Fundraising in a New Media Landscape: Three Lessons From Sundance

This year, three ITVS-supported films premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris showcased both his feature film and transmedia project as a part of New Frontier, a program that showcases multi-media storytelling. These projects inspired ITVS to create a panel focusing on the challenges of fundraising for documentary and transmedia projects.

Kamal Sinclair, Sr. Manager Sundance New Frontier Story Lab; Jim Sommers, Sr. Vice President of Content at ITVS; N'Jeri Eaton, Programming Manager at ITVS; Thomas Allen Harris, Through A Lens Darkly and Digital Diaspora Family Reunion; Shukree Tilghman, More Than A Month and More Than A Mapp app; Kay Shaw, Director of Public Media Corps at NBPC

Pictured (L-R): Kamal Sinclair, Sr. Manager Sundance New Frontier Story Lab; Jim Sommers, Senior Vice President of Content at ITVS; N’Jeri Eaton, Programming Manager at ITVS; Thomas Allen Harris, Through A Lens Darkly and Digital Diaspora Family Reunion; Shukree Tilghman, More Than A Month and More Than A Mapp app; Kay Shaw, Director of Public Media Corps at NBPC

The panel marked ITVS’s first event with the Blackhouse Foundation. For the last seven years, Blackhouse has held a venue at the Sundance Film Festival as a place that both celebrates Black cinema and provides networking opportunities for filmmakers.

The panel was packed with experts in the field who could speak specifically to the challenges facing filmmakers. Panelists included Director of Public Media Corps Kay Shaw from the National Black Programming Consortia; Senior Manager Kamal Sinclair from the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab; filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris of Through a Lens Darkly and its transmedia component Digital Diaspora Family  Reunion, and myself.  The panel was moderated by filmmaker Shukree Tilghman, who also went through the film/transmedia funding gauntlet with his film More Than A Month and the related phone app More Than A Mapp. Continue reading

Your Open Call Questions Answered

ITVS Programming Managers N’Jeri Eaton and Jorge Trelles hosted an informative live chat on Wednesday to answer any questions for the Open Call funding initiative.

ITVS will be accepting applications through Friday, January 17th. While the chat has come and gone, check out the archived conversation for helpful submission tips and insights!

For more information about ITVS funding initiatives, please click here.

Tips & Tools for Open Call Applications

In response to the growing demand for submission resources, the ITVS Programming Department hosted two informational webinars for filmmakers submitting for Open Call funding.

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Throughout the year, hopeful applicants have a tendency to bombard the ITVS Programming Department with questions regarding their submissions to various funding initiatives. This year, Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton hosted two webinars offering insight on the process and firsthand advice for filmmakers for their treatments and work samples.

The first webinar was devoted to the art of treatment writing, where Eaton was joined by ITVS-funded filmmakers Christine Turner (Homegoings) and Llew Smith (Denial: An American Dilemma).  The filmmakers shared excerpts from their treatments and answered questions from the webinar participants.  You can watch the full webinar below:

Treatment Writing Webinar 12-9-13-vimeo from ITVS_VIDEO on Vimeo.

Next, ITVS hosted an OVEE screening featuring three 10-minute work samples that had been recently funded by ITVS: Samantha Grant’s A Fragile Trust, Juli Vizza’s Nine to Ninety, and Jamie Meltzer’s Freedom Fighters.  Due to clearance rights issues, we are unable to post the work samples, but you can read a transcript of the informative chat here.

And, as an extra bonus, we have a revised edition of our guide to Writing an ITVS Treatment. Continue reading

Diversity Development Fund: An Inside Look at the Submission Process

Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton hosted an informative live chat last Thursday to answer any submission questions for the Diversity Development Fund. ITVS will be accepting applications through Friday, August 16th.

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While the chat has come and gone, check out the archived conversation below for helpful submission tips and insights. The original chat can be viewed here.

N’Jeri:

Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us. Looks like we have a small group today. But that just means more time for you to get all of your pressing questions in. My name is N’Jeri Eaton and I’m a programming manager here at ITVS.

Hakeem:

Hello!

N’Jeri:

I manage the Diversity Development Fund. The deadline for the fund is Friday, August 16th at 5pm PT. We’re also going digital for the first time this year. So please make sure to check our site and read about our new online application process. Continue reading

The Diversity Development Fund Is Now Accepting Applications

ITVS is seeking applications for the Diversity Development Fund (DDF) through Friday, August 16th.

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DDF provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to independent producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television.  Projects should speak to the ITVS mission to serve underrepresented audiences with programs that take creative risks, explore complex issues, inspire dialogue, and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public television. Please note that the new deadline is FRIDAY, AUGUST 16th.

To date, projects selected for the Diversity Development Fund have had national broadcasts on Independent Lens and P.O.V., and have leveraged support from organizations including the National Minority Consortia, the Sundance Doc Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation.

Funding activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early phase activities.

DDF accepts:

  • Producers from cultural and ethnic communities historically underrepresented on public television.
  • Single documentaries
  • Projects not yet in production

Join Programming Manager N’Jeri Eaton for a Diversity Development Fund live chat on Thursday, August 1st at 11am PT.  She will be there to answer any of your questions about the initiative ahead of the deadline. You can participate in the live chat here: https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/t42mx

For more information on DDF visit: http://www.itvs.org/funding/ddf

Diversity Development Fund Live Chat

On Thursday, August 23 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET, ITVS Programming Coordinator N’Jeri Eaton will be taking questions from interested Diversity Development Fund applicants in a live chat right here on Beyond the Box.

Diversity Development Fund Live Chat

On Thursday, August 23 at 1PM PT / 4PM ET, ITVS Programming Coordinator N’Jeri Eaton will be taking questions from interested Diversity Development Fund applicants in a live chat right here on Beyond the Box.


The Diversity Development Fund provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to independent producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Projects should speak to the ITVS mission to serve underrepresented audiences with programs that take creative risks, explore complex issues, inspire dialogue, and express points of view seldom seen on commercial or public television. With the upcoming deadline (September 7, 2012), we encourage all interested applicants to register for the live chat taking place on Thursday, August 23rd.

To date, projects selected for the Diversity Development Fund have had national broadcasts on Independent Lens and P.O.V., and have leveraged support from organizations including the National Minority Consortia, the Sundance Doc Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Continue reading

Funding Deadline: Open Call Applications Due June 29

The deadline for ITVS’s biggest funding opportunity, Open Call, is on Friday, June 29. Learn how to submit a digital application here.


Open Call provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video. Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories.
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How to Pitch Like a Pro: A Tribeca Guide

By Claire Aguilar
Vice President of Programming, ITVS

ITVS’s Claire Aguilar attended the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival this past April, participating in the Tribeca Film Institute’s Filmmaker Pitch Workshop and acting as a juror for the Tribeca All Access Documentary Program.

Tribeca Film Institute Industry Meetings

For the past five years, ITVS has participated in the Tribeca Film Festival in many different capacities, from the funder of films selected for the festival (this year included Stephen Maing’s High Tech, Low Life, Beth Murphy’s The List, and Jerry Rothwell’s Town of Runners), to hosting special screenings of ITVS films (FUTURESTATES), ITVS’s involvement in this iconic festival is always varied and exciting.

Two special events this year included participation in Tribeca’s Interactive Day (attended by ITVS’s Karim Ahmad) and Tribeca All Access, a year-round initiative that supports the careers of filmmakers who hail from communities traditionally under-represented in the film industry. Tribeca All Access has been a successful and groundbreaking industry event, fostering and supporting diverse filmmaking voices through industry meetings, development support, and mentoring. Continue reading

Introducing ITVS’s 2011 Digital Survey

By Matthew Meschery

The following is an excerpt from the executive summary of the 2011 ITVS Digital Survey. The findings, which are available for download below, offer new trends on the digital media environment with a particular focus on independent producers.

Who put the audience in charge? Technology, demographic shifts, and a globalized economy have all shaped a 21st century media ecosystem where power has shifted away from traditional broadcasters and gatekeepers. It’s a shift that’s revolutionized where, how, and why people use media. And content makers and distributors are playing catch-up, trying to figure out ways to reach viewers, make money, and break through the deafening noise of the marketplace.
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