Diversity Development Fund

Get seed funding to develop your single nonfiction program for broadcast on public television. Filmmakers of color are welcome to apply.

Reopens August 9, 2021

The Application Process


Diversity Development Fund has one funding round per year, with a deadline in September.

We’re looking for exceptional stories by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds: stories that take creative risks, inspire dialogue, and are rarely seen on public media. We are committed to supporting producers of color and creating public media programming that is truly inclusive.

Diversity Development Fund gives producers of color up to $25,000 in research and development funding so you can develop your documentary for public media. Pre-production nonfiction projects only. Around five percent of applicants receive funding. For works in progress, see Open Call. On average, applicants spend 1-2 weeks completing their applications. 

ITVS has adopted the Documentary Core standards as a foundation for our funding applications. Much of the Diversity Development Fund application has been aligned with this model, however, there is additional production detail required to complete the application as ITVS funds documentaries for public television.

Diversity Development Fund is not a grant. You will receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS certain rights over your project during the term of the contract. 

Who We Fund

Diversity Development Fund supports:

  • Projects that have not yet begun production.

  • Single, nonfiction programs of standard broadcast length (30, 60 or 90 minutes). 


You are eligible to apply if you:

  • Identify as a person of color.

  • Own 100% of the copyright of your production and maintain editorial control of the story.

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

  • Have previous film or television production experience in a principal role: director, producer. Student work won’t be reviewed.

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

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

  • Individuals can only submit one application per round. However, an applicant can be a member of the key creative personnel on multiple projects. 

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • Currently enrolled student.
  • Current signatories of any ITVS production contracts who have not yet completed delivery.
  • Producers representing foreign-based production entities.
  • Organizations including universities, foundations, and nonprofit organizations
  • Former employees who have worked for ITVS within the past 12 months.

What to Expect

The Application

Elements of the application include a three page treatment, previously completed work link to a film publicly exhibited or distributed, resume with filmography, and development budget. There is an optional field for sample footage to the current project, however it is not required to apply to this fund.

The Review Process

After you submit your application, you will receive notification of your status within three months. If you are among the group of finalists, you will be asked to submit additional materials about your project, including a more detailed budget. 

Production and Distribution

The Diversity Development Fund provides research and development support for pre-production projects. We’ll help you develop a program treatment, work sample, and project plan – materials that will prepare you to apply for production funding.

FAQ: Diversity Development Fund