First fund of its kind dedicated to nonfiction filmmakers
New York, N.Y. — June 8, 2018 — American Documentary (AmDoc), the producing company of the PBS series POV, launched the Artist Emergency (AE) Fund today, aimed at providing emergency financial assistance to filmmakers facing unexpected and substantial personal, health or property needs or losses including those caused by accidents or natural disasters. To date, this is the first fund of its kind dedicated to supporting nonfiction filmmakers.
“For too many documentary filmmakers, a simple trip to the emergency room can mean years of mounting medical bills,” said Justine Nagan, executive producer/executive director of POV/ American Documentary. “Our aim is to make AmDoc as supportive to filmmakers as possible, while also helping build a more inclusive industry that supports the most vulnerable among us. This type of grant program is common in other artistic disciplines, and it seemed time for filmmakers to have a safety net. This is a first step towards greater sustainability for professional filmmakers.”
These one-time grants are a direct response to concerns about sustainability in the documentary field, especially among emerging and underrepresented filmmakers. This is AmDoc’s second initiative this year aimed at supporting new and veteran filmmakers. In March, AmDoc launched its $100,000 Knight-AmDoc Patron fund with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and has since backed five Kickstarter projects by filmmakers working in the 26 cities where Knight invests.
The inaugural Emergency Fund is seeded by generous grants from Chicago Media Project, Genuine Article Pictures and the Sage Foundation. For more information about eligibility, criteria and the application process, continue below:
American Documentary (AmDoc) welcomes applications by documentary filmmakers who are facing financial emergencies due to unforeseen personal calamities.
During our pilot year, AmDoc will provide one-time awards of up to $1,000 each. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and reviewed based on demonstration of need and professional relationship to documentary filmmaking. All applications will be confidential.
- Must be a mediamaker that has produced and/or directed one nonfiction project that has been publicly exhibited in a curated and/or noncommercial environment, including online and/or physical programs.
- Must reside in the United States.
If you or someone you know is unable to complete this application form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualifying Events for Assistance
Short- or long-term unexpected emergency requiring immediate relief or assistance; this includes, but is not limited to:
- Unforeseen personal calamities, such as health issues, eviction or natural disasters.
- Accidental or natural disaster resulting in physical trauma, distress or loss of personal and/or professional property.
- Other unforeseen personal calamities related to health, housing, transportation, child care, employment, disaster, or non-payment.
- The Artists Emergency Fund DOES NOT fund project-based expenses (film production, travel, research, tuition, or professional development) or anything considered taxable income by the IRS.
For more applications requirements, follow the link here.
We are committed to being highly responsive and will reply to your application within two weeks of receipt.
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.
POV Engage (www.pbs.org/pov/engage/)
POV Engage works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 650 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.
POV Spark (www.pbs.org/pov/)
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department has continually experimented with web-based documentaries, producing PBS’ first program website and the first Snapchat-native documentary. It has won major awards for its work, including a Webby Award and over 19 nominations. Now with a singular focus on incubating and distributing interactive productions, POV Spark continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its co-productions, acquisitions and the POV Labs, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms.
AMERICA REFRAMED (www.americareframed.com)
Co-produced by American Documentary, Inc. and WORLD Channel, AMERICA REFRAMED brings to national audiences compelling stories that illuminate the changing contours of an ever-evolving America. The independent documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future.
American Documentary, Inc. (www.amdoc.org/)
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.