Applications are now open. (Early Deadline: May 2nd. Late Deadline: May 23rd). Apply here!
Spotlight on Documentaries is an extremely successful and viable forum for U.S. and International buyers, sales agents, and financiers to meet with filmmakers with new documentary feature and serialized projects. Presenting 60+ documentary projects ranging from those at an early financing stage (i.e. early development or in production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in post-production or at a rough cut stage), this section includes emerging and established filmmakers working in non-fiction.
Accepted filmmakers take part in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with potential financing and distribution partners, speed dating meetings with festival programmers, invitations to private documentary events, and exclusive access to the Filmmaker Conference.
For essential information, please read our Program Guidelines and FAQ.
Who Can Apply
Filmmakers in development, production or post-production seeking financing partners, broadcast/distribution, and festival invitations. Projects may only be submitted by US filmmakers*, or, if an international project made by by a non-US filmmaker, through one of IFP’s Presenting Partners. All submissions through a Presenting Partner are by invitation only and must have been confirmed by that partner prior to submission or by direct invitation of IFP. For a list of our international Presenting Partners, see the bottom of this page.
*U.S. filmmakers only (‘U.S. filmmakers’ means: U.S.-born, or U.S. resident; projects submitted through open submissions must have a U.S. director or lead producer attached; a select number of non-U.S. projects are considered through IFP’s international partners only.)
*Documentary Features (intended 52 minutes or longer)
(work-in-progress features that are in production or post-production, but not yet complete, with sample material to submit)
*Documentary Series – Long Form (episode length 22 minutes or longer)
(limited or continuing series of two or more episodes; in development or production with sample material to submit preferred)
*Documentary Series – Short Form (average episode length 15 minutes or less)
(limited or continuing series of three or more episodes; in development or production with sample material to submit required)
Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson, Keith Maitland’s Tower, Ido Haar’s Presenting Princess Shaw, Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)error, Aaron Brookner’s Uncle Howard, Davd Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Thank You for Playing, Dawn Porter’s Trapped, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker’s Welcome to Leith, Leah Wolchok’s Very Semi-Serious, Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo’s Rich Hill, Louie Psihoyos’ Racing Extinction, Todd Miller’s Dinosaur 13, David Thorpe’s Do I Sound Gay?, Jody Lee Lipes’ Ballet 422, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller; Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer; Jesse Moss’ The Overnighters, Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot.
Around the world, IFP has partnerships with key support organizations and funding bodies that provide the most exciting international projects the opportunity to seek out the resources and connections the Project Forum can provide. Non-U.S. applicants to the Project Forum may only submit via these partners. Our 2016 Presenting Partners are:
Berlinale Co-Production Market
CineLink – Sarajevo Film Festival
CineMart – International Film Festival Rotterdam
CoPro – The Israel Documentary Screen Market
French in Motion / UniFrance
Frontières International Co-Production Market
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – IDFA
Istanbul – Meetings on the Bridge
Israel Film Fund
Los Cabos International Film Festival
National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa
NFDC Cinemas of India/Goa Film Bazaar
Sheffield Doc/Fest & MeetMarket
Sofia Independent Film Festival
Venice Biennale College – Cinema