Documentary Fund Proposal Checklist
Please address the following items in the proposal that you upload. You MUST include your budget within your proposal document as we are only able to accept ONE upload per project. We are unable to accept unsolicited updates to proposals once your project is submitted.
Proposal must contain the following:
Project Topic (1-2 pages)
Briefly provide information to acquaint the reader to the subject, advising why the topic is interesting and why such a film is needed now. Explain any contemporary social or global relevance for the topic. Describe why you are pursuing this project and why you are the best person to tell this story.
Story Summary (Narrative Synopsis) (1-2 pages)
What story or question is your film following? Who are the characters or subjects and what is their journey? Clearly communicate how the film in intended to unfold from beginning to end. Describe the potential mission, stakes, central question or possible outcomes.
About the Sample Work
- Director's Prior Work (1 paragraph)
For all proposals, submit one of the director's prior films. If this is a directorial debut and no prior work is available, you may submit a work from a key member of the creative team. Briefly highlight its narrative, aesthetic or communication intentions. Articulate the relevance to the current proposal, if any. If the current proposal is a departure, how will the film differ. In addition to sending a DVD copy of the prior work, a Vimeo (vimeo.com) link that is download enabled, password protected and set not to expire is highly encouraged.
- Current Sample or Rough Cut (1 paragraph)
If the film is already underway, please submit any sample, rough cut, teaser or clip. Development proposals are strongly encouraged to submit clips, trailers and selects, although visual material is not required. Production/Post-Production proposals are required to submit a rough cut of 20 -75 + minutes. With the work you submit, explain concisely what is present or absent in the sample, and how it will differ as a finished film. How does it reflect the intended story, style, subject, etc. Visual material must be submitted on a DVD, a Vimeo (vimeo.com) link that is download enabled, password protected and set not to expire is highly encouraged.
Project Stage (1 paragraph)
Clearly communicate a projected timeline for your film, describing your point in the creative/producing process at time of your application. If you have applied before, please share how your project has progressed since the last time your applied.
Distribution and Marketing Strategy (1 paragraph)
Characterize the intended distribution life for your film, including relevant broadcast, festival, theatrical, or home video markets.
Audience and Community Engagement (1-2 paragraphs)
Audience Engagement is a strategic campaign to encourage individuals and communities to take action on the issue your film broaches. Engagement campaigns are distinct from distribution (which puts films on screens), and from marketing and outreach (alerting viewers to see films). Rather, engagement is designed to activate audiences and stakeholders toward a specific goal. Not all films are suited for social engagement, but if yours is, what action would you hope viewers will take after the screening? If you have any partnerships with organizations already in place, how are these relationships/partnerships informing your approach
Interactive Elements (if applicable) (1 paragraph)
Some films are intended for multiple platforms as an integral part of the user experience. IF applicable for your project, describe any story elements that are meant for other platforms (ex: games, installations, apps, augmented reality, etc.). Explain how cross platform elements will enhance the experience and interaction between viewers and the world of the story.
Key Creative Personnel (1-2 paragraphs each)
Provide brief biographies (50-150 words) for the director, and if attached, the producer, cinematographer, or editor. DO NOT send resumes, CVs or extensive filmographies. Bullet list any other advisors or consultants, if applicable.
List secured funding sources as well as the funding sources you intend to pursue. Clearly distinguish between potential sources and secured amounts.
• Foundation A ……… $ 5,000 Secured
• Foundation B ……… $ Applied
Comprehensive Line Item Expense Budget
Please list a breakdown of all expenses from development through release in U. S. dollars, including a grand budget total. You may view a sample budget here (pdf, excel).
Please provide complete contact information including a valid email address, telephone number and mailing address ( in the country’s format). Contact information should be valid for at least six (6) months after the submission deadline.