As with other films in the series, Peace in the Valley started with an assignment from the FOV producers. According to West Coast-based directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, it didn’t take much convincing to get them on a plane to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. “They said — so there’s this town, there’s this vote, and there’s this big Jesus on a hill,” Palmieri said. “And we said OK.” While something of a departure from the duo’s previous films — October Country is a textured, lived-in portrait of a working class family, and Off Label is an expansive tour through our country’s addiction to prescription drugs — this new project offered them yet another vantage point on the complexities of American life. In this conversation, conducted the day before Peace in the Valley’s premiere at the New York Film Festival, they talked about the complex culture of Eureka Springs, which was thrown into flux by a recent gay rights ordinance, and how the politics and sensibilities of their subjects were refracted by their own.

Tourist at the base of Christ of the Ozarks statue, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Photo: Donal Mosher

Was there any particular angle that the Field of Vision team wanted you to pursue for this film?

Michael Palmieri: They just knew there was an ordinance, there was a vote, and they wanted us to go down and cover that. But whatever we wanted to do with that, we were encouraged to explore.

In such a short span of time, you present so many complicated facets to the situation and to the town.

Palmieri: But it’s just so evident. I guess it’s also how we look at this stuff. You don’t want to look at it through the standard boilerplate. There were other journalists down there, and we’d read stuff that was all just straightforward, and we were like, “How do you do this so it’s not just that?”

Donal Mosher: Compared to American ideas of what the South is, that place is an absurd carnival. Even if you don’t have an idea, it’s an absurd carnival. And people there know it, and treasure it. And that’s something I hope comes across. The way people feel about the place they live in.

The fact that you have one of the first major voices saying something to the effect of, well, I don’t have any problem with gay people, but economically this ordinance is a problem for us. That already goes beyond the standard expectations of the culture wars.

Palmieri: It’s evangelicals and bikers and the LGBT community essentially existing in basic harmony. You know — I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone. But then something comes to a head like this, and all of a sudden everybody’s got an opinion. And they were vocalizing and having an open conversation.

Mosher: And of course he does have a problem with it. The one regret I have about working in such a short condensed form is you can’t get that much nuance. There’s a quality to this man that I don’t know can come across that fast.

Palmieri: He has the performative qualities that exist in the entire piece. He’s constantly on and performing — but you get little cracks where you can see when he’s not. But so is everyone else. People are performing a Passion Play. People are performing their roles in their political alignment. It’s all this giant play, is what it seemed like. Everyone’s in a performative mode all the time, though not always as pitched.

Mosher: Not everyone’s introducing Christ or spinning in drag.

I was fascinated by the young Christian man who works in the shop, who supports the ordinance.

Jayme Brandt, owner and designer of Twice Born, an apparel store in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Photo: Donal Mosher

Palmieri: Jayme’s critical. He’s really illustrating the greater conversation going on in the larger Christian community between the evangelical side that is afraid that their rights are being taken away — more conservative — and the much more liberal side that Jayme represents.

Mosher: But he also strongly identifies with the side of Christ who took on the money lenders. He gets a fanatical light in his eye when he talks about the rebel Christ. He’s the most interesting character to me, because he is progressive, or what we consider progressive, and yet he is deeply religious. Christ is a role model for everyone, and he really applies it to his life. In a way that we don’t get to see in American media that often. At the same time he has another nuance that I wish we could catch. By putting himself in that position and supporting the traditional enemies of the conservative church, he also has gaps in his own faith, and has to wrestle with things. The whole town is kind of struggling with a rapidly changing ideology. They have to. Most of them just roll with it in a sweet southern way.

You’re not used to seeing such a variety of conviction around these issues in this country.

Palmieri: We felt like we’d come across something much larger, and we’re really interested in exploring these voices. There is obviously a way that you can look at Christians if you’re coming safe from the left, but it’s actually more complicated. And the conversations are more complicated. And the respect is more complicated to gain. And to their credit, the evangelicals let us in to have these conversations with them. So we really respect that, and want to continue working with them. Plus the passion plays are so awesome.

Portraits of a popular Jesus actor from the Great Passion Play, an outdoor drama that presents the last days of Christ, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Photo: Donal Mosher

There’s potential for comedy — there are comedic moments, there are notes that can be handled as laugh lines — but you don’t press on that too hard. How do you negotiate taking everyone seriously but also letting humor come through?

Palmieri: You want to find both. I think viewers are smart enough to see Christopher Guest moments and then also smart enough to see much more subtle things that are there. It’s not all just one thing.

Mosher: You have to sort of trust as well. I’m hoping that this is a sensitive audience. A lot of what we find comedic about the characters, they themselves are not going to find funny. If we’re on our game, they’re not going to read it as condescending either — and I don’t want them to. But I can’t also deny the fact that to me this is a form of camp — equivalent to a drag show. And so it’s tricky. Hopefully you can get a little moment like when the actor who plays Christ says, “It’s physically and spiritually demanding,” and he’s just got a little look on his face. You hope that by including a moment like that, it bounces off of all the other comedic moments. But all he’s doing is laying the business bare. To us it’s really funny, but to him it’s the practicalities of doing his job.

Palmieri: I don’t think he would interpret it the same way that I’m interpreting it, and it wouldn’t be interpreted as negative. Because it’s just the way that he believes and the way that he presents himself. But it’s OK for another person to interpret it in a different way. And that’s what’s fun, because you get to have both, which is always the thing you’re looking for.

Mosher: Although I don’t know how they’re going to feel about the juxtaposition between a drag show and the Passion Play. That may cross a line. But that’s my line. We’re gay men, I grew up in the South, and that’s the point where I want to actually be like, I’m sorry if this insults you, but this is the statement I need to play with.

Palmieri: But at the same time, they’re also trying to orchestrate conversations with the evangelicals about bringing transgender people in, for reconciliation. So that’s all we’re attempting to show in the film. Like, how unalike really are you? There’s plenty that is different, but there’s plenty that’s similar. And that seems like something to work towards.

They might find it disrespectful, but for you camp isn’t disrespectful at all.

Mosher: No, not at all. And in the South, especially, that is a mode of survival for a lot of people. I really do think of the Passion Play, which is lip-synced to a soundtrack, as exactly the same thing [as a drag show]. But each one is celebrating their own — whatever thing you want to define as faith or spirituality — that supports their lives. There are even little things that didn’t make it into the film, like Kent, the Christ actor, says, “I like to play Christ, but I also like to play Judas, you know? It depends on what dress I’m wearing that day.” And there’s a Bible that they have in their Bible museum, where they have a misprinting in what they call the “He Bible.” Because it has a passage about Ruth entering the city but it says “he” where it should say “she.” And Randall Christie is very proud of this rare Bible. Then all of a sudden it clicks what he’s actually talking about.

Contestant for Miss Eureka Springs during Diversity Weekend, which brings in LGBT tourists from across the state.

Photo: Donal Mosher

Palmieri: And more importantly how we might use it contextually. And that’s where you get those cracks.

Mosher: But it’s just funny how the whole environment is saturated back and forth between the language of one party and the language of the other.

Donal, did your being from the South help at all in terms of relating and earning trust?

Mosher: Some, but I’m only half from the South. And it’s been a long time. And if you grew up in North Carolina, Arkansas is like the Midwest.

Did they engage with you in terms of how you felt about these things, about the ordinance, about your politics or faith? Palmieri: Oh sure. But at the same time I think people just waited to see where we were going. We’re really good about being honest about what we’re doing. There’s never any surreptitious mode of operation, because I always think that doesn’t result in anything useful or helpful. The only instance where we actually had people being concerned, and rightly so, were some of the democratic operatives from Little Rock who were there to help organize the human rights campaign. Once they saw the camera, they stopped us and said, “Wait, where are you from?” They were making sure that it wasn’t some smear campaign against the people who were fighting for tolerance.

Mosher: Because there had been a lot of videos that came out about how gay, lesbian and transgender people are coming to your town and taking over. I mean, talk about camp. But I was a little taken aback that somebody who I would consider as being on my own team was grilling me with more suspicion than other people were. But it also made me realize what the stakes are, and who held more power. Because for the Christian Right, they understand that they’ll be smeared by the left anyway, and they’re confident enough in their power that they can let that happen. But for the left there, they don’t have that liberty.

How would you even anticipate that element of the political dynamic? It’s hard to go in knowing that.

Mosher: But immediately I felt that if I hadn’t lived away from the South for so long, of course I would have felt that way. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all. But I’ve lived in San Francisco and Portland and these little bubble areas. This project was really important to me; I felt like I was going back to when I was a kid, getting the shit beat out of me. Engaging that material, and dealing with something other than, oh no the rents are going up. Those are serious struggles, but they’re different struggles. And I think for anyone who’s gay, especially of a certain generation, it’s a serious thing. It’s not easy for a lot of younger people who are outside of the South, or other very rural areas, to understand what it takes to struggle that way.

Young opponent of the Eureka Springs anti-discrimination ordinance.

Photo: Donal Mosher

Was it uncomfortable to be there for you? Mosher: No, I loved it.

Palmieri: It’s beautiful there. But it’s also such an enclave. Once you go outside of Eureka Springs, you’re in a different place, it’s not as tolerant. All the loose marbles are in Eureka Springs. Or as they like to say, they’re the hole in the buckle of the Bible belt.

Mosher: I could drink whiskey and quote the Bible — I don’t get to do that in Portland very often.

That liberal Christian voice, which is so important for the conversation, gets drowned out of the conversation. But it’s there, it’s within congregations, it’s within churches.

Mosher: The whole town, from church to church, you can get various shades. There’s a preacher who didn’t make it into the cut, who is squarely in the middle. He’s not against the principle of the ordinance, but he was against the particular mode of how it was set up and what it was doing to the community. He was the most Christian, gentle kind of shepherd. He talked to us about how he had come to appreciate his homosexual neighbors because of the way they went to church, and how they showed the church love. That’s something you don’t hear about — everyone gets divided. The thing that interests me the most is when he says, “And I saw Christ in them.” That constant framework of Christ — everybody down there is either looking through or having to look around it. Everyone thinks of it as a viewfinder, but it’s really a kaleidoscope. And that’s what’s really interesting about that area. Especially for a leftist, intellectual or atheistic audience, very few of us look through this lens of the role model of Christ, and bending language around Christ. One of the comic moments is Randall Christie comparing his bad day to whippings and bleedings, which seems ridiculous — although we’ve all made such ridiculous claims ourselves — but he’s sincere.

It’s their language.

Palmieri: It’s the language of their lives. It’s the language of the burden of Christ. So it makes sense that evangelicals would feel that they’re under some burdensome pressure. Because that’s their main story, the story they derive their beliefs from. So it’s important for people to be tolerant of the fact that that’s their operating space.

Mosher: But it’s also a political trick by savvy people who understand how to manipulate their kind. And this is why it’s really interesting.

Photography: Donal Mosher

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.

KEY DATES:

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

APPLY:

Submissions are now closed.

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

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 saeedah@fieldofvision.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

Shorts

https://fieldofvision.org/submit-short

Features & Episodic

https://fieldofvision.org/submit-feature

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

April

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

May

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

June

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

July

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

September

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

October

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

Fiverr

Upwork

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: https://bit.ly/3bnJnaQ

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

DOC NYC

Late Deadline - May 1

Extended Deadline - July 1

IDFA

Early Deadline - May 1

Late Deadline - August 1

New Orleans Film Festival

Late Deadline - May 8

Extended Deadline - June 19

Jihlava

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:

Cancelled

Full Frame

Ebertfest

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

BAMcinemaFest

Cleveland International Film Festival

Ebertfest

SXSW

Garden State Film Festival

SIFF

Sydney Film Festival

BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival

SFFILM

Riverrun International Film

Fargo Film Festival

Columbus Documentary Week

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival

Sun Valley Film Festival

Online Only

Thin Line

CPH:DOX

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

NewportFILM

Greenwich International

AIFF

Postponed

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

Cinequest

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

Otff

AKS International Minorities

Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival

Northwestfest

Denver Women + Film

Cinema St. Louis Qfest

CAAMFest

Atlanta Film Festival

Salem Film Festival

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival

Princeton Environmental Film Festival

Millennium Docs Against

ZagrebDox

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

COVID-19 COLLECTIVE DREAM JOURNAL

Women Make Movies Virtual Film Festival

2500 Museums Online/HYPERALLERGIC

CABIN FEVER BGDM: COVID-19 FREE STUFF TO WATCH

Mononoaware Film Care Package

Shorts

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Our 100 Days 7/7

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Here I’ll Stay (10 min.)

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Our 100 Days 3/7

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Our 100 Days 1/7

An Act of Worship (9 min.)

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The Moderators (20 min.)

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Clowns (7 min.)

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The Vote (12 min.)

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Like (9 min.)

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Concerned Student 1950 (32 min.)

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Peace in the Valley (15 min.)

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#ThisIsACoup 4/4

Surrender or Die (16 min.)

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The Above (8 min.)

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