Independent Television Service (ITVS)
ITVS seeks proposals for public TV programs that take creative risks, serve underrepresented audiences and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public TV. Applicants must be independent producers with previous film or TV production experience in a principal role. Students are not eligible.
Open Call provides finishing funds for single non-fiction public television programs on any subject, from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video.
International Initiative provides production funds for single documentaries that bring international perspectives, ideas, stories and people to television and other media platforms. Please read our new submissions guidelines carefully. We no longer have a submission deadline but consider projects on a rolling basis. You may submit a project inquiry at any time.
The Diversity Development Fund provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Producers must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
LOCAL INDEPENDENTS COLLABORATING WITH STATIONS (LINCS) provides matching funds (up to $100,000) to partnerships between public television stations and independent producers. LINCS funds single non-fiction public television programs and demonstration projects that include both broadcast and transmedia elements on any subject and from any viewpoint. LINCS proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis. Producers must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Series and Special Projects -- ITVS accept proposals on an ongoing basis for commissioned documentary projects that fall outside of the parameters of the standing initiatives (DDF, LINCS, OPEN CALL).
Independent Television Service 1435 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA94103  Phone: (415) 356-8383Email:  Website:

National Endowment for the Arts
Provides grants to organizations for the production, public exhibition, distribution, and preservation of film, video, and audio works as art forms themselves.  Media Arts organizations also receive funds for services to media artists, media literacy programs, publications, and professional training.
National Endowment for the Arts 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20506  Phone: (202) 682-5400  Email:  Website:

National Endowment for the Humanities
Offers grants for independent filmmakers and digital media producers whose work addresses significant subjects in the humanities; reaches broad public audiences; grows out of sound scholarship; and uses imaginative, engaging formats.
National Endowment for the Humanities 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20506  Phone: 1 (800) NEH-1121  Email:  Website:

Ford Foundation Media, Arts and Culture Grants
Supports public broadcasting and the independent production of film, video and radio programming; and supports efforts to engage diverse groups in work related to the media and to analyze the media's effect on society. The Foundation requests that you use their online inquiry form to find out which grants are available that fit your situation, rather than emailing or calling them initially.
The Ford Foundation 1440 Broadway New York, NY 10018  Phone: (212) 573-5000  Website:

The Fledgling Fund / Creative Media Projects
Supporting the creation and dissemination of innovative media projects that can play critical roles in igniting social change – bearing witness to the challenges faced by vulnerable individuals, families, and communities around the world; creating a broader understanding of social problems; and inspiring concrete action. Key issues: Girls Empowerment and Education, Human Rights, Migration and Immigration, Health Care, Healthy and Sustainable Communities, Cross Cultural Understanding, War and Its Aftermath.
Film and Creative Media Grants support outreach and audience engagement for social issue documentaries and range from smaller planning grants to implementation grants for projects that have a clear plan ready to launch. A small number of these grants support post-production for timely projects that have strong social change potential.
Field Building Grants focus on building the capacity of our grantees and the social issue documentary field. They range from programs, institutes and residencies that strengthen outreach and audience engagement skills to film festivals and other events that showcase social issue documentaries as a tool for change.
For both types of grants there are two grant cycles each year, Fall and Spring. There is much more information on the website.
The Fledgling Fund Email: Online contact form preferred - click here  Website:

The Roy W. Dean Grants
Offers grants annually to films that are unique and benefit society. Three grants (Spring, Summer, Fall) offer services, discounts, a cash award, and other benefits to film and video makers. The foundation also sells the book, The Art of Film Funding.
From the Heart Productions 1455 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA 93035-2845  Phone: (805) 984-0098  Email:  Website:

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
Grants provide partial support for major educational series assured of airing nationally by PBS. Consideration is given from time-to-time to single stand-alone programs. Grants: to $400,000
Arthur Vining Davis Foundations 225 Water Street, Suite 1510 Jacksonville, FL 32202-5185  Phone: (904) 359-0670  Email: or use their online contact form Website:

Creative Capital
Provides grants to individual artists for specific projects, with an emphasis on experimental work. Disciplines rotate, meaning that media grants are given every third year. (As of this writing, the next grant round will open on February 3, 2014 for applications in Film/Video and Visual Arts.) Grants: up to $40,000 in actual funds plus additional services worth up to $50,000. Complete information is available at the website.
Creative Capital 15 Maiden Lane, 18th Floor New York NY 10038  Phone: (212) 598-9900  Fax: (212) 598-4934  Website:

The Puffin Foundation
Grants that encourage emerging artists whose works, due to their genre and/or social philosophy might have difficulty being aired. Grants: up to $2,500; the average grant is $1,250. Application forms are not available electronically, but can be requested by sending a SASE (#10 business letter sized, self-addressed stamped envelope) to the address below beginning in September 2016. Requests for application forms must be received by December 15, 2016. Completed applications for the 2017 cycle will be accepted from November 1st until the deadline of December 31, 2016 postmarked by midnight. Applications postmarked after this date will not be reviewed.
The Puffin Foundation 20 Puffin Way Teaneck, NJ 07666  Phone: (201) 836-3400  Email:  Website:

Resist, Inc.
Distribution costs of film and video linked to social justice organizing.
Resist, Inc. P.O. Box 441155 Somerville, MA 02144  Phone: (617) 623-5110  Email:  Website:

Open Meadows Foundation
Projects that have limited financial access which reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our society and promote the empowerment of women and girls; and projects for social change that have encountered obstacles in their search for funding. Film and video projects will be considered only after the film/video is complete. Grants: up to $2,000
Open Meadows Foundation, Inc.  Email:  Website:

Dance Film Association, Inc.
Members may apply for DFA's recently redesigned grant for films about dance.
From the website (summer 2013):
"We know that whether you need to write a script, to pay for a location, or to secure an editing suite, funding is crucial at all stages of film production. So rather than only offer finishing funds, we are working on developing a new Production Grant that listens to these needs and will be able to provide not only funding but also invaluable resources and opportunities. The new application will roll out in Fall 2013, after submissions for Dance on Camera close, as an opportunity for those whose film might not have been ready to submit, providing an opportunity to receive funding and resources that will help your film be festival-ready."
Grants: up to $2,000
Dance Film Association, Inc. 252 Java St. Brooklyn, NY 11222  Phone: (347) 505-8649  Contact form  Website:

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Grants support projects that aim to:

  • Document, describe, and explain important current events and social issues with accuracy, balance, context, and depth.
  • Attract and retain significant audiences for non-fiction content through effective storytelling techniques and the appropriate uses of technology.

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Office of Grants Management 140 S. Dearborn Street Chicago, IL60603  Phone: (312) 726-8000  Fax: (312) 920-6258  Email:  Website:

A.J. Muste Institute
The Muste Institute's Social Justice Fund will consider preliminary applications for film, video, theater or art projects if they are:

  • part of a broader grassroots organizing or educational campaign; and
  • will be used to further nonviolent organizing and/or activism for social justice

Priority goes to projects which:

  • address the Muste Institute's core issues of disarmament, conscientious objection or anti-war activism;
  • stand little chance of finding sufficient funding from other sources

Check the website for more information.
A. J. Muste Institute 168 Canal Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10013  Phone: (212) 533-4335  Email:  Website:


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