ITVS Expands Its Funding for Doc Filmmakers

As the non-fiction community continues to reel from the closing of prominent producer financier Participant and a general slowdown in the non-fiction space, ITVS is opening the applications for its annual documentary funding initiative, Open Call, with expansions to its planned funding.

ITVS has run Open Call since the ’90s, giving out more than $100 million in funding for 600 doc projects. Recent projects include Andres Jay Molina and Alexis Neophytides’ Fire Through Dry Grass and Bing Liu’s Academy Award-nominated Minding the Gap.

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This year, ITVS has plans to increase its allocated funding (Open Call provides up to $400,000 of co-production funding) and has expanded eligibility requirements to include short-form content, in additional to feature-length projects.

“The bold nonfiction stories that engage today’s streaming audiences know no bounds,“ said ITVS’ Jim Sommers. “We’re eager to expand access to ITVS Open Call through new guidelines and attract artists with diverse storytelling visions.”

ITVS co-productions are distributed on PBS as part of the network’s nonfiction series including American Masters, Frontline and Independent Lens.

“Where, when, and how we discover and watch nonfiction programming is always changing. Independent Lens is committed to evolving into a streaming-first series on public media platforms,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “We invite you to bring your talent and creativity to help reimagine our series, available online to every American.”

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