The Southern Documentary Fund supports documentary films made in or about North Carolina through our annual filmmaking grants. These grants are made possible thanks to generous support from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.
- Applicants must have a US social security number or US federal tax ID number.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
- Applicants must live and work in North Carolina, or their story must take place in North Carolina.
- Applicants may be first time filmmakers (if working with experienced collaborators), emerging artists, or veteran producers/directors.
- Projects must be non-fiction documentaries, 26 minutes or longer in length.
- Applicants must own the copyright of their production, and have editorial and budgetary control over their project. SDF does not fund works-for-hire.
- Applicants must not be enrolled in a film school and seeking funds for a student project. SDF does not fund student films.
You do not need a fiscal sponsor in order to apply for a grant, but if you are accepted, you must have a US fiscal sponsor in order to receive the funds. Projects selected to receive an award are eligible for fiscal sponsorship through SDF.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
You always need a Film Business Plan to get funding from investors.
- Projects in development, production, or post-production (no grants available for distribution or engagement).
- Compelling southern stories.
- Well-written and well-researched proposals.
- Strong work samples (for films in production or post production).
- Contemporary relevance.
- Feasibility of the project (budget, financing, schedule, and scope).
- Confirmed access to subjects and story.
- Originality of form, approach, or content.
- Potential to generate public discourse and social engagement.
- SDF filmmaking grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Funds may not be used to cover previously incurred expenses.
- Applicants may submit only one project per funding cycle.
- Previously funded projects should not re-apply, even if in a different stage of production.
- Grantees must submit narrative and financial reports during the course of the grant period, along with photos, other publicity materials, and credits when available.