The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 2015 Documentary Fund will open April 1. The MacArthur Foundation Documentary Fund seeks to support feature documentary films and interactive digital documentaries that combine engaging storytelling with in-depth journalism. Proposals will be accepted through September 1, 2015.
What kind of documentaries does MacArthur fund?
Independently produced documentaries that examine underreported but important social issues. These films have the potential to spark dialogue, create understanding, and contribute to social, culture, and policy change. MacArthur-supported documentaries:
- Address important, contemporary social issues – international and domestic – illustrating the human impacts of public policy.
- Follow an issue over time, providing in-depth reporting that goes beyond conventional news coverage.
- Utilize compelling personal stories to engage viewers and create empathy.
- Appeal to a broad audience because they treat differing points of view with respect.
- Are factually accurate and follow best practices in documentary ethics.
- Are led by experienced teams that have had past success in bringing a documentary or interactive project to completion and reaching broad U.S. audiences.
- Are in production or post-production stage.
What do you need to apply to the MacArthur Foundation Documentary Fund?
- Be producing a journalistic, in-depth documentary film or interactive web-based nonfiction project that follows one or more contemporary social issues through compelling human stories.
- Be a legally incorporated U.S. production company in good standing with the state in which it is incorporated and have editorial and financial control over the documentary project for which you are seeking funds. Nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies may apply. The MacArthur Documentary Fund does not make grants through fiscal sponsors, or to individuals.
- Be in production or post-production, and able to show a 5-10 minute representative sample from the project for which you are applying for support.
- Read and agree to the MacArthur Foundation’s Intellectual Property Policy here
What’s the process?
Please prepare your proposal using the proposal checklist in the Guidelines document. All proposals must be submitted online at http://www.macfound.org/docfilm
Within 6-8 weeks of submitting your proposal, you will be contacted to tell you whether your project is still under consideration.
If your project is still under consideration, you will be asked to provide:
- A treatment
- Full production budget
- A copy of your company’s Articles of Incorporation
- If a non-profit, your company’s IRS letter