LPB CURRENT ISSUES FUND
The LPB Current Issues Fund (“CIF”) provides production and post-production funding to documentary films from the Latino American perspective (60 or 90 minutes only) that explore contemporary civic and social justice issues, incorporate a journalistic approach into the filmmaking process, and have resonance for a U.S. national audience.
A sound journalistic practice must be integral to the project, with commitment to fairness, objectivity and accuracy among our top priorities. Journalistic practice is broadly defined and may include, but is not limited to, extensive research, accessing public records and data, public accountability or investigative approach, transparency of sources, and a reliance on facts.
LPB is looking for stories that explore timely issues, demonstrate artistic storytelling and have potential to engage communities in civic discourse beyond the broadcast.
LPB will accept applications for production and post-production funding; R&D applications are not accepted for the CIF. Funding requests may range from Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000) up to One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000). Applicants are not eligible to submit applications for additional funds from the Public Media Content Fund.
- Applicant must be Latino/a, director and/or producer.
- Applicant must retain the copyright, artistic, budgetary and editorial control over the proposed project.
- Applicant must be at least 18 years of age, be citizens or legal residents of the United States or its territories, and have previous film or television experience demonstrated by detailed personnel bios or resumes.
- Only one application for a project may be submitted per review period and the applicant may not make submissions for any additional projects.
- Projects submitted must be sixty minutes (60:00) or ninety minutes (90:00) in length; shorter formats are not accepted.
- First time full-length media maker applicants must have been producing other short format productions for at least three years.
- Applicants must agree to concept exclusivity during the LPB rights Term (i.e. filmmaker may not license, sell or otherwise exhibit any other version of the Program in the LPB Territory (the United States, territories and possessions, military bases and embassies) during the LPB license Term.
- Applicants will be required to submit a 5-minute video sample of the current work, if selected for the final phase of review.
- Applicants must meet all other mandatory terms and conditions outlined that will be set forth in the LPB production agreement.
- Programs/films previously submitted and declined by LPB with no substantial change to the proposal
- Thesis projects or student films
- Submissions from Public television stations
- Filmmakers or production entities that are foreign based, owned or controlled
- Industrial, promotional or advocacy projects
- Projects for which the exclusive domestic television broadcast rights are not available
- Projects with a primarily commercial interest
- Projects whose content or ideas are too similar to previously LPB funded programs in production
- Current signatories of LPB contracts who have not completed delivery
- Current signatories re-applying for the same type of funding originally awarded
- Employees of CPB, PBS, APT and NETA
LPB is primarily interested in funding projects at the production and post-production stage. Requests for research and development (R&D) are not a priority. LPB funding ranges for each category as follows:
Production $40,000 – $100,000.
Production: Funding to film and produce a program. Eligible activities include: (i) principle photography (including all production activities, hiring of crew, talent, clearance of rights for public media use; (ii) post-production.
Post-Production $25,000 – $100,000
Post-Production: Funding to complete a program already in progress. Eligible activities include: (i) post-production (including editing and completion); (ii) clearance of rights required for public media distribution.
Funding Contract Terms
LPB receives funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) under an agreement that requires LPB to include certain mandatory terms and conditions in its production agreements. LPB also imposes certain of its own requirements on use of its funding. If your project is approved, in exchange for receiving funding from LPB, you will be required to grant certain rights to LPB, including exclusive domestic public television distribution rights (usually six public television releases over four years), and for digital media programming, exclusive distribution via LPB and/or public broadcasting websites and social media. LPB will have the right to cablecast on a noncommercial, sustaining basis on cable channels programmed by PBS and PBS member stations, and will have certain other distribution rights in connection with use of the program in the education and public television marketplace (including school use of an off-air or off-satellite recording for one year from the date of public television broadcast). LPB may also require certain additional rights. The program will be subject to holdbacks (restrictions on distribution) in Canada. LPB will be entitled to a share of net revenues from all subsidiary and ancillary uses of the program based on LPB’s total financial contribution to the project for a period of fifteen years from completion. In addition, the production agreement will include mandatory requirements regarding record-retention and reporting obligations, objectivity and balance standards, and other terms and conditions on the use of LPB funds for the project. The filmmaker will complete the project in accordance with a project description, budget and delivery schedule. If a filmmaker fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the production agreement, LPB may require the filmmaker to return funds provided for the project. Filmmakers funding will be subject to reduction in LPB funding if the LPB Funding has not been expended within four (4) years from the end of the fiscal year in which the Production Agreement is entered into with Filmmaker.
Proposals submitted to the CIF go through a two-phase review process. In phase one, each submission is reviewed internally and sent out to professionals in the field for initial evaluation and recommendations. In phase two, projects recommended to move forward are reviewed by a panel comprised of journalists, programmers, independent filmmakers, academics and representatives from national organizations. If a project is selected for phase two, the applicant will be allowed to submit any updates to the project before it goes to the final evaluation committee. Final selections are announced 5-6 months after the deadline.
LPB will send out proposals for evaluation using the following criteria:
- The inclusion of Latinos in the key production roles.
- Ability to shed light on the Latino American experience.
- Project concept is well conceived and creatively structured to engage a national broadcast audience.
- The extent to which the treatment clearly describes the visuals, style and demonstrates engaging storytelling techniques.
- The extent to which the proposal takes into account the public television broadcast/streaming medium, and the needs and interests of the program’s target audience.
- The filmmaker’s ability to successfully complete the program on budget and on schedule, given the experience of the filmmaker and proposed production team.
- Soundness of the production and fund-raising plans.
- Overall, the extent to which the project fulfills the LPB mission and programming goals.
Sample tapes are not required for review during the first phase of this process. However, applicants have the option to include a link to sample work in question number 9 of the application summary. If your project moves forward to the second phase, you will be required to submit a sample tape of your current work, which is preferable; previous work will only be accepted for projects in development. Current work may be submitted as a work in progress. We recommend submitting a sample that is no longer than 5-minutes. The sample can be a full-length rough cut (with suggested segment to view), trailer, clips, scene selects, etc. The sample tape will need to be sent as a digital video file in .mov, .mp4, or .wmv, with Quicktime (.mov) preferred.
Additional Budget Items
Regardless of LPB’s contribution to the overall budget, or your determination of how LPB’s monies would be allocated to any given line items within the budget, all applicants must include a comprehensive budget which covers the costs of complete broadcast deliverables, including:
- Closed captioning.
- General liability and errors and omissions insurance.
- One broadcast master HD file or the latest acceptable format outlined in the PBS Producer’s Handbook.
- Licensing or otherwise clearing all necessary rights for exclusive domestic public television and its platforms, and for educational rights and all other rights required by the production agreement, including but not limited to music performances, archival, and news footage.
- Photography services for promotional black and white stills and color transparencies.
- Fiscal sponsorship fees (not to exceed 10% of total budget) if applicable.