CAAM Documentary Fund

CAAM Documentary Fund

With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides project funding to independent documentary films by and about the Asian American experience for public television.

Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public television broadcast. Awards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.

Our next open call takes place Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 12 AM PDT through Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 11:59 PM PDT. Please visit our Submittable page to submit your Documentary Fund application. 

For further assistance regarding the application process including any accessibility issues, interested applicants may refer to our Funding FAQ page or reach out to mediafund[at]caamedia[dot]org (mediafund@caamedia.org) with any questions not covered here pertaining to your pitched project’s eligibility. 

CAAM recognizes the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) documentary CORE application and has incorporated most of the standardized application requirements.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must hold artistic, budgetary and editorial control, and must own the copyright of the proposed project.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age, and be citizens or legal residents of the United States or its territories.
  • Projects in production must include a 10-15 minute sample of the project that is being submitted. Projects in post-production or further must have a full-length rough or fine cut to be considered. 
  • Applicants must have previous film or television experience. If this is your first media project, you must provide a video sample that demonstrates your ability to tell a story well through a visual medium.
  • CAAM may require a Fiscal Sponsor, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt entity. Your sponsor would agree to accept funds from CAAM on your behalf and is responsible for redistributing funds to the project accordingly.
  • Projects must be delivered according to PBS standard lengths (26:46, 56:46, 1:26:46 or 1:56:46).
  • Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted per round.

Projects NOT eligible:

  • Projects not intended for a public television audience.
  • Projects not at standard PBS broadcast length (26:46, 56:46, 1:26:46 or 1:56:46).
  • Projects for which the domestic television broadcast rights are not available.
  • Projects in the script development stage.
  • Projects intended solely for theatrical release or commercial in nature.
  • Thesis projects or student films which are solely or co-owned or copy-written, or otherwise editorially or fiscally controlled by the school.
  • Projects or production entities which are foreign-based, owned or controlled.
  • Industrial or promotional projects.
  • Projects that are not about the Asian American experience.

Our funding process will use the following guidelines in awarding funds:

  • Is the project a good match for American public television and its national audience?
  • Is the story idea compelling, engaging, original and well-conceived?
  • Is the visual/stylistic treatment effective and distinctive?
  • Can the project be completed within a realistic timeline based on the applicant’s production and fundraising plans, personnel and budget?
  • Will the project appeal not only to Asian American viewers, but also to a broader general audience?
  • Does the sample demonstrate the skills and/or potential of the applicant to complete the proposed project?
  • Has CAAM recently funded a similar topic, issue or treatment?

More questions? Visit our Funding FAQ page.