Ask Programming: Recent Questions from Filmmakers

Posted on January 25, 2010

ITVS programming staff answer questions from filmmakers about the funding process: 

Q. Why does ITVS only support three-act, character-driven films?
A. This is a common misconception about ITVS. We actually support all types of documentaries, and don't prescribe to any one approach. It's up to the filmmaker to determine the approach and most choose the character-driven, three-act structure form. 

As part of our mission, we encourage innovation and want filmmakers to come to us with non-traditional forms of storytelling that will work for a broad public television audience. A recent example of a documentary that breaks out of the conventional genre is Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness, airing on Independent Lens, Tuesday, February 2 at 10:00 PM (check local listings). Three-act, character-driven documentaries are an effective and powerful way to tell a story, but we invite filmmakers to explore and innovate with new forms. 

Q. Is there anywhere that I can I learn more about documentary storytelling? 
A. Glad you asked! On February 8, ITVS is co-presenting a seminar at the San Francisco Film Society, entitled Thinking Outside the Doc Box. Video from the seminar will be available after the event on Beyond the Box blog and the ITVS Facebook fan page.

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


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