OVERVIEW: The Tribeca Film Institute is similar to Sundance in that they not only provide grant assistance for documentary film projects, they also offer a wealth of non-monetary support in the way of networking, one-on-one guidance, and other modes of help for projects at different stages of production.
IP TAKE: Tribeca does not provide quite as many funding opportunities for documentary film as Sundance, but there are still quite a number of ways to get your documentary project funded here.
PROFILE: The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) was created by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff “in the wake of September 11, 2001.” The institute “champions storytellers to be the catalysts for change in their communities and around the world.” It makes nearly $1 million in independent filmmaking grants every year in the categories of Narrative, Documentary, and New Media productions. Tribeca’s support for journalism happens primarily through funding for different types of documentary projects.
TFI Latin American Media Arts Fund - Supports innovative film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America whose works reflect their diverse cultures in the documentary or mixed media form. Grants are for up to $12,000 and support projects that are in production or post-production.
Tribeca All Access – Grants through this program support feature-length scripted and documentary projects by directors, producers, or writers from communities that are underrepresented in the film industry.
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund – Feature length documentaries that are currently in production or post production qualify for this $10,000 to $25,000 award. Films eligible for this award must address and humanize pressing social issues.
TFI Documentary Fund – Non-fiction documentary films that are in the advanced stages of development, in production, or in post-production qualify for this grant, which ranges from $25,000 to $50,000.
TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize - This grant, of up to $18,000, provides support for graduate students (pursuing master's degrees) making short-form documentaries about athletic communities or organizations using sports to make the world a better place. Applicants must be enrolled at one of a specific number of universities; however, TFI will consider adding schools to the list.
The Resilient Communities Project - The project provides support for "a film beginning early in the creative process and [to] help promote social action through digital and education initiatives."
Tribeca also offers different alumni grants, available for projects which have already participated in Tribeca All Access, or for new projects from program alumni. These grants target needs such as assistance in project completion and help with pitches, marketing, branding, and audience development.
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