This list has been compiled as a guide to help documentary filmmakers in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on the filmmaking community.
We’re going to keep adding to this document as we find any more support available to the community.
We’re also hoping to provide more initiatives and services ourselves, and you’ll be able to find all of those as we add them on this page.
This guide is separated into the following sections:
- Field of Vision Resources
- General Data and Preparation
- Industry Work Information
- Relief Funds for Filmmakers & Small Business
- Current Project Funding
- COVID-19 Financial Help: Resource Lists and Guides
- Industry COVID-19 News
- Festival Status & Updates
- Other Resources
This is a living document and will be updated as more information becomes available.
We'd like to acknowledge and thank the organizations who have made their own compilations of resources available to the community, including: Creative Capital, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Washington Filmworks, Coronavirus Resource Kit, Collective Care By State, Dear Producer Blog, and Independent Cinema Office.
If you know of any other support available to filmmakers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with information.
Field of Vision Resources
Mentorship & Consultation Service
Our virtual "office hours" service is available for filmmakers, and offers consultation on a variety of areas. We’re prioritising filmmakers who’ve been affected by festival postponements and production changes, but will also be available to offer a range of mentorship and consultation around a variety of areas.
We have booked up our first 200 allocated meetings, but are running a waitlist and hope to open up more slots asap. The waitlist is here
Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund
A $250,000 fund to provide grants for freelancers working in the Documentary field. The fund distributes unrestricted grants of up to $2000 to support personal financial needs during the COVID19 pandemic to freelancers who have experienced hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a result of the pandemic.
The fund is open to freelancers working. worldwide
The fund will open next on May 6th from 9am ET until May 8th at 6pm ET or until we reach 750 applications.
Information about the fund can be found here.
Field of Vision Project Funding
Field of Vision provides funding for both Short, Feature-length and Episodic projects at all stages of development, production and post-production. We have no deadlines and commission and fund on a rolling basis. We are looking for a strong artistic vision and approach and films that tell the stories of our world from new perspectives.
To see our criteria please visit our submissions guidelines here
Features & Episodic
General Data and Preparation
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, it is important to stay up to date with information related to public health and civic engagement. Below are sources for general information and statistics about the outbreak:
Industry Work Information
The nature of our industry makes work stoppage and social distancing difficult. Below are resources for filmmakers who have to travel, work on location, or work from home for the first time:
Travel and On Set Information
Working from Home
Other Industry Resources
Please note: Specific filming restrictions can vary from state to state, country to country, and so on. You should check with your local film office regarding filming on location at this time.
Relief Funds for Filmmakers and Small Business
Below are new funds set up specifically to relieve filmmakers during this time:
Artist Relief - This fund will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. It was designed by Americans for the Arts to better identify and address the needs of artists.
BFI and the Film and TV Charity’s Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund - BFI and Film and TV Charity have partnered to create a new industry-backed Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to help support the creative community in the UK.
Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resource - A list specifically designed to serve all types of freelance artists and those interested in supporting the independent artist community during this time
COVID-19 WOC Artists Relief Fund - This fund is specifically for women of color working artists or creatives that have been directly impacted financially in light of COVID-19.
Disability Arts New Commissions - Disability Arts Online is a UK-based small organisation, committed to supporting their community during this time they’ve allocated £8,000 to new commissions for artists with disabilities.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program - Facebook is providing assistance in cash grants and ad credits.
Freelancers Relief Fund - Freelancers Relief Fund will provide financial assistance of up to $1,000 to freelancers who are experiencing sudden hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether as a result of illness, lost work, or caregiving responsibilities.
Global Open Call for Art - Amplifier has created an open call for work that focuses on public health, flattening the curve, and mental health during this global crisis. The organization will award $1,000 apiece to 50 artists, with new winning works announced each week, starting the first week of April.
NYFA Emergency Grants - Resources for arts and cultural organizations based here in New York and elsewhere.
PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund - PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rauschenberg Emergency Grants Program - Expected to be rolled out in late May or early June the grant will provide visual artists, media artists, and choreographers up to $5,000 worth of assistance for medical emergencies.
Relief Fund for Hollywood Support Staff - The entertainment organizations #PayUpHollywood, Scriptnotes Podcast and YEA! have teamed up to create the Hollywood Support Staff COVID-19 Relief Fund, aimed to assist LA-based support staffers affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns.
SAG-AFTRA Disaster Relief - Financial help to SAG-AFTRA members who have been impacted by this pandemic
Current Project Funding
Compiled Lists of Project Funding
American Documentary’s Filmmaker Resources - An extensive list of US and international funding sources
Doc Society Resource List - These links and documents are designed to connect you to the organisations you need to know to get your doc funded and make it all happen.
The EDN DOCalendar - The EDN DOCalendar provides an overview of what's happening in the international documentary industry.
International Documentary Association - Fiscal Sponsorship & Grants - A searchable database of available grants and fellowships
Upcoming Funding Deadlines
Here are a few upcoming deadlines for key funding opportunities. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but we’ll be adding to it over time
The SFFILM Documentary Film Fund (DFF) supports engaging documentaries in post-production which exhibit compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach.
Deadline: April 30th, 2020
Stage: Late Production and Post-Production
Provides funds to feature-length documentaries which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world.
Deadline: April 30th, 2020
Stage: Production or Post-Production
Supports Docs that address social issues that inspire others.
Stage: Advanced Development, Production or Post-Production
Firelight’s William Greaves Fund is a research and development grant that supports nonfiction filmmakers of color based in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Brazil.
2020 funding focus is on criminal justice.
Stage: Early Production
The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for feature-length projects that display artful and innovative film language and techniques, rigorous research, originality, project feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and the potential to reach and connect with its intended audience.
Stage: Development, Production & Post-Production
The documentary can be on any subject, viewpoint or style as long as it is in active production already, as evidenced via a ten to fifteen-minute work in progress sample. *not a grant, co-production agreement.
Deadline: July and then re-opens again in Feb 2021.
NYC Women’s Fund provides grants to encourage and support the creation of digital, film, music, television, and live theatre content that reflects the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women.
Deadline:*Opens Summer 2020/check site for updates.
Stage: Post-Production/Finishing Funds
The Fund looks to support exceptional stories by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds: stories that take creative risks, inspire dialogue, and are rarely seen on public media.
The Puffin Foundation has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.
The TFI fund sponsors documentaries that spotlight contemporary themes with unique, creative filmmaking.
Deadline: Opens in the fall.
Stage: Any stage of development or production
Most recently interested in climate change, but social justice/impact is at the core of the fund.
Deadline: Re-opens in the Fall. *check site for updates
Stage: Typically Post
Perspective provides grant support to independently produced documentary films that highlight social justice and human rights issues, that align with our priority areas.
Stage: Any stage of development or production
Catapult is not tied to any specific social issue agenda. We support and encourage filmmakers to tell a full range of stories on film in whatever form fits the film and artist.
Cinereach awards grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to support any stage of feature film production
Stage: Any stage of development or production.
COVID-19 Financial Help: Resource Lists and Guides
Creative Capital List - Creative capital aggregated list of resources for artists working in all disciplines, as well as arts philanthropists, and arts professionals.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance - The US Department of Labor’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides temporary benefits to people who, due to a major disaster, lost or had their employment or self-employment interrupted.
Emergency Funds for Freelancers - A list of mutual aid funds that distribute emergency grants to artists, creative professionals and freelancers facing financial hardships
Firelight SBA Loan Consultation - With the support of the Perspective Fund, Firelight Media is offering 30 minute one-on-one consultations for filmmakers of color who are applying for US Coronavirus Federal Relief.
IFP Resources for Filmmakers - Independent Filmmaker Project has curated a list of resource pages and opportunities we’ve found particularly useful and inspiring in these uncertain times.
ITVS: Applying for Federal Coronavirus Relief as a Filmmaker - Firelight Media, IDA, and ITVS are hosting a series of hour-long webinars to learn the basics of applying for the various SBA programs.
National Endowment for the Arts: COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations - A list of organizations that are currently providing frequently updated news and resources for artists and arts organizations.
New York State: Resources for New York State Arts and Cultural Organizations - The New York State Council on the Arts is compiling and daily updating resources to support New York State's artists and arts organizations, including emergency funds, small business support, learning opportunities, management support, and discipline-specific resources.
NYC Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus - Applications for the NYC Business Continuity Loan Fund may be paused for now, but there are other resources here for businesses operating in the five boroughs.
Southern Documentary Fund: Resources for Southern Filmmakers - A list of the websites, emergency funds and resource listings for Covid-19 response to artists and freelancers from the twelve Southern states that SDF serves
Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources - The US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) page for coronavirus funding options, CDC guidance for businesses and employers, and more.
Women Arts Media Coalition - A glossary and links to many resources, brought to you by the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition with the assistance WomenArts
Women Make Movies: Regional Resources - Many organizations are providing resources and support on the local level. Check out WWM’s list of regional resources to see if your local arts organization can help.
Remote Work Sites, Opportunities, Resources
Industry COVID-19 News
Festival Status & Updates
Below you’ll find links to the latest festival news. Many festivals are still scheduled for the fall; we've included submission dates for several below. We’ve also included links to updates from festivals that have been cancelled and postponed. Please feel free to send updates to help our community stay informed.
And please check out our Google calendar for upcoming festival deadlines: https://bit.ly/3bnJnaQ
Festivals: Upcoming Deadlines
Regular Deadline - May 29
Final Deadline - June 12
Late Deadline - June 5
Regular Deadline - April 24
Late Deadline - May 8
Regular Deadline - April 27
Late Deadline - May 26
Extended Deadline - June 29
Late Deadline - May 1
Extended Deadline - July 1
Early Deadline - May 1
Late Deadline - August 1
Late Deadline - May 8
Extended Deadline - June 19
Late Deadline - May 31, 2020
Extended Deadline - July 31, 2020
Deadline - July 7
List of Festivals that have been affected by the pandemic: