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Winter 2013 Grant & Educational Opportunities

By Lisa Hasko

Though it doesn't feel like winter at the IDA headquarters here in sunny Los Angeles, the season is definitely upon us, which means it's time for more grant opportunities! Okay, that might not be what the season is all about. But for documentary filmmakers, the fundraising brain never rests. We've put together a list of grants and other opportunities with upcoming deadlines that we think might be of interest to you.

As you sort through the list and go about conducting your grant research and learning the requirements of each organization—they're all different—you'll find that many require you to have a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501(c)(3) public charity, such as the IDA, agrees to sponsor a project that furthers our mission, for the purpose of fundraising through grants and donations. This alternative to starting your own nonprofit allows you to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for your documentary, with the oversight, support and endorsement of IDA.

So don't panic when you read those words in the grant requirements. There is hope. And we're here to help.

Vist our website or contact Lisa Hasko to learn more about IDA's Fiscal Sponsorship Program.


The grant supports emerging documentary filmmakers who live and work in California, Oregon and Washington.The term "emerging" is intended to denote a person committed to the craft of making documentaries, who has demonstrated that commitment by several years -- but no more than ten -- of practical film or video experience.
Deadline: December 1, 2013


  • 2014 Documentary Lab: Designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films, the Documentary Lab is an intensive seven-week program that runs in Los Angeles in March and April.
    Deadline: December 2, 3013 
  • 2014 Fast Track: Fast Track is a film financing market that takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival designed to help narrative and documentary filmmakers move their current projects forward.
    Deadline: February 24, 2014

Provides finishing funds to feature-length documentaries which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. For films, based anywhere, that are in production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000.
Opens December 5, 2013. Deadline: February 5, 2014


America’s Media Makers (AMM) grants support the following formats: interactive digital media, film and television projects, and radio projects. Grants are available for both projects at both the development and production stages.

  • Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production.
  • Production grants support the production and distribution of digital projects, films, television programs, radio programs, and related programs that promise to engage the public.

Deadline for both: January 8, 2014 **Note: all projects fiscally sponsored by the IDA must have a consultation with Lisa Hasko before applying to NEH grants**

Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers
who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes.
Opens December 16, 2013. Deadline: January 31, 2014

The NFA is a national grant program open to US-based Latino working artists, ensembles and Latino arts organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence in pursuit of social justice through the arts. Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000.
Deadline: February 6, 2014


BRITDOC funds international and region specific documentary films through various awards and grant opportunties. Be sure to review each one to see if you are eligible:

  • PUMA Catalyst Awards
  • Channel 4 BRITDOC Fund
  • Bertha BRITDOC Fund for Journalism and the Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund

NPBC - AFROPOP: The Ultimate Culture Exchange Submissions (U.S. Public Media)
Afro:PoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is a US based public television show featuring independent documentaries and short films about life, art, and culture from the contemporary African Diaspora. NBPC is looking to support and broadcast strong stories that will capture the breadth and scope of the diversity of experiences of contemporary African peoples.