DOC NYC PRO: Funding Your Documentary Wednesday, July 8

Click here to watch the recorded panel.

DOC NYC PRO hosted a daylong online workshop on Funding Your Documentary, featuring institutional grantmakers, equity investors, and other sources of support for documentary filmmakers, their projects, and the documentary organizations that incubate and exhibit their work. For live participants craving more interactivity and community, we closed out the day with a breakout Q&A session and social networking hour, where dialogue continued outside the panel format.

Session One: 11-11:45 am
Broadening the pipeline for documentary funding
In our first session, Ford Foundation’s Chi-hui Yang joins to talk about JustFilms, which provides grants to filmmakers for social justice storytelling, and funds the 21st-century arts infrastructure that supports it. And Merrill Sterritt from Cinereach discusses the Cinereach Foundation’s organizational programming grants, including to groups like Indie Memphis and Detroit Narrative Agency, whose regional support of nonfiction storytellers amplifies the work of documentary media makers across the United States.

Session Two: 12-12:45 pm
Unique models in philanthropic giving 
In session two, Jenny Raskin shares Impact Partners’ unique equity investment funding model, in which filmmakers and investors work together to reach mass audiences, generate revenue and showcase important social-issue storytelling. She’s joined by Steve Cohen of Chicago Media Project, who describes its community philanthropy structure, in which its individual donor-members pool their charitable giving to support filmmakers through grantmaking.

Session Three: 1-1:45 pm
Filmmaker case study
In our final session, Erika Cohn and Angela Tucker talk about funding their 2020 feature documentary, Belly of the Beast, and its impact and distribution activities. They chart their diversity of funding sources, including institutional grant support, private donations, and a broadcast co-production partnership. Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures and one of Belly of the Beast’s funders, joins to talk about Chicken & Egg’s support of the film’s outreach work—and its broader mission to support women nonfiction filmmakers whose films catalyze social change.

Breakout Sessions and Social Hour: 2-3 pm
Following our panel programming, live participants will be paired with presenters in small-group settings for virtual breakout question-and-answer sessions. At 2:20 pm, we’ll all come back together for social and networking time.

Register now!

If you have questions about accommodations and accessibility for this event, please email

Tickets are $35 and offer access to participate in the livestreamed panel sessions and to have unlimited access to session recordings after the livestream. Live participants are also encouraged to join the interactive breakout session and social hour from 2-3 pm; this last hour will not be recorded, nor available to those watching after the livestream is over. All registrants will receive written resource materials, including a transcript of the live sessions and referenced links and materials.