How many grants are being awarded?
We will be awarding at least 10 grants in the amount of $5,000.
Do applicants have to reside in the South to qualify for the grant?
Yes, we are looking for Southern Makers. You may collaborate with a key team member who resides in another state, however, the primary Maker must reside in the South.
If I’m enrolled in school, can I apply?
Makers who are enrolled in an academic or degree-granting program at the time of application or during the grant period are not eligible; however, school faculty are eligible to apply.
Can two people working on the same project apply separately?
No, you can not apply separately, we will accept one application per project, per grant cycle.
Do you have to be a non-profit or have an LLC to apply?
You do not have to be a non-profit or have an LLC to apply.
If my budget is far greater than the R&D grant and I haven’t secured additional funds, will that affect your decision?
No, this will not affect our decision.
Can the funds be used to pay myself for the work I’ll be doing?
Yes, as long as you are able to document your hours and the work that you’ve done.
I understand that “new and emerging filmmakers” are encouraged to apply. Are experienced filmmakers eligible to apply?
We are encouraging filmmakers at all levels to apply.
Would it be acceptable to apply with a project in which the length of the project (short vs. feature) will be determined during the R&D process?
We hope that you use the research and development process to help you determine the length and scope of your film.
Is an evolving, work-in-progress film — in which filming has started — eligible for consideration?
Please email SDFgrants@southerndocumentaryfund.org to determine your film’s eligibility.
If we receive the grant, what is the turnaround time for a completed project?
There is not a turnaround time for a completed project.
Is there a timeline for when the full grant amount needs to be spent by?
How long should the sample of previous work be?
It’s not about how long it is, but how the piece represents you as a filmmaker.
I have a narrative reel, can that serve as a work sample?
For the work sample, do you accept visual art samples that are not moving images?
What are the biggest mistakes first time applicants make?
First time applicants often do not address these questions:
-Why am I passionate about making this project?
-Who is my core audience?
-Is your film journalistic or advocacy in nature?
Is it possible to get feedback from SDF grant panelists on our grant application?
If a formal request is made, we will do our best to provide you with feedback.