From his home in Rio de Janeiro, The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes extensively on international politics. But as any viewer of the Academy Award-winning documentary Citizenfour can attest, he shares that home in Rio with a host of dogs. In fact, though the film follows Greenwald to Hong Kong to meet NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and tracks the reverberations of Snowden’s revelations in the ensuing weeks and months — the first characters we encounter are a few handsome hounds lounging in Greenwald’s living room. According to Greenwald, he and his partner have 16 dogs at the moment — the total tends to fluctuate. “We count two of them as foster dogs, but a lot of times that’s just a conceit. We’ve called them foster dogs and then gotten attached to them and don’t give them away,” he says via phone from Brazil. As his recent stories for The Intercept explore — along with Heloisa Passos’ companion films for Field of Vision, Birdie and Karollyne, which Greenwald co-produced — Greenwald’s impulse to care for wayward animals is shared by Rio’s homeless population. In the following conversation, he talks about what led him to examine this emotionally provocative phenomenon, as well as what might be gained through the partnership of written and film reportage.

Were these stories about the homeless and their pets an outgrowth of your own relationships with dogs?

Greenwald: Since I work at home, I’m just around them all the time. My relationship to dogs is a really central, crucial part of my life, and that’s made me think a lot about what that relationship is and what each party to that relationship receives — not just materially and psychologically, but emotionally. So once I started focusing on the way in which homeless people seemed to have what I would call a singular, particularly bonded relationship with dogs — obviously my own relationship with dogs is a prism through which I started thinking about that.

You talk in the story about how homeless people often feel unseen, yet the fact that their dogs are more readily acknowledged actually leads to owners being and feeling seen. Was that your way into seeing them as well?

Greenwald: Definitely. My first assumption when I first started seeing homeless people on the street panhandling with dogs was that it was just a prop used to generate increased sympathy. And part of the reason I assumed that was because it worked for me — I would be more kind and stop and reach into my pocket and give money if I thought this homeless person was caring for a dog. So of course once you see a dog on the street that seems to have a medical problem or is in distress or seems thin, you obviously can’t talk to the dog; you have to talk to the person caring for the dog about how you can help. And that process of having to actually talk to another human being who otherwise you’d be inclined not to talk to starts opening you up to looking at the reality of who they are and seeing their humanness. I think if you have any empathy at all it just starts making you bond with those people, because what you ultimately realize is that my relationship with my dogs is extremely similar to their relationship to theirs.

As journalists, a big part of our job is finding some sort of ground on which to talk to people — that’s how we get information. Yet there’s still a hesitation regarding homeless people, a wall to get past.

Greenwald: In your interview with Kirsten Johnson [director of The Above, a film about a U.S. military surveillance blimp tethered above Kabul], she actually talked about that in a way that I thought was really interesting. She was saying how you go to Afghanistan and you think you’re going to be this invisible fly on the wall, that you’re just going to kind of blend in, but of course your life is so radically different than the people with whom you’re interacting, and you have to be cognizant of the difference and not pretend it doesn’t exist because that’s part of what’s shaping the reality, right?

Even among the homeless people I know best and who know me — we live, to some extent, in different worlds, and there is inherently a big gulf between my perspective and experience and theirs. They’re aware of that and I’m aware of it, and it is important to not delude yourself into thinking otherwise. But at the same time you can actually find common ground — genuinely common ground — so that those differences, while not becoming eliminated entirely, become minimized. And that takes work, but I think it’s crucial to be able to reach an empathetic state with somebody else.

How did you find your way into Karollyne’s community?

Greenwald: It was pretty random at first. Because in big cities … Do you live in a major city?

Yes, New York.

Greenwald: One thing that’s always struck me about New York is it’s this massive, sprawling city with millions of people, but you kind of end up living in the same few square blocks. It’s almost like you’re in a village — you go to the same convenience store, you go to the same supermarket, you go to the same restaurants, you see the same waiters, the same people. Here in Rio, when I would see homeless people with their dogs repeatedly, I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable about ignoring their existence. Like, oh, there’s that same guy with the same two dogs.

Now, the encampment where [Karollyne and others] live is about six or seven minutes from my house. I live on this mountain in the forest in the middle of the city, and they’re my neighbors, basically. I would pass by there all the time and I had no idea what it was, but I always noticed a large number of dogs out front. Sometimes it’d be the same ones, sometimes it’d be different ones. It was clear that they were homeless just because of how free they were walking around, with no collar, no leash, no home. But I always noticed they were incredibly well cared for, because if I see a dog on the street I always look to see if they’re emaciated or sick or whatever, and that’s when I’ll stop. But these dogs were robust and healthy, and it was always so confusing to me. Occasionally I would see humans with them, and at some point I started realizing that it was a group of five or six people. I started thinking that this almost seems like a collective of homeless people taking care of a large number of dogs together. But I never really penetrated it, and I never really tried all that much, because I never knew what it was — it was always kind of confounding.

Then once we started working on this film, and started talking about who we wanted to focus on, I told Heloisa [about it] and she said, “Let’s just go there and poke around and see what we can find.” And that’s when we talked to a couple of them and they invited us behind the wall. The thing that’s so fascinating is that, for all of them, caring for these animals is their lives. When they talk about their animals they get super animated — they’ll tell you about every last personality and behavioral trait of one of their dogs. They’re super devoted to it.

Where do all these dogs come from?

Greenwald: The reason they have so many dogs — and the reason we have so many — is that the forest we live in is the place that people go when they want to abandon their dogs, because they can drop them out of a car and no one sees them. They must think that they’ll be able to survive better because they’re in the forest, where they won’t get hit by cars — which isn’t true. There are so many abandoned dogs here, not dogs that are born into homelessness but dogs that were at one point domesticated but then got dumped. And those dogs can’t fend for themselves. So you have this group of homeless people who are dirt fucking poor, who literally don’t know where their next meal is coming from, who have this moral indignation about how unethical and immoral it is that these bourgeois, middle-class and rich people come in their cars and drop their dogs off. And they sacrifice their lives to pick up the responsibility that those other people have breached.

Morality gets completely inverted because it’s usually they who are being judged and condemned, but it’s totally the reverse. Now it’s always been my childhood dream to live in a forest or on a farm and just take care of animals, and we’re basically doing that, and they’re doing it five minutes away from us. We’re doing exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons and exactly the same emotion, except they’re homeless and indigent and we’re not.

So how do you process and accept that? If you live in such a different economic situation but have common ground with them, and if you support what they’re doing for the animals, what gives? Does something still need to change?

Greenwald: It’s really complicated. On the one hand, I think that there’s a temptation or tendency to want to idealize poverty and homelessness if you’re not in it, because you get to feel better about it. Like, “Oh, they’re freer and they’re not chained to a desk and their lives aren’t all mucked up with this extraneous bullshit. They get to focus on human relationships and their internal life and their relationships with their dogs.” And there is some truth to it. I spent a lot of time with them, and they don’t have this “woe is me, my life is dark and dank and miserable” that a lot of people on the street do. They have kind of made the best of it. It’s not a house that they have, but it’s a structure and they’ve set it up like a home. And they do seem really fulfilled to me.

But that’s easy for me to say, right? Because I’m not worried about where I’m getting dinner, or scrounging in garbage cans for food, or relying on the kindness of strangers, who may or may not come through at any moment. There are all of these programs to help unemployed people, or to help the homeless, and there are all these other programs to help animals, like shelters and funds — but this is actually a fusion of both causes. If you can create a template where you can raise money for homeless people who love animals, to have that be their job, their purpose, you’re not only improving their lives, but also the lives of all the animals for whom they’re caring. That’s the template they’ve created and so we’ve started to formalize how we’re working with them and how we’re helping them. There is something really qualitative about it — the way their lives are filled with love and affection and empathy and concern and caregiving, and it’s mutual. If you could bottle and capture it the right way, it could be really powerful.

Was it your idea to bring the film component in? How do you see it working alongside your own reporting?

Greenwald: From the start [with The Intercept], the question was how can we merge written journalism with visual journalism in order to make it all more compelling? Laura [Poitras] is over here making films, and Jeremy Scahill and I are over here writing articles — we’re doing them in the same room but not together. We wanted to figure out how to make each other’s work more potent. I’ve been thinking for a while about this issue of the relationship between dogs and the homeless, and realized pretty early on that words could never do it justice, that you could never do something like this without there being a visual component to it.

So I went to Laura and told her what I wanted to do, and she happens to know Heloisa who’s a really accomplished filmmaker. She did some of the cinematography work on Citizenfour in Brazil, filming me when I went to the airport to pick up my partner when he had been released from detention, and other scenes in Rio that involved me. So I told her my vision for the film, what I wanted to achieve from it, and she kind of took it and did her thing with it. She went and scouted, and I went and scouted. And she found Birdie and I found the camp.

How did it affect your reporting and writing, knowing that this film was going to be made?

Greenwald: It’s such a huge luxury, but also makes it harder in a way that’s really great. Imagine if there had been no film. So much of what I wrote would had to have been factual exposition. Like — this guy is Birdie, here’s why his name is Birdie, here’s his experiences, here’s why he went to prison, here’s where he works and sleeps, here’s how he makes money, and here’s a zillion quotes from him describing his life. There’s so much factual explanation just to get people to know who this is, that I really wouldn’t have had all that much room, mental or physical room, to do the kind of deep dive contemplation or meditation on what the relationship is, and what the significance is.

But because there was a film that showed all of that so much better than I ever could have described it, I was completely liberated from that exposition. That left me to reflect on why this moves me, and why I think this is so thought provoking. And that’s much harder writing, because you’re writing from a place of emotion and psychological reflection, and it’s a much more vulnerable place from which to write, especially if you’re not accustomed to doing it. I’m usually writing political polemics that are hard charging and factual and rational. So it was very challenging, but I think what I ended up writing was so much better because the film did so much of the important reporting work.

As you said, film can do some things better, but a lot of it you could do, it just has a different effect. It almost seems to throw into relief the assets of each form.

Greenwald: [Before this], I wrote a book and Laura made a film about very similar events — which was the meetings we had in Hong Kong with Snowden, and what preceded it and what came from it. There was a time very early on when we were going to release the film and the book jointly — so that we weren’t rushing to beat the other person, and out of fear that one would make the other redundant. But what we realized really quickly was that there was no chance of that — even though so much of what we were doing was similar in terms topic and the event — that the book was going to create a thought process about all of it that was different from what the film would produce. If anything, they would complement each other. And that is what excited me about what we’re working on now with The Intercept and Field of Vision. Because you’re right, it’s not that the film did something that the written word couldn’t do, but it does it differently. Maybe it addresses different parts of your brain. Maybe you interact with things differently in visual form than in written form. It’s almost like the difference between watching a film in two dimensions or three dimensions.

In both these films and your written reporting, the emotional lives of dogs are being respected alongside the lives of the people. Yet there’s always a limit to what you can learn as a journalist because you can’t talk to them. You can’t interview them the way you normally would. How do you deal with and factor in that limitation?

Greenwald: I think a huge amount of humility is required if you’re going to do this right. First of all, there’s a huge hazard — which is that dogs are a really effective tool for manipulating other people’s emotions. It’s really easy to appeal to all the clichés that humans have about dogs. So obviously we wanted to avoid that. And look — there’s an enormous amount that we don’t know about this relationship because we can’t fully understand dogs. I guess you could look at it and say, well, the fact there’s so much of it that’s inscrutable is something that makes the topic less valuable. But for me, it makes it so much more valuable. That’s probably why I value my relationships with my dogs more than anything else, because I know that they perceive and sense things and process things in a way that’s completely different than I do, and that I can’t actually fully access.

So the process of my trying to learn about how they perceive the world and respond to it is incredibly educational. It’s almost like moving to a different country — the way you think about cultural and language things differently when you do that. So this being shares some common perspectives with you, but in other ways has totally different faculties that you just have to accept that you can’t access. There are some things we can know and other things that we can’t. And in the things we can’t know — that’s the most profound area.

Field of Vision is partnering with Lawyers for Reporters to launch a free legal clinic for freelancers working in documentary in the United States. This program will provide legal information about specific topics and possible referrals to pro bono legal counsel.

Lawyers for Reporters is a joint project of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund that provides pro bono legal assistance to local journalists and media organizations.

Our volunteer lawyers can provide people working as freelancers in the documentary film community in the U.S. with information about the following subjects:

  • Newsgathering rights and potential legal exposure from newsgathering (but we cannot advocate on your behalf regarding Freedom of Information (FOI) requests).
  • Legal risks of publishing content, such as defamation, invasion of privacy, and copyright infringement
  • Licenses, releases, and other content- and distribution-related contracts, but excluding film financing and other complex agreements
  • Risk assessment for filmmaking and security issues

If you are interested in receiving information and a possible referral to pro bono counsel, please fill out the intake form below. After your request is received, a member of our team will let you know whether an information session with our volunteer lawyers can be scheduled.

Intake Form Here.

Please note:

  • This program can only provide information, not legal advice.
  • Completing an intake form does not automatically qualify you for an information session.
  • Submitting an intake form and discussing a matter with a volunteer lawyer does not create an attorney-client relationship that would protect confidential information from disclosure in a legal proceeding.
  • A referral to pro bono counsel is not guaranteed even after a consultation.
Image from The Trial by Johanna Hamilton.

IF/Then Shorts, in partnership with Hulu Documentary Films calls short-documentary filmmakers based in North America to take part in the Inaugural 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.

Program Details:

Four filmmaking teams will be chosen to participate in a one-year lab focused on short-documentary production and career training. For the first six months, filmmakers will be individually mentored through production by IF/Then staff and take part in monthly virtual cohort trainings, consisting of keynotes from industry heavy-hitters and edit consultations. Upon rough cut of their projects, filmmakers will be invited to debut their works-in-progress to an invitation-only audience and receive feedback. For the remainder of the program, filmmakers will finalize their cuts and receive high-level festival and distribution strategy consultations, along with guidance creating their publicity materials, and pro-bono legal support. Hulu will have the right to review the projects for potential acquisition or further development.

Each team will receive a $25,000 grant to use for the production of their film.

This opportunity will be open to individuals living in/from North America, with an emphasis on Black and/or Indigenous filmmakers, people of color, women, LGBTQ+, recent immigrants, and individuals who identify as having a disability. We will welcome any and all stories from underrepresented voices, with a strong preference around subjects related to gender, the LGTBQ community or issues unique to the BIPOC community.

Project Eligibility:

  • 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 10-20 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 presented in English or subtitled in English
  • Have no prior distribution attached and be able to participate in the IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative
  • 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.


The application portal will open on January 15, 2021 and close at 11:59pm EST on Feb 15th.

  • January 15, 2021: Open call for IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab
  • March 31, 2021: Finalists announced
  • April 5, 2021: Virtual Program Kickoff


Submissions are now closed.

Please direct any questions regarding this application to

Starting July 22, IF/Then Shorts has a new home at Field of Vision. Joining Field of Vision will be IF/Then Shorts Program Director Chloe Gbai and Supervising Producer Caitlin Mae Burke. Founded in 2017 with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, IF/Then Shorts is a fund and mentorship program that supports storytellers in breaking barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability in the media landscape. IF/Then works with creators who experience inequity based on factors such as race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, age, citizenship, and/or geography.

IF/Then Shorts taps into the need for broader geographical representation in the stories that get told through its regional pitch events. It holistically supports short documentary storytellers in their creation of compelling, character-led, community-inspired stories that embody the breadth and diversity of the people and places they represent.

The program addresses the imbalance of representation, perspective, power, compensation, and career longevity among independent filmmakers and media artists. IF/Then Shorts leverages access, expertise, network, and brand to address these challenges. Through grants, mentorship, industry connections, and professional development, IF/Then Shorts helps to ensure that storytellers from a multitude of backgrounds have access to the resources and tools they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and thrive in their careers. IF/Then Shorts was previously part of the Tribeca Film Institute, which is planning to pause operations indefinitely in September. "IF/Then Shorts is an incredible program, and one that’s vital to the field," said Charlotte Cook, Field of Vision's Co-Founder and Executive Producer. "We’re so glad that they can find their new home with Field of Vision. The program’s values align perfectly with Field of Vision, and further our overall commitment to shorts and advocating for filmmakers. Chloe and Caitlin are phenomenal, and I feel so lucky that they’ll be joining our team."

IF/Then Program Director Chloe Gbai said of the move: "We’re so excited that thanks to the MacArthur Foundation and Field of Vision we can keep this funding and development pipeline open to diverse, creative nonfiction talent past TFI’s pause this September. This program will have a new life and is ready to uplift the voices that we need to champion during these interesting times."

Supervising Producer Caitlin Mae Burke added: "As a former Field of Vision filmmaker myself, I know how beneficial it is to work with these trailblazers in the short documentary space. I'm overjoyed that all of our active projects and future supported filmmakers will benefit so immensely from this move, and we look forward to the tremendous growth potential for IF/Then possible under the Field of Vision umbrella." IF/Then is currently holding an open call for the North Shorts Grant and Fellowship, in partnership with Points North Institute, The Screening Room, Jigsaw Productions, and the LEF Foundation, for regional filmmakers in the American Northeast. About Chloe Gbai Chloe Gbai is the Director of IF/Then Shorts. Previously, as the POV Shorts and Streaming Producer, she launched POV Shorts, which earned POV its third documentary short Oscar® nomination, two News & Doc Emmy nominations and an IDA Awards nomination for Best Short Form Series.  She has previously worked at Teen Vogue and Viacom, as well as served on review panels and juries for the National Endowment for the Arts, Sheffield Doc/Fest, ITVS, IDA Awards, Black Public Media, Creative Capital, and various other film organizations. She is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and a member-in-residence of the Meerkat Media Collective.

About Caitlin Mae Burke Caitlin Mae Burke is an Emmy-winning producer. Her films have screened and won awards at top tier festivals including Sundance, Berlinale, and Tribeca Film Festival and have been broadcast across the US and around the world. Her work has screened at MoMA, The Museum of the Moving Image, and in movie theaters internationally. She is an inaugural inductee to DOC NYC's "40 Under 40" and alumna of Berlinale Talents. IF/Then currently has funding opportunities available for filmmakers. Please find more information here.

Field of Vision has partnered with Doc Society and Sundance Institute to launch Independent Documentary: Filming in the Time of Corona, a new Risk Assessment Guide for independent documentary filmmakers who are considering starting or resuming production during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Many filmmakers are asking themselves — and others in the documentary field — the big question: Should I be filming at all?

As our field discusses and debates this particular question — and its ethical and and public health implications — Field of Vision, Doc Society, Sundance Institute, and our co-signatories are offering a “living document” that provides guidelines, a checklist, and questions for independent documentary film teams to ask themselves, each other and their partners. It is our hope that this guide will help filmmakers make informed decisions and help keep everyone safe.

We’d like to acknowledge our gratitude to all of the the co-signatories of the Risk Assessment Guide, who helped consult on, and improve the guide: Asian American Documentary Network (ADoc), Asociación de Documentalistas de Puerto Rico (ADocPR), ACOS (A Culture Of Safety) Alliance, Ambulante, American Documentary/POV, Black Public Media, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Chicken & Egg, DOCUBOX, Impact Partners, Indian Documentary Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, National Association of Latino Producers (NALIP), Pacific Islanders in Communications, Perspective Fund, Scottish Documentary Institute, Topic, Vision Maker Media: Native Stories for Public Broadcasting, and others.

This is a rapidly changing situation as well as a long-term reality. Those of us in the documentary field will need to be mindful, flexible, and diligent as our risk assessment continues to evolve in order to keep not only our community safe but also the communities we collaborate with in the stories we tell. This new normal is unprecedented, but our documentary community is nothing if not committed to responding to this profoundly unique situation.

The guide will be updated as the situation develops and as we receive additional feedback from filmmakers and support organizations.

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 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:

COVID-19 Data Pack from Information is Beautiful

Symptoms and Statistics

Emergency Kit- Al Jazeera

Legal rights in a quarantine

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:

The Economic Impact of Coronavirus Survey

Travel and On Set Information

How to travel during the international coronavirus outbreak

On Set Tips: From Washington’s Film Worker (bottom of page)

Film and TV Charity Covid-19 Advice

Working from Home

Work from home securely

These are the internet providers offering free Wi-Fi during coronavirus

Avid free 90-day licenses

FREE Temporary Licenses and More to Help You Work from Home

How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces

Series of webinars for the suddenly remote workforce

Other Industry Resources

What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis

Pro Bono PR Services for Films with Festival Cancellations

Ways to Help Artists and Creatives During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Ideas for responding to COVID-19 in the Film Industry

Cash Flow for Filmmakers Webinar

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


SFFILM Documentary Film Fund

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

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

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


Rogovy/Miller Packan Doc Fund

Supports Docs that address social issues that inspire others.

Stage: Advanced Development, Production or Post-Production

William Greaves Fund

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.

Stage: Development


IDA/Pare Lorentz

2020 funding focus is on criminal justice.

Stage: Early Production

Sundance Doc Fund

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


ITVS Open Call

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.

Stage: Production

NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theater

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


ITVS Diversity Development Fund

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.

Stage: Development

Puffin Foundation

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.

Stage: Any


Tribeca Film Institute Doc Fund

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

Fledgling Film Fund

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

Rolling Deadlines

Perspective Fund

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 Film Fund

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.

Stage: Development

Cinereach Feature Film Fund

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

Remote Work Opportunities

Remote Film Jobs Bechance



Creative Commissions

Industry COVID-19 News

Break COVID-19 Industry Cancellations

Privilege and Pandemic: How COVID-19 Reveals the Documentary Sustainability Crisis

Most SXSW Shorts Are Streaming Free Thanks to Oscilloscope and Mailchimp

A Way of Life in Peril

Select Film Festivals and Indie Movies Figure Out Online Access

Alamo Drafthouse relief fund for furloughed staff members

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:

Festivals: Upcoming Deadlines

Toronto International Film Festival

Regular Deadline - May 29

Final Deadline - June 12

AFI Festival

Late Deadline - June 5

Open City Documentary Film Festival

Regular Deadline - April 24

Late Deadline - May 8

Camden International Film Festival

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

New Orleans Film Festival

Late Deadline - May 8

Extended Deadline - June 19


Late Deadline - May 31, 2020

Extended Deadline - July 31, 2020

DOK Leipzig

Deadline - July 7

List of Festivals that have been affected by the pandemic:


Full Frame


Sun Valley Film Festival

TCM Classic Film Festival

International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights

European media arts festival

The Miami Film Festival

San Diego Latino Film Festival

Ashland Independent Film Festival

Watsonville Film Festival

Indie Grits

Provincetown International Film Festival

International Uranium Film Festival (Almeria)

BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival

San Francisco International Film Festival


Cleveland International Film Festival



Garden State Film Festival


Sydney Film Festival

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival


Riverrun International Film

Fargo Film Festival

Columbus Documentary Week

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival

Sun Valley Film Festival

Online Only

Thin Line


Garden State Film Festival

Films on Art Festival (FIFA) Montreal

Movies that Matter film festival

DC Environmental

Hot Docs

Vilnius IFF

Visions du Reel

Environmental Film Festival (Washington, D.C.)

Cinema du Reel


Greenwich International



Canadian Film Fest

New Directors New Films

Montclair Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Beverly Hills Film Festival

Prague International Film Festival

Bentonville Film Festival

Red Sea International Film Festival

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Blackbird Film Festival


Dox on the Fox

Oxford Film Festival

Havana Film Festival New York

Cannes Film Festival

Sarasota Film Festival

Edinburgh Film Festival

Sonoma International Film Festival

International Uranium Film Festival (Rio)

Newport Beach Film Festival

Doc10 Film Festival

American Black Film Festival

Sofia Film Festival (Bulgaria)

Red Sea Film Festival (Saudi Arabia)

Seattle Jewish Film Festival

St Patrick's Film Festival London

Calgary Underground Film

QDoc Film Fest


AKS International Minorities

Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival


Denver Women + Film

Cinema St. Louis Qfest


Atlanta Film Festival

Salem Film Festival

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival

Princeton Environmental Film Festival

Millennium Docs Against


Sebastopol Documentary

ACT Human Rights Film

IFF Boston

Maine Jewish Film Festival

OutShine Miami LGBT Film

Other Resources

Watch free IDFA movies

Tired of Netflix? Stream Experimental Films and Video Art

Sundance Collab Master Classes

Netflix Party

Ten Free Ebooks from Haymarket Books

Free Quarantine Ebooks

New Day Resources for Educators

Home Grown Home-Based Child Care (HBCC) Emergency Funds


Women Make Movies Virtual Film Festival

2500 Museums Online/HYPERALLERGIC


Mononoaware Film Care Package


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Crooked Lines (11 min.)

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Nuuca (12 min.)

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Graven Image (10 min.)

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Our 100 Days 7/7

American Carnage (9 min.)

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Captured in Sudan (28 min.)

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Timberline (12 min.)

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Duterte’s Hell (8 min.)

Aaron Goodman and Luis Liwanag

Conditioned Response (6 min.)

Craig Atkinson and Laura Hartrick

Our 100 Days 4/7

Here I’ll Stay (10 min.)

Lorena Manríquez and Marlene McCurtis

Our 100 Days 3/7

An Uncertain Future (11 min.)

Chelsea Hernandez and Iliana Sosa

Our 100 Days 1/7

An Act of Worship (9 min.)

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The Moderators (20 min.)

Adrian Chen and Ciaran Cassidy

Clowns (7 min.)

Alex Kliment, Dana O'Keefe and Mike Tucker

Project X (10 min.)

Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke

Hopewell (3 min.)

Lorena Manríquez

The Vote (12 min.)

Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko

Like (9 min.)

Garrett Bradley

Concerned Student 1950 (32 min.)

Adam Dietrich, Varun Bajaj and Kellan Marvin

Peace in the Valley (15 min.)

Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Homeland is not a Series (7 min.)

Arabian Street Artists Heba Y. Amin, Caram Kapp and Don Karl aka Stone

#ThisIsACoup 4/4

Surrender or Die (16 min.)

Theopi Skarlatos and Paul Mason

Eric & “Anna” (14 min.)

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Birdie (14 min.)

Heloisa Passos

The Above (8 min.)

Kirsten Johnson