The Whickers remains committed to supporting documentary makers in any medium and allowing great ideas to flourish. If your project doesn’t quite meet our criteria then you may be interested in some of the following funding opportunities. Be sure to visit their websites and read the terms and conditions carefully before applying.

Opportunities for African Filmmakers

African Culture Fund (ACF)

  • The African Culture Fund (ACF) is a pan-African fund that aims to support the sectors of arts education and cultural and creative industries on the African Continent.
  • The Fund seeks to promote the creative sector, cultural entrepreneurs, artists, cultural professionals and organisations producing cultural goods and services.
  • In the past they have awarded $10,000 to African projects and have created a solidarity fund in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Documentary Africa (DocA)

  • They offer a wide range of grants in four categories: Development, Production, Post-production and Emergency.
  • Candidates should have produced or directed at least one short or feature.
  • The main director/producer should be based in the African continent and of African descent.

Digital Lab Africa

  • The Digital Lab Africa call for projects targets artists, producers, designers, startups, students in the media and creative industries.
  • The call is open to any individual from Sub-Saharan Africa region having an innovative project in 5 categories of multimedia production: web creation, virtual reality, video game, animation and digital music.

Hot Docs – Blue Ice Docs Fund

  • The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund has invested $2.35 million to enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their stories and contribute to the next generation of African documentary talent. To date, the Fund has awarded 69 projects from 21 countries.
  • The Fund provides development grants of up to $10,000 CAD and production grants of up to $40,000 CAD to four to ten projects annually.
  • Each year, up to five funded projects are invited to participate in a year-long mentorship program, which includes private filmmaker labs at Hot Docs and the Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival or other festivals and markets in Africa.

The WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship

  • The WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship is a film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by West African filmmakers.
  • The program provides filmmakers with funding for their project, creative labs, one-on-one mentoring, professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

For Middle-Eastern Filmmakers

Arab Culture Fund (AFAC)

  • The AFAC Documentary Program is a three-year program that funds and supports creative documentary films that address social realities in the Arab region.
  • The program welcomes, on an annual basis, submissions of short, medium-length and feature documentary film projects that are in production and post-production. These can be up to $50,000.
  • AFAC also offers grants for projects in development which are eligible for a maximum of $15,000.

Doha Film Institute

  • The Doha Film Institute Grants Programme seeks out new cinematic voices and universally resonant stories.
  • The Programme provides creative and financial assistance for short and feature-length projects by Qatari and international first- and second-time directors, as well as established MENA directors.
  • Development Grants are offered up to $15,000; Production Grants up to $75,000 and Post-Production Grants up to $50,000

Marwed Al Thaqafy (Cultural Resource)

  • The Production Awards program is designed to support young Arab artists under the age of 35 with up to $15,000
  • Submissions are possible at all stages of production
  • Applications must be completed in Arabic

For Asian Filmmakers

Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) Asian Network of Documentary 

  • The eligible applicant must be either an Asian director or of Asian heritage or a non-Asian residing in an Asian country. In all cases, the film project should contain Asian elements such as Asian stories, characters, themes, setting, etc.
  • The applicant must have directed at least one previous documentary. However,
    consideration will also be given to a debut project if it is in the post-production phase
    and a rough cut can be submitted.
  • Cash awards are 5 million or 10 million Korean won. There is also a Script Development Fund.

Dhaka DocLab Scholarship

  • Dhaka DocLab organizes an annual event of pitching for South Asian documentary filmmakers.
  • A limited number of scholarships are available for South Asian filmmakers who want to submit their project at Dhaka DocLab, a South Asian platform for pitching and mentoring of documentary filmmakers.
  • Scholarship includes air travel, accommodation, local hospitality & waiver of participation fees

Malaysian and Singapore Film Grants

  • Small Film Grants of up to MYR 15,000 and SGD 5,000 cash are available for fresh or unfinished documentary films about Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Their latest call is for documentary proposals on the theme of the pandemic.
  • Films premiere at the annual FreedomFilmFest which has been running since 2003.

For Latin American Filmmakers

Campus Latino

  • Campus Latino is an intense one-year training program, a platform to strengthen the documentary market in Latin America as a whole and improve coproduction possibilities both in the region and on an international level.
  • The first webinar is open to a maximum of 12 projects. After this webinar, 7 projects will be selected and the producer/director teams invited to attend two more workshops offering insight into the full process of setting up an international coproduction and covering topics such as: how to develop your story, access the international market, how to pitch your project and distribution of your finished film via different media outlets.
  • A maximum of three projects will be invited to pitch in front of international commissioners and producers looking for coproductions at the Documentary Campus Leipzig Networking Days in Germany.

If/Then Shorts

  • IF/Then Shorts, in partnership with Hulu Documentary Films calls short-documentary filmmakers based in the Caribbean, North and Central America to take part in the IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab.
  • This lab will channel Hulu and IF/Then’s shared vision of creating a new pipeline of diverse talent and incubating strong voices who will be the next class of non-fiction storytellers.
  • Each team will receive a $25,000 grant to use for the production of their film.

TFI Latin America Fund

  • The TFI Latin America Fund (supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies) provides grants, professional guidance and an entrance into the US industry to scripted, documentary, animated, or doc-fiction hybrid feature-length films.
  • Open to innovative filmmakers and storytellers living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America.

William Greaves Fund

  • The William Greaves Fund offers financial and mentorship support to non-fiction filmmakers of color at the mid-points in their careers. The fund aims to ensure that talented storytellers remain in the field and continue to create important stories focused on underrepresented people and topics.
  • In addition to US filmmakers, those from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent are encouraged to apply.

Specific to the Developing World

The World Cinema Fund

  • The World Cinema Fund supports the production and distribution of feature films and feature-length documentaries.
  • The support is focused on the following regions and countries: Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caucasus as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.
  • Production grants are up to €80,000, whilst Distribution grants are up to €10,000.

Visions Sud Est

  • The Swiss fund Visions Sud Est was founded in 2005. The fund supports film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, aims at making them visible worldwide and guarantees their distribution in Switzerland.
  • Production Grants are up to 50,000 Swiss Francs and Post-Production Grants are up to 20,000 Swiss Francs.
  • For successful projects, all rights in Switzerland are automatically transferred to Visions Sud Est.

IDFA Bertha Fund

  • The IDFA Bertha Fund supports independent, critical, and artistic voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe with the aim of stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in these regions.
  • The Fund provides development, production, and distribution grants through two funding schemes. Filmmakers from and living in the above-mentioned regions can apply for IBF Classic. European co-producers of documentaries from these regions can apply for IBF Europe.
  • In addition to financing, the Fund offers filmmakers tailor-made consultancies and training programs to support them in their creative and production process.

Alter-Cine Foundation Documentary Film Grants

  • The Alter-Cine Foundation documentary film grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America.
  • Grants range between CAD $5,000 – $10,000
  • The film can be in the language of their choice and should reflect the aims of the Foundation, outlined on their website.

One World Media Production Fund

  • Small grants of £1000 to proposals for non-fiction, journalism-based media across all platforms: film, radio, print, film, online, photojournalism
  • Project must involve travel to a developing country
  • In order to be eligible to apply for the fund, applicants must first attend one of One World Media’s university or public international reporting workshops

For Women Filmmakers

BDGM Sustainable Artist Grant

  • Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) is an initiative advocating for over 4,500 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world.
  • The goal of the BGDM Sustainable Artist Grant is to enable the filmmakers in Brown Girls Doc Mafia at the emerging, established, or veteran career levels to have the stability and resources to continue focusing on their creative work and building their careers.
  • This Grant entails $10,000 in financial support, mentorship and curated industry connections.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Accelerator Lab

  • Annual program for first and second time directors who are self-identifying women or gender nonconforming.
  • Ten projects receive $30,000–$40,000 in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film.
  • Those selected for the Accelerator Lab are eligible for a further bursary from Chicken & Egg Pictures’ partner, The Whickers.

Girls in Film Fund

  • Girls in Film Fund accept applications from female filmmakers (minimum director & producer have to be female) with films of any genre up to 7 minutes in length.
  • Applicants must be resident of UK – £5,000 cash grant provided.
  • Films can be in any stage of production.

Glassbreaker Films Women in Docs Grants

  • Glassbreaker Films WID grants provide funding for women directors who have a unique story to tell and are ready to produce a documentary.
  • They are committed to fully funding projects with total production budgets under $150,000, to provide an opportunity for our filmmakers to focus on their production without the need for further fundraising.

Mama Cash

  • Mama Cash supports ambitious feminist and women’s rights organisations and initiatives led by and for women, girls, trans and intersex people.
  • Grants range from €5,000 to €50,000
  • Each year, Mama Cash supports over 100 women’s, girls’, trans and intersex rights groups that are working to change the world.

The NYC Women’s Fund for Media

  • The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre provides grants to encourage and support the creation of content that reflects the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women.
  • There are specific grants for Documentary Feature ($50,000), Documentary Short ($25,000) and Documentary Webseries ($20,000).
  • In 2020, finishing funds were provided to 94 projects, totalling $2 million.

WIF Film Finishing Fund

  • The Women In Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats, in all genres.
  • To apply for the Finishing Fund, the filmmaker must have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of application.
  • Applications from women around the world are encouraged.

Development Funds

Catapult Film Fund

  • Providing development funding for early stage documentary films
  • Applicants must have secured access to characters and be ready to shoot and edit
  • Supports strong stories of all genres and perspectives
  • Grants of up to $20,000 each
  • Accepts applicants from around the world but only makes grants to 501(c)(3) organisations

Impact Partners Development Fund

  • Impact Partners fund early-stage documentary features, series, or projects. They invest in the development of 4-8 projects a year, with a range of $10,000-$100,000 per project.
  • They accept applications on a rolling basis. Filmmakers can apply to the fund for a variety of reasons as they get their projects off the ground, including development shoots, cutting a trailer or reel, conducting archival research, casting characters, etc.

New Perspectives

  • Doc Society’s New Perspectives Fellowship is a two year artist development opportunity supporting daring new works by US-based directors who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or as members of historically underrepresented communities.
  • This programme combines key project funding, mentorship, and in-depth impact strategy to provide holistic support to the maker at every level.
  • Grants are in the range of $30,000-$45,000.

Rogovy Foundation 

  • The Rogovy Foundation has a number of film grants; its values are to Educate, Inspire and Enrich
  • The Focus Grant offers one-off grants in amounts up to $25,000 – they are currently focussed on investigative journalism.
  • The Miller/Packan Grant supports films in advanced development and each year grants $200,000 to between eight and twelve filmmakers
  • They favour highly targeted projects with a measurable impact

Roy W. Dean Film Grants

  • The Roy W. Dean Film Grants funds films with budgets of $500,000 or less that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without its help, might otherwise never get made.
  • There are 3 Roy W. Dean Film Grants available each year. One for Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
  • Winners of the Roy W. Dean Film Grants receive a cash award as well as goods and discounted services offered by film industry companies and professionals who care about getting good films produced.

Production Funds

CrossCurrents Doc Fund

  • Promoting inclusion in the documentary space, the CrossCurrents Doc Funds foster storytelling from within groups whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented. The filmmaker’s deep connections to the community will offer a unique perspective on the stories they share.
  • There are two funding streams for filmmakers from marginalised communities: CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund which supports Canadian filmmakers and CrossCurrents International Doc Fund which is open to all. The former offers $10,000-$50,000 CAD, whilst the latter offers $10,000-$30,000 CAD

Fork Film Grants

  • Fork Films awards grants to full-length non-fiction films that foster a culture of understanding and work towards a more peaceful and just society, while utilizing powerful and artistic storytelling methods.
  • Specifically, they seek films that promote peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice, with a particular emphasis on projects that bring women’s voices to the forefront.
  • Grants range in amount from $10,000 to $50,000

Pare Lorentz Doc Fund

  • Various annual production grants which average between $15,000 – $25,000, donated in memory of American filmmaker Pare Lorentz
  • Supporting independent, feature-length documentaries that reflect the spirit of Pare Lorentz’s work and show objective research, skilful storytelling and innovative camerawork
  • The project must address a critical issue in the United States and focus on one of Pare Lorentz’s central concerns.
  • Film must be in production, research and development almost finished with post-production work to finish
  • International applications accepted but may be subject to US tax return

World Cinema Aid

  • Aide aux cinémas du monde (World Cinema Aid) is a fund created by the French government and managed by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC) and the Institut français.
  • It grants millions of Euros each year to non-French feature films seeking support from French co-producers.
  • The film must be directed by a non-French director but a French co-producer is required
  • Maximum grant funding is € 250,000.

Post-Production Funds

AXS Film Fund

  • AXS Film Fund was founded to support documentary filmmakers and non-fiction new media creators of color with disabilities.
  • Between violence targeted at people of color, a fearful divided nation, and the global pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to raise a body of more culturally diverse voices.
  • Each year up to 5 directors are given up to $10,000 to complete their projects.

Frameline Completion Fund

  • The Frameline Completion Fund provides grants to emerging and established filmmakers.
  • Grants up to $5,000 are available for the completion of films that represent and reflect LGBTQ+ life in all its complexity and richness.
  • For over a quarter century, Frameline has awarded $595,000 to 168 projects to help ensure that LGBTQ+ film/video projects are completed and viewed by wider audiences.

Gotham Documentary Feature Lab

  • Since 2006, the Gotham Documentary Feature Lab (formerly the IFP Documentary Lab) annually selects 10 nonfiction features—all in post-production and directed by first-time feature filmmakers—and provides the creative teams behind these films with key support through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their work.
  • The Documentary Feature Lab participants will convene three times a year. First during a week-long virtual lab in the spring, then pitching their project at the Gotham Week Project Market in September, and finally during a week-long in-person (NYC) or virtual lab in December.

San Francisco Documentary Film Fund

  • Supports riveting documentaries in post-production distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach
  • Awarded once a year and open to filmmakers internationally
  • Exact amounts of individual grants and the number of grants made will be determined on an annual basis (usually in the range of $10,000 – $25,000).

General Film & TV Funding Resources

Cinereach 

  • 20-30 grants grants are awarded each year to projects in amounts ranging from $5,000-$50,000
  • Cinereach offers grants to support any stage of a film’s progression, from development to completion

Doc Society 

Docscene – Scottish Documentary Institute

The Filmmaker Fund

  • Access to up to $75,000 for independent documentary filmmakers; established and emerging
  • Supporting filmmakers at every stage of production, post-production and distribution.
  • Rolling applications, international applicants accepted

Filmmakers Without Borders

  • Support independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives
  • Grants available for projects at the development, production and post-production stages, and open to filmmakers all over the world

The Fledgling Fund 

  • Grant programme focusing on documentaries that inspire social change: climate change, health care, justice reform, human rights, etc
  • A founding member of Impact Partners, an organisation providing filmmakers around the world with financing, mentorship and the resources to make sure their films and made and reach the widest possible audience

Just Films/ Ford Foundation

  • The film branch of larger charity the Ford Foundation supports artist-driven film and media projects, both fiction and non fiction but with an emphasis on independent documentary
  • Focus on social justice films with strong visual storytelling techniques, inspired by individuals and targeting inequality
  • A partner of the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Independent Television Service and the BRITDOC Foundation.
  • International applications accepted

ITVS

  • Funding single documentary programmes of standard broadcast length (30, 60 or 90 minutes) from independent producers
  • Supporting diverse, engaging creative projects that explore either regional or national topics in the US
  • Films are typically already shot and the editing process begun, although not a post-production fund
  • Grants vary in price depending on the size/field of the project
  • US citizens or residents only

Screencraft Film Fund

  • Supporting range of film projects with grants of up to $30,000
  • Fund awarded twice a year
  • For films at any stage of production

Shine Global

  • Funds stories about children and their families showing resilience
  • Their Fiscal Sponsorship scheme has a rolling deadline.
  • They aim to respond to applications within six weeks.

Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

  • Supporting independent, non-fiction filmmakers globally with grants for development (up to $15,000) and production/post-production (up to $40,000).
  • Open to both US and international applicants.
  • Previously funded projects include The Square, The Invisible War and The Queen of Versailles
  • The Sundance Institute also runs a documentary film training program teaching essential skills to emerging filmmakers

TFI Documentary Fund

  • A number of grants to support exceptional character-driven, nonfiction works that spotlight contemporary themes with an original focus and bold, creative filmmaking
  • Grant amounts range from $25,000 to $50,000 and are open to filmmakers from around the world.

A comprehensive list of documentary funds is available via the International Documentary Association (IDA). 

Audio Funding Resources

Audio Content Fund

  • Supported by the UK Government to fund independent producers.
  • Seeking public service content for UK commercial and community radio.
  • Projects must meet Ofcom standards but criteria are broad.

One World Media Fellowship

  • Supporting creative and engaging non-fiction stories from low- and middle-income countries across the global south.
  • Provides £1000 production grant, an executive producer for your project and industry workshops & webinars.
  • Anyone from around the world can apply. They particularly encourage submissions from underrepresented groups.

Google Podcasts Creator Programme

  • The Google Podcasts creator program is guided by a mission of providing a global audio community with open resources, empowering underrepresented voices, and showcasing new work.
  • Through the virtual accelerator program, independent podcasters have the opportunity to forge close relationships with other podcasters and industry experts from around the world.
  • They will also receive up to $12,000, audio equipment, and the chance to refine their skills in storytelling, sound design, marketing, and more.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants

  • The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.
  • Grants range from £1,000 to £100,000.
  • Allow up to 10 weeks to receive a decision for applications below £15,000. For larger applications, allow up to 16 weeks.

The Hearsay Prize

  • Open to entries from around the world, and non-English audio welcomed. Focus on short-form this year.
  • Fees ranging from 15 Euro for students up to 45 Euro
  • The CREATE Stream is for brand new work whilst the CELEBRATE Stream recognises audio which has already been made (but can be reworked).

Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

  • Open to narrative audio from around the world.
  • The eleven winning stories are supplied with various awards including cash prizes up to $4,500 and national broadcast.
  • Multiple pieces can be submitted but fees do apply.
  • Third Coast also offers a Radio Residency at Ragdale, an artistic community in Illinois. All travel, food and lodging costs are covered.

NextGenRadio: Indigenous

  • Indigenous journalists seeking to improve their digital and multimedia storytelling, audio engineering, and graphic design or illustration skills should apply.
  • This project is open to early professionals in tribal and mainstream newsrooms, and is designed to enhance coverage of Indigenous affairs with Indigenous voices.
  • Training and hands-on experience to produce audio stories for air during the 5-day virtual training

Logan Nonfiction Programme

  • The Logan Nonfiction Program directly supports nonfiction podcasters, writers, documentary filmmakers, photojournalists and multimedia creators so they can tell the stories that matter.
  • They provide lodging, meals, workspace, professional guidance and community.
  • Over 5 years they have had 192 fellows from 41 countries.

Training Programmes and Fellowships

Rory Peck Trust

  • A fund providing financial, training and practical support to freelance journalists/filmmakers working in hazardous situations
  • Applicants will typically have been working in a freelance news gathering position for at least 18 months
  • Provide sponsored hostile environment training, emergency subsistence and legal advice for freelancers
  • Grants vary depending on the needs of the individual

Thomson Foundation

  • Provides training for journalists and film makers across the developing world
  • Runs a digital summer school in London each year
  • Is not a funding organisation, but sometimes can match applicants with a third-party funder
  • Sponsors the Young Journalist of the Year from the Developing World category at the Foreign Press Association Awards, bringing three shortlisted entrants to London each November

Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships

  • Short term research opportunities to individuals interested in working on special projects designed to advance journalism – although candidates need not be practicing journalists

Points North Fellowship

  • Unique opportunity for six filmmakers (or filmmaking teams) to accelerate the development of their feature-length documentary projects through a combination of funding, focused mentorship, workshops, industry meetings and a public pitch session at the Camden International Film Festival
Valerie Kleeman

Chair of the Awards Committee

Valerie Kleeman, Alan’s partner in work and in life, is the Chair of the Awards Committee for The Whickers. Alan and Valerie met in 1969 and remained inseparable until his death in 2013.

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Jane Ray

Consultant Artistic Director

Jane is the Consultant Artistic Director for The Whickers and a multi-award winning documentary maker and executive producer in radio and television. Her awards range from the Sony Award for best news programme (2002) and the TRIC award for best children’s programme (1993) to China’s Golden Kapok award for best director (2014). Having spent 29 years at the BBC, Jane worked with Alan Whicker in the 1990s and in 2015 got the call to help set up a new documentary foundation funded by his generous legacy. She wrote and directed Radio 4’s archive programme about Alan: Around the World in 80 years, presented by Michael Palin, and is immensely proud to have participated in his work for TV and radio.

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Jane Mote

Consultant Editor

Jane is a journalist, storyteller, TV executive, and a champion for the power and accessibility of documentary. As Consultant Editor for documentary foundation The Whickers, she nurtures and supports new audio and film documentary-makers who share a curiosity for the world. She has helped develop filmmakers at Docs by the Sea (Bali), MyDocs (Malaysia), AND – Asian Network of Documentary (Busan) – as well as leading documentary training in Uganda and for the BFI London. The former UK MD of Al Gore’s documentary channel Current, and Executive Editor at BBC London, Jane has also worked for Discovery, Turner, BBC Worldwide, UKTV and the Africa channel. She is also Director of UK-based beechtobeach ltd. 

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Phoebe Hall

Production Manager

Phoebe joined The Whickers in November 2017 to manage the annual documentary funding awards. She was previously Events and Workshops Manager at One World Media, producing their annual journalism awards and managing their projects for nurturing emerging documentary talent. Prior to this, Phoebe was Programme Editor at the Frontline Club, producing their London events programme and managing the International Partners project – working with media centres and film festivals across Russia, Turkey and Eastern Europe on a year-round programme of documentary screenings, panel discussions, and journalistic training.

She studied French with Film at UCL, spending a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, and outside of her studies helped to develop the British Student Film Festival. She is the co-founder of Puppy Fat, a regular screening evening that spotlights the work of emerging filmmakers.

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