We support artist-driven, non-fiction film and new media storytelling projects that explore aspects of inequality and the organizations and networks supporting these projects. At this time, we do not accept unsolicited Letters of Inquiry (LOI) or proposals from organizations.

Considerations when applying for film production grants

Submissions for documentary film projects are closed. Submissions will re-open in February 2024. Additional information on the submission and grantmaking process will be available in the upcoming months.

JustFilms accepts inquiries for direct film production grants year-round, averaging between 1,000 to 1,500 inquiries yearly. While we welcome submissions from any region of the world, we have a particular focus on the areas where the foundation has regional offices. We support 25-30 feature documentary film projects through annual grants, at all stages of production. Unfortunately, we do not fund narrative or scripted projects.

Please note that the Ford Foundation supports many organizations that also make grants for documentary projects. We invite you to explore whether your project might be better suited for support through other programs, many of which are included on resource lists at the International Documentary Association, Sundance Documentary Program, and American Documentary.

All projects submitted for JustFilms grants will be judged on the basis of social and cultural impact, artistic excellence, alignment with Ford priorities, and creativity and innovation in form. At JustFilms, we’re thinking about our work broadly along these lines where:

  • Political power focuses on a robust civil society and fair governance
  • Economic power focuses on workers’ rights and equitable and just economic policies 
  • Cultural power enables artists and culture bearers to shape narratives that promote equality

To apply for a grant

Information about your project can be submitted below. The information we request generally aligns with the Documentary Core Application utilized by the IDA, Sundance Documentary Film Program and other funding organizations.

Upon review of your materials by Ford staff, you may receive an invitation to submit additional materials. If you do not hear from JustFilms within 90 days of submitting your application, your project has not advanced in consideration. If you are contacted for further information, the entire review and decision process may take several months, given a number of variables specific to each project.

Please note that we have very limited staffing and therefore regret that we cannot respond to each applicant directly. We cannot respond individually to phone calls or emails asking about the status of your submission.