Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeCall for ApplicationsPBS Open Call for emerging FilmMakers

PBS Open Call for emerging FilmMakers

Application Deadline: April 23rd 2021

To further amplify the voices of emerging and diverse/BIPOC content creators across public media, PBS has issued an open call for proposals to support long and short form documentaries produced and created by diverse/BIPOC filmmakers that explore a broad range and collection of experiences, perspectives, and points of view. Proposals may be submitted across a range of genres/themes that resonate with a U.S. audience, including (but not limited to) personal history, arts, culture, science, and democracy/civics. 

Originality, creativity, engaging storytelling, and an ability to reach the intended audience are encouraged. We welcome innovative approaches and invite you to include animation, found footage, or personal audio/visual material. 

Projects must be in the production stage or near completion and are subject to PBS editorial criteria. All submissions will be reviewed by a group of editorial executives, public media professionals, and filmmakers. Funding recipients will be selected based on editorial merit. PBS will make the final determination on the specific funding amount based on production status of each project. 

Projects receiving PBS funding will be eligible for distribution across select PBS platforms (linear or digital), which will be determined at PBS’s discretion. 


To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • The filmmaker or production entity must retain copyright and have the ability to clear the project for all PBS platforms.
  • Projects may have appeared at film festivals or on broadcast or digital platforms, but the filmmaker must currently hold the copyright or have the ability to grant project rights to PBS.
  • The filmmaker or production entity must have artistic, budgetary, and editorial control over the proposed project.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at time of film submission.
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
  • Applications should include link(s) to work sample(s) in the form of a sizzle reel, teaser video, or selects from the project.
  • Applicants should have previous storytelling experience through a visual medium.

Projects are NOT eligible if: 

  • They are unable to comply with PBS Editorial Standards & Practices; PBS Funding Standards & Practices; the PBS Handbook; and the PBS Technical Operating Specifications.
  • They do not, at a minimum, have domestic television rights available.
  • They are intended solely for theatrical release or are commercial in nature.
  • The projects or production entities are foreign based, owned, or controlled.
  • The projects are promotional in nature.


Broadcast Long Form (30, 60, or 90 minutes): Projects submitted in this category for Production or Completion Funding may be eligible for up to $50,000. 

Digital Short Form (8-25 minutes): Projects submitted in this category for Production or Completion Funding may be eligible for up to $15,000. 


You must download and complete the application. Your submission must also include the following: 

Official Website: PBS Open Call for emerging FilmMakers



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