filmmakers on stage

SDF Public Programs

Fresh Docs
Fresh Docs is SDF’s free, monthly, work-in-progress screening series. These screenings give SDF filmmakers an opportunity to show their work fresh from the edit suite, and receive constructive feedback on story, structure, and characters from a diverse audience. As a result, not only do our artists make better films, but SDF grows documentary audiences by engaging them meaningfully in the creative process.

Reel South
The Carolinas’ two statewide public television networks, UNC-TV and SCETV, have partnered with the Southern Documentary Fund to create an exciting new showcase for independently produced documentary films about the American South. Reel South is an anthology series highlighting the best non-fiction storytelling from the region. Distributed to over a dozen public television stations around the Southeast, the series will bring diverse Southern voices, topics, and points of view into millions of homes.

Artists Services

SDF is based in Durham, North Carolina and serves documentary filmmakers living or working in the Southeastern United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). Our work takes two directions: we support artists around the South, pointing their lenses wherever they choose—locally, around the region, or internationally. We also work with artists from all over the country who have chosen to tell a Southern story. Sometimes we make exceptions to both these rules, usually to support artists we’ve worked with in the past but have relocated out of the region.

SDF Artists Convening
The SDF Annual Artists Convening takes place each spring in Durham, NC. Filmmakers from around the South and beyond are invited for a weekend of enlightening workshops, panels, and pitch sessions, combined with a healthy dose of community building and peer networking.

SDF Filmmaking Grants
Each Fall SDF makes cash grants to 3–5 documentaries made in or about North Carolina. These grants are currently made possible thanks to generous support from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and we are actively looking for additional funders to increase this critical support for filmmakers.

SDF Filmmaking Residency
Each Fall SDF awards a 1–2 week creative residency to a Southern documentary maker with a film in progress. The SDF Filmmaker Residency is made possible thanks to generous support from The Parker Foundation, Jenny Parker, and Peter Rosenberg.

Fiscal Sponsorship
SDF is currently sponsoring over 75 inspiring and important documentaries, collaborating closely on getting these projects get funded, made, and seen.

SDF Membership Program (coming in 2017)
Join the SDF Family. For a modest annual fee you can become a card-carrying member of the Southern Documentary Fund and take advantage of valuable benefits, including fiscal sponsorship, a Fresh Docs screening slot, discounted registration for the artists convening, and more.