Applications must be submitted through the online application process by July 1, 2020 at 5 PM PST. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.
The online instructions and applications are available by clicking here:
- How do I decide whether my project qualifies for the Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) or Current Issues Fund (CIF)?
- What is the Documentary Core Application?
- What are “Journalistic Practices”?
- What are examples of past LPB films that fit the CIF criteria?
- Can I apply for both the PMCF and CIF?
- Does the CIF fund R&D?
- How much money can I apply for?
- Do you only have one submission period per year?
- What if I have no Latino/a on the team, am I still eligible?
- What if I have Latino/a in smaller roles (e.g. line producer, etc.)?
- What is the selection process?
- When will I be notified of being selected for funding and when would I receive the first installment of funding?
- Do I need to submit a sample tape with the proposal?
- Can a producer submit more than one project at a time?
- What if a producer is involved in more than one project?
- Can public television stations apply to CIF?
- Is an engagement plan required if I am applying for LPB funding?
- Can LPB review and give feedback on the proposal prior to deadline?
- Where can I find out about E&O insurance and closed captioning?
- Must I raise a certain amount of money before I submit a proposal for funding consideration?
- Am I required to have a fiscal sponsor?
- Who has editorial control of the project?
- Does LPB help secure a broadcast on public television?
- When producing for PBS are there any standards or requirements that one must follow?
- Can my program be distributed on other platforms/to other markets beside public television?
- On the “Budget Summary Form,” what is the difference between “Amount to Raise” and “Expected Income”?
How do I decide whether my project qualifies for the Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) or Current Issues Fund (CIF)?
Projects in the genre of the arts, history, science, biography, health, personal storytelling, cultural documentary, mixed genre, narrative and/or short digital video projects for online distribution (no longer than 20 minutes) should be submitted to the PMCF.
Projects that are timely, explore contemporary social justice issues, incorporate a journalistic approach into the filmmaking process, and have potential for civic dialogue beyond the broadcast should be submitted to the CIF.
What is the Documentary Core Application?
The Documentary Core Application is a collaborative effort by grantors who regularly fund documentary projects to standardize application requirements, with the aim of fostering greater access and a more equitable and sustainable documentary field.
The Documentary Core Application asks funders who support independent documentary film projects to adopt a common proposal format and a standard list of proposal questions in their grant applications. For frequently asked questions about the Documentary Core Application, please click here.
What are “Journalistic Practices”?
Incorporating a journalist approach into the filmmaking process includes a commitment to fairness, integrity and accuracy, as well as integrating an appropriate range of viewpoints into the storytelling. Broadly defined, journalistic practices may include, but are not limited to, extensive research, accessing public records and data, public accountability, an investigative approach, transparency of sources, and a reliance on facts.
If you need further clarification, please review the following sources:
What are examples of past LPB films that fit the CIF criteria?
LPB funded films such as Willie Velasquez: Your Vote is Your Voice, El Poeta, Precious Knowledge, No Mas Bebes, State of Arizona, Don’t Tell Anyone, Reportero, Presumed Guilty among many others.
Can I apply for both the PMCF and CIF?
No, you can only apply to one funding initiative.
Does the CIF fund R&D?
No, the CIF only funds documentary projects applying for Production or Post-Production.
How much money can I apply for?
Funding requests may range from $40,000 up to $100,000. However, only highly competitive projects will be considered for the maximum amount. The average award granted for both funds will be $50,000.
Do you only have one submission period per year?
Yes, LPB only has one submission period per year.
What if I have no Latino/a on the team, am I still eligible?
Proposals without a Latino/a in the Producer or Director role will not be eligible for CIF.
What if I have Latino/a in smaller roles (e.g. line producer, etc.)?
Proposals without a Latino/a in the Producer or Director role will not be eligible for CIF.
What is the selection process?
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 funding organizations. If a project is advanced to phase two, the applicant will have the opportunity to submit updates to the project before it goes to the final selection committee. Final selections are announced 4-5 months after the deadline.
When will I be notified of being selected for funding and when would I receive the first installment of funding?
Final selections will not be announced until January 2021. Do not expect to see first installment of funds until the first quarter of the following calendar year, after executing a production funding agreement with LPB.
Do I need to submit a sample tape with the proposal?
No, sample tapes are not required to be submitted with the initial submission of the proposal. However, you do have the option to include a link to any sample material in your application summary form. If your project is advanced to phase two, you will be required to submit a sample for panel review.
Can a producer submit more than one project at a time?
No, a producer can only submit one project per year.
What if a producer is involved in more than one project?
A producer can submit only one application per review period. That same producer can serve on the production team of another project, but cannot be an applicant.
Can public television stations apply to CIF?
LPB no longer accepts applications from public media stations. If a station has a project that aligns with LPB’s mission, the station representative should contact LPB’s executive team for discussion. However, the project would not be eligible to apply to the PMCF or CIF.
Is an engagement plan required if I am applying for LPB funding?
No, an engagement plan is not required. However, a plan utilizing both traditional and non-traditional forms of engagement would be beneficial to your project in the current multi-platform landscape of public media.
Can LPB review and give feedback on the proposal prior to deadline?
LPB cannot review or comment on proposals prior to deadline. We suggest that applicants have another filmmaker or mentor review the proposal for feedback prior to submitting to LPB. LPB does not automatically provide feedback to applicants on proposals not funded after the process has been completed. The producer must submit a written request for feedback after receiving their notification letter from LPB.
Where can I find out about E&O insurance and closed captioning?
For information about closed captioning visit the National Captioning Institute at www.ncicap.org.
There are several insurance companies that offer E & O insurance but there is no specific company that is recommended. The following is a brief list of companies that offer E&O insurance:
D. R. Reiff & Associates, Inc.
New York, NY
Walterry Insurance Brokers
Must I raise a certain amount of money before I submit a proposal for funding consideration?
No, it isn’t necessary to have raised a certain level of funding to submit. However, if the project is selected for funding, LPB may require the applicant to raise at least fifty percent of the total project cost before issuing a production contract. Also, applicants will have to provide a specific plan for raising additional funds needed to complete the project.
Am I required to have a fiscal sponsor?
A fiscal sponsor is not mandatory. It is up to the producer whether or not they feel a fiscal sponsor is necessary.
Who has editorial control of the project?
The producer has editorial, creative and financial control. The producer owns the copyright. For funded projects, LPB contracts a license agreement including exclusive domestic television rights, which are usually six releases in four years. LPB serves as a presenter of the program to PBS and/or other public television entities.
Does LPB help secure a broadcast on public television?
LPB makes every effort to get its projects on PBS, secondary public media distributors and/or public television platforms. LPB offers the project to these entities and works with PBS programmers in securing a broadcast.
When producing for PBS are there any standards or requirements that one must follow?
Yes, there are standards and requirements that are set by PBS. For the latest information, please review the PBS Redbook. A version of the book is available online at www.pbs.org/producers/redbook/.
Can my program be distributed on other platforms/to other markets beside public television?
All programs must be broadcast on public television and/or its platforms within the U.S and its territories. These programs will not be eligible for broadcast to any other network, television station or cable channel within the U.S. Producers looking to secure broadcasts on foreign television and/or platforms must receive prior approval from LPB. If your project is selected for funding, you will be required to grant certain rights to LPB, including exclusive domestic public television distribution rights (usually six public television releases in four years), and for digital media programming, exclusive distribution via LPB and/or public broadcasting websites and social media. After these rights expire, they revert back to the copyright owner and will be free to explore distribution in all markets.
On the “Budget Summary Form,” what is the difference between “Amount to Raise” and “Expected Income”?
“Amount to Raise” is the total amount of funding that still needs to be raised to complete the overall project. The “Amount to Raise” can be calculated by subtracting the “Income to Date” from the “Total Project Cost.” “Expected Income” is the total amount of funding that is anticipated from other grants, but has not been awarded yet.