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IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab 2023

IF/Then Shorts, in partnership with Hulu Documentary Films called for short-documentary filmmakers based in North America to take part in the 2023 IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab. This lab channels IF/Then and Hulu’s shared vision of creating a new pipeline of diverse talent, incubating strong voices who will be the next class of non-fiction storytellers, and spotlighting creators elevating LGBTQIA+ narratives with their filmmaking prowess.


Three filmmaking teams were chosen to participate in a nine-month lab focused on short-documentary production and career training. Filmmakers will be individually mentored through a six-month production intensive led by IF/Then program staff with the goal of being “premiere-ready” by September 2023. For the remainder of the program, filmmakers will receive high-level festival and distribution strategy consultations from IF/Then staff.

The program includes additional mentorship from industry consultants and professional development sessions from Hulu staff, including an in-person screening event and cohort reception at a partner film festival in Los Angeles (with travel stipends provided for each filmmaking team.) IF/Then staff will also provide guidance on publicity materials and legal support in the form of consultation, clearance, and pre-publication review. For the remainder of the program, filmmakers will receive high-level festival and distribution strategy consultations from IF/Then staff.

Each team will receive a $30,000 grant to use for the completion of their film. Upon completion of the films’ final cuts, Hulu will have an opportunity to review the work for acquisition and/or further development.

This opportunity will be open to filmmakers living in/from North America, with an emphasis on Black and/or Indigenous filmmakers, LGBTQIA+ filmmakers, other people of color, women, recent immigrants, and individuals who identify as having a disability. We welcome any and all stories with a strong preference around subjects related to gender, underrepresented voices in the LGTBQIA+ community, or narratives unique to the QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.


In addition to the identity eligibility of the maker and the theme, eligible IF/Then Shorts projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an original short documentary with a final duration of 10-30 minutes.
  • Be completed within six to nine months of receiving the IF/Then Shorts grant.
  • Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be designed for a U.S. audience.
  • Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured.
  • Be completed with skillful storytelling and delivered meeting broadcast quality standards.
  • Be presented in English or subtitled in English.
  • Have no prior or current third parties (E.g., distributors, financiers, completion guarantors, networks, studios, etc.) or distribution engaged or attached, have full ownership of the documentary and all rights (including copyright), title, and interest of the project and all of its associated materials and elements, such that the filmmaker is able to grant Hulu an all-rights a worldwide, perpetual, non-revocable royalty free license for distribution, exploitation, and publicity on request, and may further develop the short with Hulu without any issues.
  • All stories and storytellers coming from countries and territories in North America. This includes the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa,), Canada, Greenland, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela, and countries in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Clipperton Island, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Saba, St. Andres and Providencia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.



Hao Zhou, Director, Producer
Tyler Hill, Producer
Location: Iowa, Guam

Reuniting with their craft, family, and culture, a costume designer travels from Iowa to their homeland of Guam to create costumes for a children’s theater production.


Angelo Madsen Minax, Director, Producer
Location: Vermont

At a small-town dive bar called BABES, Cribbage tournaments overlap afternoons of karaoke and nights of raucous queer dance parties. When the aging conservative townsfolk of Bethel, Vermont and the younger queer leftists begin sharing the same watering hole, a delicate alliance flourishes.


Meg Shutzer, Co-Director, Producer
Brandon Yadegari Moreno, Co-Director, Director of Photography
Location: California

In San Francisco, a city known for its vibrant gay community, nowhere feels like home anymore to Malia Spanyol, a self-identified dyke who sets out to build a space for the next generation of women and femmes.


The application portal opened February 28, 2023 and closed on March 21, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT.

February 28, 2023 - Application opened for IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab

March 21, 2023 - Application closed at 11:59 PM PT

Early May 2023 - Selected projects announced

July 2023 - In-person activation

Please direct any questions regarding this program to ifthenshorts@fieldofvision.org.

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