WHAT IS LPB’S DIGITAL MEDIA FUND?
Digital Media Fund is an open invitation to independent producers to submit proposals for digital short form programs fiction or non-fiction (no longer than 20 minutes) for primary distribution online via an existing public television platform, and can be in the form of a short film, web series and other mixed digital media content. CONTENT PRIORITIES Programs applying to the Digital Media Fund can be in the genres of the arts, history, science, biography, health, personal storytelling, cultural documentary, mixed genre and narrative. Projects should bring new audiences to public media and present a range of subjects, issues and viewpoints that complement and challenge existing public media offerings. Programs should integrate strong story-telling techniques that give voice and provide a lens to the diverse Latino community. While projects can take creative risks and reflect personal or individual experience, they must ultimately appeal to a national U.S. audience.
- 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 operating independently from a film studio, commercial broadcast or cable entity.
- Applicants are strongly recommended to have a Latino/a in a director and/or producer role.
- Applicant must retain the copyright, artistic, budgetary and editorial control over the proposed project.
- Applicants applying to the Digital Media Fund are not eligible to apply to the PMCF or CIF with the same or different project.
- Applicants must agree to create only one version of the program/film. A re-edited version of the LPB funded program cannot be re-packaged for another network.
- 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.
- Applicants are only allowed to submit one application for a project per review period.
- First time, full-length media makers that move forward to phase two will be required to submit a video sample of a shorter finished work that demonstrates your ability to tell a story using the visual medium. Media makers must have been producing other short format productions for at least three years.
- All funding requests must be submitted in accordance with LPB’s guidelines.
- Programs/films previously submitted and declined by LPB with no substantial change to the proposal
- Thesis projects or student films
- Public television stations
- Producers 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 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
Applicants applying for digital media projects will be expected to complete the project with funds awarded. LPB funding range for the digital category as follows: Digital Media $10,000 – $25,000 Digital Media: Funding to produce and complete “short form” (no more than 20 minutes) programs for primary distribution over the Internet or another public television platform, and can include short films, web series and other mixed digital media content. Eligible activities include: (i); clearance of rights necessary to produce, complete and distribute the program; and (ii) all standard production and post-production activities.
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 including the right to distribute over the Internet by way of streaming (including archiving and through social media sites and other web-based and wireless platforms under the control of LPB and/or the PBS or another public media distributor) on an exclusive basis for an unlimited number of times during a period of one (1) year following the initial web release and for an unlimited number of times for an additional two (2) years on a non-exclusive basis. 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 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.
Proposals submitted to the Digital Media Fund will 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 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 audience.
- Uniqueness and originality of the premise or story.
- 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 online viewers 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 for review during the first phase of this process. However, applicants have the option to include a link to previous sample work in the initial application.
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 deliverables, including:
- Closed captioning.
- General liability and errors and omissions insurance.
- Electronic copy of the completed Production in MPEG-4 (.mp4) format (reference the PBS Redbook/web manual for the latest technical specifications).
- Licensing or otherwise clearing all necessary rights for exclusive distribution on PBS.org or public television platform, and all other rights required by the web content agreement.
- Photography services for promotional stills.
- Fiscal sponsorship fees (not to exceed 10% of total budget) if applicable.