Who is eligible to apply?

Please make sure that your film meets the following eligibility requirements:

  • Independent Lens accepts completed work and fine cuts.

  • Independent Lens accepts all styles of nonfiction film including POV, social issue, experimental, animation, etc.

  • Independent Lens accepts submissions at any length, however there are standard television broadcast length requirements that may necessitate reediting.

  • The majority of programs accepted will be scheduled in a "one-hour" time slot, with a total running time of 53:25 minutes. On occasion, Independent Lens, will broadcast in a "90-minute" time slot with a total running time of 83:25 minutes.

  • Independent Lens accepts independently produced work solely authored by individuals.

  • Submissions must have been produced in the last three (3) years. Independent Lens will consider exceptional works completed before this date only if they have achieved significant recognition.

  • Independent Lens will pay a license fee that is negotiated relevant to market rates.

  • Programs previously submitted and passed on by Independent Lens will not be reconsidered unless the producer has made substantial changes to at least 75% of the content in accordance with feedback from ITVS or PBS, or if the filmmaker has been invited to resubmit.

  • All content must be cleared for broadcast on U.S. television.

  • Sample reels, assemblies, and excerpts cannot be considered for broadcast, however Independent Lens is interested in discovering new projects and we urge you to submit your film to ITVS OPEN CALL for production funding consideration.

  • Programs do not have to have Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance in place when submitted, but the filmmaker will need to make arrangements to secure E&O insurance if the program is accepted.

  • Programs must meet PBS and FCC broadcast standards, and PBS technical guidelines. PBS technical guidelines are available at pbs.org/producers/redbook.

  • Programs must comply with PBS editorial and funding standards. Information on PBS editorial and funding standards is available at pbs.org/producers/guidelines.