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MacArthur Foundation 2013 Documentary Open Call (Deadline Imminent)

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 11, 2013 3:03 PM
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FYI to all you documentary filmmakers reading this...You've got about a month to get your application packages together.

We've covered filmmaker- and film recipients of awards from the foundation, like Stanley Nelson, and The Supreme Price.

The MacArthur Foundation's Media Program supports the production of documentary films that illuminate human stories within complex social issues. These issues are often critical to our lives, but under-reported in other media. We especially look to fund projects designed to reach a broad audience, particularly in the U.S., through public television broadcast, via community and policymaker screenings, and online.
Each year we accept funding applications through an Open Call process. We typically receive about 400 applications and select 8 - 12 films to receive a grant. Grants are made to production companies and non-profit organizations that are based in the U.S. The typical grant amount is between $50,000 and $200,000.
Over the last 30 years, we have supported over 200 films by some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in the country. Their documentary work combines exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. Our goal is to support documentaries that will be used widely in educational, community, and policy-making settings over many years, sparking conversations and activities that contribute to social and policy change.


We will begin accepting applications on July 15, 2013. Please ensure that you submit all your application material before 3pm Central Daylight Time on July 31, 2013.


Step 1) Please download and carefully review the 2013 Documentary Guidelines.

Step 2) Make sure to click on the signup button at the top of the page.

Step 3) Once you complete the signup process, you'll get an email to confirm your registration. Make sure to check your spam box just in case! Please add us to your safe sender list so that you can continue to receive messages from us.

Step 4) Complete all application material on the site as per the instructions you'll see when you log in.

For more information, please visit the media page of our website at We regret that we are unable to answer individual questions, but invite you to look closely at our Frequently Asked Questions.

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