Pictures

Roy W. Dean Grant
107 Suffock, Studio 517, New York, N.Y. 10003, or
From the Heart Productions, 1455 Mandalay Beach Rd., Mandalay Shores, California 93035
Phone: 212-982-5008 Fax: 805-984-1768
Email: Website: or
: NY: Drew Figueroa; CA: Carole Lee

Guidelines: Seeks projects that will inspire, archive, or make a social commentary. New projects or works in progress, any length, with budgets under US $300,000 are acceptable. Student filmmakers, indie producers and prodocs are eligible. Offers N.Y., LA. and Chicago grants. Projects must be completed within two years of the grant

Residency: International
Funding Range: Contributes US $35,000 to $40,000 in kind per project-including film and video stock, equipment rental and post services. Four grants per years. In 1999, 64% of funding went to documentaries.
Deadlines: NY: January 28, 2001: CA: June 30, 2001
Past Projects: "In My Corner" by Ricki Stern and Ann Sundberg: "American Chain Gang", by Xachery Irving: "Salvaged Lives" by Barbara Leibovitz

Soros Documentary Fund
Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th St., New York, NY. 10019
Phone: 212-548-0657 Fax: 212-548-4647
Contact: Diane Weyermann, program director

Guidelines: Provides seed, production and distribution funds for international documentary films and videos on significant issues in human rights, freedom of expression, social justice, and civil liberties. Only contemporary issues projects. No historical projects, biographies or series.

Residency: International (Applicants must have creative and budgetary control over the proposed documentary)
Funding Range: Production: US$25,000 to $50,000: Seed: $10,000 to $15,000. Has provided around $1.5 million each year since 1996
Deadlines: No formal deadlines. Board meets four times/year.
Past Projects: "Photographer", Dariusz Jablonski

Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation
470 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA. 94133
Phone: 415-391-0911 Fax: 415-391-4587
Thomas C. Layton, president

Guidelines: Supports projects proposed by U.S. non-profit organizations. Funds around five docs per year, typically in pre-production or early production phases. Primary focus is on the San Francisco area and Hawaii, on issues of public interest.

Residency: Must be a U.S. non-profit organizations
Funding Range: Varies. In 1997, docs won US$4,700 to $25,000.
Deadlines: None. Submit letter of inquiry with short description of the project, addressed to Thomas C. Layton. The board meets four times annually
Past Projects: "The Nation Within" by Tom Koffman