Ask Programming: International Call Questions

Posted on December 23, 2009

With the ITVS International Call deadline quickly approaching on February 5, 2010, the ITVS programming staff takes some time out to answer a few of your frequently asked questions:

Q. How does the International Call work?
A. Through the International Call funding initiative, ITVS works to: 

1. Seek out international projects. We work closely with international media markets, film festivals and producer organizations to find and attract the most compelling television project proposals from around the world. 

2. Select the best projects created by international independent producers. The International Call incorporates a peer-review process involving distinguished industry professionals (filmmakers, commissioning editors, broadcasters, etc.) from around the world.

3. Fund and manage projects to completion. Through the International Call, we provide production funds in exchange for a license for domestic broadcast; strategic commissioning commitments vary. ITVS works with producers to ensure that all programs meet broadcast and editorial standards. 4. Find U.S. television distribution outlets. Working with the producer, public television and other outlets, we negotiate U.S. distribution through public or cable television. 5. Maximize impact. Through publicity and community outreach campaigns, we help programs find and impact audiences.

Q. What is the most common mistake that International Call applicants make? 
A. Unfortunately many applicants do not read the guidelines as carefully as they should. Many producers do not write clear treatments, making them generic and unspecific as to how the story will be told. Other common mistakes are incomplete proposals, no work-in-progress reel or no completed sample work. These can make applications ineligible. If you have additional questions, visit our International Call message board at And for more information, email Jonathan Archer: or call ITVS at 415-356-8383.

Want to know more about ITVS policies and procedures for funding? Read other recently asked questions from filmmakers >>


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