Applications must be submitted through the online application process.
The online instructions and applications are available by clicking here:
- What is LPB’s Public Media Content Fund?
- Content Priorities
- Applicant Eligibility
- Not Eligible
- Funding Categories
- Funding Contract Terms
- Review Process
- Sample Work
- Additional Budget Items
What is LPB’s Public Media Content Fund?
The Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for programs, limited series or short web-based digital video projects (no longer than 20 minutes) on any subject relating to or representative of Latino Americans and is appropriate for public television and/or one of its platforms.
Programs should bring new audiences to public media and have national relevance presenting a range of subjects, issues and viewpoints that complement and challenge existing public media offerings. These programs should also aim to meet the current content priorities of PBS that include but are not limited to: Performing Arts and Drama, History, Science, News and Public Affairs and/or programs that support CPB’s American Graduate by raising awareness of all facets of the high school dropout crisis.
Programs should provide strong story-telling techniques that give voice to the diverse Latino community on public media. While proposals can take creative risks, selected projects must ultimately appeal to a wide variety of television and public media audiences. Projects that reflect personal or individual experience should have universal appeal, take creative risks and provide a lens to Latino history, culture and issues.
An LPB-funded program must be the only version of the program. (A re-edited version of the LPB funded program cannot be re-packaged for another network).
All funding requests must be submitted in accordance with LPB’s guidelines.
You may submit only one application for one proposed project per review period. If your proposal is among those advanced to the reviewing panel, you may be asked to submit additional supporting materials.
An independent producer or a production entity (i.e. a partnership or organization owned by the individual producer or producers), creating programs on the Latino experience is eligible. The program must be produced independent of the support of a film studio, commercial broadcast or cable entity, whether on a for hire, commission or employment basis. The producer or production entity must retain the copyright and have artistic, budgetary and editorial control over the proposed project.
Applicants 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, and by sample tapes upon request.
If this is your first full-length media project, you will be required to submit a video sample upon request of a shorter finished work that demonstrates your ability to tell a story using the visual medium. If applying for new media, producers must have been producing other short format productions for at least three years.
- Thesis projects or student films.
- Producers or production entities that are foreign based, owned or controlled.
- Industrial or promotional 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 identical 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 funding will average between $5,000 and $100,000 for programs of most genres, including documentary, narrative, performance, mixed genre or new media. 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 at this time. If applying for new media funds, applicants will be expected to complete the project with funds awarded. LPB funding for each stage ranges as follows:
Research and Development $5,000 – $20,000
Research and Development requests should provide funding for producers to fully develop their storylines, identify engaging characters, talent and complete a production proposal and budget. Eligible activities include: (i) research; (ii) clearance of life story rights or other rights necessary to initiate production; (iii) development of a script or treatment, including the hiring of writers; (iv) preliminary filming, if necessary prior to the commencement of principle photography; (v) completion of a production proposal and budget.
Production $25,000 – $100,000
Production requests should provide funding for producers to film and produce their programs. Funding requested may or may not include full completion of the program. Eligible activities include: (i) principle photography (including all production activities, hiring of crew, talent, clearance of rights for public media use; (ii) development of a website for the program and (iii) post-production (including editing and completion).
Post-Production $25,000 – $100,000
Post-Production requests provide funding for producers to complete programs already-in-progress. Eligible activities include: (i) post-production (including editing and completion); (ii) clearance of rights required for public media use; (iii) development of a website for the program; and (iv) if approved by LPB, promotion and outreach expenses for the initial release of the program.
Digital Media $5,000 – $25,000
Digital Media requests provide funding for producers to research, produce and complete “short form” (no more than 20 minute) programs for primary distribution over the Internet or another public television platform, and include vignettes, webisodes and other digital media content. Eligible activities include: (i) research; (ii) clearance of rights necessary to produce, complete and distribute the program; (iii) all standard production and post-production activities; and (iv) creation of engagement materials (including promotion and marketing materials).
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 in 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 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 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 and Mexico. 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 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.
LPB will convene a panel of professionals to evaluate each application using the following criteria:
- 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 and style and demonstrates engaging storytelling techniques.
- The extent to which the proposal takes into account the television medium, and the needs and interests of the program’s target audience.
- The producer’s ability to successfully complete the program on budget and on schedule, given the experience of the producer 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 and are not reviewed during the first phase of this process. If your project moves forward to the second phase, you will be required to submit a sample tape of your current work, if available, or previous work. 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, 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 and you may recommend a strong 5-minute segment you wish reviewed if needed.
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 and one protection master. HDCam or the latest acceptable format outlined in the PBS Redbook.
- 20 DVD copies.
- 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.