Digital Open Call

Our newest initiative gives you seed funding so you can develop digital stories for public media. Emerging storytellers are welcome.

Reopens Winter 2020

The Application Process


Digital Open Call has one funding round per year.

We’re looking for exceptional stories on any subject. We provide up to $30,000 in research and development funding to help you take your original digital content idea to the pilot stage for distribution on public media. 

Digital Open Call is only open to pre-production nonfiction web series or shorts. On average, applicants spend 1-2 weeks completing their applications.

Digital Open Call is not a grant. You’ll receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS first-look rights over your project during the term of the contract.

Who We Fund

Digital Open Call supports:

  • Proposals for digital stories in development that have not yet begun principal production.

  • Proposals for digital series of any length or number of episodes.  

  • All genres: non-fiction, linear, transmedia.


You are eligible to apply if you are:

  • The owner of the copyright of your production and maintain editorial control of the story.

  • Not employed as a producer or director by a broadcast entity or film studio.

  • Someone with previous film or television production experience in a principal role: director, co-director, producer, co-producer; digital production experience preferred.  

  • Applying to only this ITVS funding initiative at this time – we won’t review projects already under consideration for other ITVS funding.

  • Not currently a student at any college or university. 

  • A citizen or legal resident of the U.S. or its external territories age 18 or older.

Projects are ineligible If:

  • It is a completed digital series or standalone short looking for distribution.

  • It is a new season for an already existing digital series.

  • A feature-length documentary. 

  • A project intended for broadcast distribution.

  • It is a scripted project.

What to Expect

The Review Process

After you submit your application, you will receive notification of your status within sixteen weeks. If you are among the group of finalists, you will be asked to submit additional materials about your project.

Production and Distribution

Digital Open Call comes in the form of a development agreement. If selected for development funding, all projects are reviewed for production funding after a pilot or proof-of-concept is produced. However, receiving funding from Digital Open Call isn’t a guarantee that you will receive production funding from ITVS.

You’ll own the copyright and maintain creative, editorial, and financial control of your project.