The application review process and timeline
International submission inquiries are reviewed by ITVS staff.
Timetable: The submission process for project inquiries will be open year-round beginning September 15, 2012.
After submitting the project inquiry, the ITVS staff will review the project and follow up with a response within one month. If we invite the project to the next phase, we will ask for a full proposal and additional material. The proposal review process will take two-three months.
Program funding selection
If the project is selected, it will be funded through co-production financing. The detailed ITVS guidelines for funding explain the process and criteria for program selection. Decisions are based on the merits of a proposed project and made at the discretion of ITVS staff. Decisions on program selection are made solely by ITVS, which is an independent nonprofit corporation and not within the control of any other public or private entity.
Production and distribution for ITVS funded programs
International Initiative Funding is not a grant. Selected projects will receive funding once a production license agreement is executed. This is a contract assigning ITVS International exclusive broadcast rights in the United States.
In certain cases, we may ask for rights outside the U.S.
Depending on the individual contract, ITVS International may participate in revenue sharing in all versions of the production. Please read the co-production agreement note.
Here are some additional things to know about working with ITVS if your program is funded through the International Initiative:
Filmmakers have one year from contracting to produce the documentary for our television version.
Content and control
- The program does not need to be filmed in English; in fact, we prefer original language with subtitles and will use these versions wherever possible.
- The producers have creative and financial control of the project and will own the copyright. ITVS International will consult with the producers regarding creative, editorial, and financial matters throughout the production and the completion of the program.
- ITVS International will require input into the editing and presentation of the program to meet U.S. broadcast standards and regulations, but also to attract and be relevant for a U.S. audience.
- ITVS reserves the right to make changes to and reformat the program for the purpose of delivering to a U.S. broadcast outlet. This may include but is not limited to, subtitling, narration, editing for time, and to fit the technical and format requirements of the broadcaster.
- ITVS International will receive co-production credits on all International Initiative documentaries, including an executive producer credit.
- ITVS participates in revenue sharing of the net profits from your documentary from all distribution, on all versions worldwide. The revenue share is a percentage based on the amount of ITVS’s budget contribution.
- ITVS International works with PBS and more than 350 U.S. public television stations, along with other U.S. broadcasters to secure the best and widest audience for each program.
- Only in certain cases, we may ask for rights outside the U.S.
- Distribution options for each program will depend on the interest of our partners in public television and cable, the program’s content and other factors. ITVS International will also seek multiplatform distribution venues such as podcasts or video-on-demand for these projects.
- We have a 100 percent placement rate of securing distribution for our ITVS International programs.
- Projects with international distribution partners attached will be considered as long as exclusive U.S. broadcast rights are available and held by the producer(s).
ITVS requires periodic financial reporting, and it must be able to withstand an audit. Each year ITVS randomly selects a number of projects for auditing. Every funded producer is assigned a member of the production staff who works with them to review financial and narrative reports and other deliverables. The production department representative will also be in dialogue about the program and its progress.