Fundraising for Filmmakers: Where’s the Money?

A week ago, Good Pitch held a gathering in San Francisco that was a platform for documentary filmmakers to network and fundraise. Having leveraged more than $3.4 million from various entities, Good Pitch (which was created by BritDoc and the Sundance Institute) selected seven films in various stages of production from applicants around the world. The filmmaking teams are then invited to present to an audience that is able to support these projects through funding and outreach.

Filmmaker Update: Upcoming Works

By the time a film screens at Mountainfilm in Telluride, many of the filmmakers are already thinking about—if not actually making—his or her next project. With that in mind, here are some films that are fairly far along in production, many of which may screen at the festival in the near future.

Behind the Scenes Before Mountainfilm: Filmmaker Tips and Secrets to Come

It requires some serious planning to deliver four days of artists, art, activists, documentaries, shorts, filmmakers, panel discussions, scientists, books, authors, slide presentations, environmentalists, extreme athletes and other socially important elements.

With the festival less than two months away, it’s crunch time. At this moment, the festival’s programming department — festival director David Holbrooke and program director Emily Long — are scrambling to finalize the 2012 schedule.

We caught up with the two of them and they shared a few tips for filmmakers and what it’s like to be in the Mountainfilm trenches right now.

Filmmaker Greg Barker Explores Islam As A Force In The World

Filmmaker Greg Barker has had two films at Mountainfilm recently: Sergio (2009) and Koran by Heart (2011). This New York Times piece profiles him and his work.

"On his way home from covering the Persian Gulf war, the filmmaker Greg Barker stayed overnight in a small Egyptian village. Early the next morning, an undulating sound awakened him. For someone raised in Southern California, where predawn interruptions usually come from car alarms, it took some time to realize he was hearing the muezzin’s call to prayer.

In that moment, Mr. Barker sensed both epiphany and rebuke. Something about the summons to worship clearly mattered enormously to the people now heading toward the mosque. Yet even after working for months as a journalist in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, reporting on a war in the midst of the Muslim world, Mr. Barker had to admit that he knew virtually nothing about Islam."

Filmmakers: IDA Documentary Awards Call for Entries 2011 Deadline

Attention fillmmakers: the IDA Awards Call For Entries 2011 late (final) deadline is Wednesday July 6, 2011.

From IDA:

Submit your documentary now for consideration in the 2011 IDA Awards. Now in its 27th year, the IDA Awards is the foremost event dedicated to the art of documentary film. Winners are announced at the gala event at the DGA theater in Los Angeles on December 2, 2011.

Entry is open to any documentary, nonfiction or factual program completed between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 that qualifies for one of the five main award categories. Projects submitted to prior IDA Awards shows are not eligible. Please contact with any questions. Multiple projects may be submitted, however each submission must be made separately. Submission fees paid online via are discounted $5.00.

Full listing of the 27th Annual IDA Awards rules and requirements available on Withoutabox or here.

Filmmakers: Cinereach Grant

Another excellent opportunity for filmmakers seeking funding, this time from Cinereach.

Cinereach supports feature-length nonfiction and fiction films that are at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry, and vital subject matter. Our grantees' films often possess an independent spirit, depict underrepresented perspectives, and resonate across international boundaries. They favor story over message, character over agenda, and complexity over duality.

Grant amounts can range from $5,000 – $50,000 per project and can be awarded to support any stage of production including research and development, production and post-production. There are two grant cycles per year (Summer and Winter). Within each cycle, between five and fifteen projects are selected to receive support.

Cinreach supported films aim to:

Support 'Crude' Filmmakers in Fight Against Chevron

We believe in supporting independent filmmakers that work on important causes, which is why we want to alert your attention to what's happening with the documentary film Crude: The Real Price of Oil. From the Crude blog: