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:
- What is the Public Media Content Fund?
- What is the Documentary Core Application?
- How do I decide whether my project qualifies for the Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) or Current Issues Fund (CIF)?
- Can I apply for both the PMCF and CIF?
- Do you only have one submission period per year?
- 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?
- What kind of programs is LPB looking for?
- Do all of the projects have to be Latino themed or relate to Latinos?
- What if I have no Latino/a on the team, am I still eligible?
- Does LPB fund all types of genres?
- Do I need to submit a sample tape with the proposal?
- How many projects does LPB fund a year?
- 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 either PMCF or CIF?
- Does LPB fund at any stage in production?
- Why is R&D not a priority?
- Does LPB fund community engagement or outreach?
- What is Digital Media?
- Is a Digital Media plan required if I am applying for funding of a film/program?
- Can LPB review and give feedback on the proposal prior to deadline?
- Where can I find out about E&O insurance and closed captioning?
- How much money can I apply for?
- Must I raise a certain amount of money before I submit for funds with LPB?
- Am I required to have a fiscal sponsor?
- How long do I have to complete my funded project?
- 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 in other areas beside public television?
- On the “Budget Summary Form,” what is the difference between “Amount to Raise” and “Expected Income”?
- Can LPB take a looks at my budget to let me know if it is satisfactory?
What is the Public Media Content Fund?
The Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for documentaries, limited series or short digital video programs for online distribution (no longer than 20 minutes) that meet LPB’s Content Priorities and are appropriate for public television and/or one of its platforms.
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 regularly make grants to 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.
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 short digital video projects for online distribution (no longer than 20 minutes) should be submitted to the PMCF.
Projects that that are timely and relevant and explore contemporary social justice issues, incorporate a journalistic approach into the filmmaking process, and have potential to engage communities in dialogue beyond the broadcast should be submitted to the CIF.
Can I apply for both the PMCF and CIF?
No, you can only apply to one funding initiative.
Do you only have one submission period per year?
Yes, LPB only has one submission period per year.
What is the selection process?
Proposals submitted to the PMCF 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 are usually announced by January. Do not expect to see initial disbursement of funds until the end of first quarter of the following calendar year, after executing a production funding agreement with LPB.
What kind of programs is LPB looking for?
LPB is looking for stories that have resonance with a national audience. LPB is interested in biographies, arts, history, character driven documentaries and stories that reflect the diverse Latino experience primarily in the United States. LPB is especially interested in projects that focus on Latino arts and culture. Projects that support CPB’s American Graduate by raising awareness to the high school dropout crisis and preparing young people for the 21st century workforce are of interest.
Do all of the projects have to be Latino themed or relate to Latinos?
Yes, LPB’s mission is to support programs that are representative of Latino people or address issues that explore the diverse Latino American experience.
What if I have no Latino/a on the team, am I still eligible?
Applicants are strongly recommended to have a Latino/a in a director and/or producer role. If the director and producer are not Latino/a, there has to be Latinos/as in key production roles for your project to be eligible.
Does LPB fund all types of genres?
LPB primarily funds documentaries but is interested in other genres including drama and animation.
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.
How many projects does LPB fund a year?
The number of proposals funded varies every year. On average, LPB funds about 10 percent of the projects submitted per year.
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 either the PMCF or 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.
Does LPB fund at any stage in production?
LPB is interested in funding projects at the production or post-production stage. Requests for research and development (R&D) are not a priority.
Why is R&D not a priority?
Due to the limited amount of funds, LPB is concentrating its resources on projects that will be completed in a shorter timeframe, thus increasing the presence of Latino content on public broadcasting. Though we are not entirely eliminating funding of R&D, we are only funding an R&D project if it is highly competitive.
Does LPB fund community engagement or outreach?
LPB no longer funds projects for community engagement or outreach.
What is Digital Media?
Digital Media is a category for digital projects which should be “short form” (no more than 20 minute) programs for primary distribution online via an existing public television platform, and can be in the form of a short film, webisodes and other digital media content.
Is an engagement plan required if I am applying for funding of a film/program?
No, an engagement plan is not required. However, a plan would be beneficial to your project in the 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 other filmmakers or mentors 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
How much money can I apply for?
Funds range from $10,000 -$100,000, depending on the project. LPB Funding for each stage ranges as follows:
- Research and Development $10,000 – $20,000
- Production $25,000 – $100,000
- Post-Production $25,000 – $100,000
- Digital Media $10,000 – $25,000
Must I raise a certain amount of money before I submit for funds with LPB?
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.
How long do I have to complete my funded project?
The producer will complete the project in accordance with a project description, budget and delivery schedule. If a producer fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the production agreement, LPB may require the producer to return funds provided for the project. Producers will also be required to deobligate any portion of funding contemplated under an agreement which has not been spent or paid out by LPB to a Producer within four (4) years from the end of the fiscal year in which the Production Agreement is entered into with Producer.
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 in other areas 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 for 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 pending grants, but has not been awarded yet.
Can LPB take a look at my budget to let me know if it is satisfactory?
LPB cannot review or comment on proposal budgets prior to the deadline. We suggest to read Robert Bahar’s article on documentary budgeting before you create your budget, www.documentary.org.