Since 2011 Fork Films, founded by CEO and President Abigail Disney and Chief Creative Officer Gini Reticker, has supported independent filmmakers by making grants and strategic investments in films that align with our mission. Awarded grants generally range from $10,000 to $50,000.
In the belief that film has a unique capacity to shed light, evoke compassion and stir action, Fork Films invests in and creates media that make an important social contribution, with a particular emphasis on material that has been overlooked, people who tend to be underestimated, and stories that have been left out of the mainstream historical record. Fork Films awards grants to full-length non-fiction films that foster a culture of understanding and work towards a more peaceful and just society, while utilizing powerful and artistic storytelling methods. Specifically, we seek films that promote peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice, with a particular emphasis on projects that bring women’s voices to the forefront.
Criteria and Process
Fork Films considers many factors when reviewing applications, including the following:
Mission: Is the film in alignment with Fork Films mission?
Story: Does the film have an original story, strong characters, and a clear and engaging structure?
Artistic Quality: Does the film have a compelling cinematic style, and is it technically well made?
Timely: Is this a story that needs to be told now?
Timeline and Budget: Are the production timeline and budget appropriate for the scope of the film?
Team: Is the filmmaker and their assembled team capable of completing this project?
Intended Audience: Does the filmmaker have a clear idea of the audience for the film and how to reach them?
When awarding grants to selected films we consider this the beginning of an ongoing relationship. We seek filmmakers who value being part of a filmmaking community and wish to remain in touch about their progress on the film. We like to work with filmmakers that are open to sharing works in progress and rough cuts with the Fork Films team, and who would find value in this process.
- Fork Films offers grants to selected feature length documentary films in development, production, and post-production.
- A film over 70 min in length is considered a feature length film.
- We do not consider proposals for fiction films, docu-dramas, series, student projects, or outreach campaigns.
- Applicants must own the copyright of their production and have budgetary and editorial control of their project.
- Applicants must be 18 years old or older.
- A current work sample is requested for projects seeking production or post-production funding. It is not required for projects seeking development funding. Work samples may be submitted as password protected links only; we do not accept DVDs. Work samples may not exceed 15 minutes in length. The submitted work sample may be a trailer or selected scenes that show your approach to the story, and demonstrate the overall style of the film.
- You do not need a fiscal sponsor to apply for funding, but should you receive a grant from Fork Films you must be represented by a fiscal sponsor at the time the grant is awarded. International applicants may apply, but must have a U.S. based fiscal sponsor should a grant be awarded. Grant recipients and their fiscal sponsors will be asked to review and sign a grant agreement with Fork Films and to occasionally submit reports on the progress of the project.
Fork Films open call for documentary film grant applications has ended. The next open call for applications will be announced in the late summer of 2017.
Grants from the September 2016 open call will be awarded in late February or early March of 2017.