ITVS Diversity Development Fund Frequently Asked Questions

August 9, 2021

Q: Who should apply?

A: The Diversity Development Fund (DDF) is a Research and Development fund for filmmakers of color, over the age of 18, who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories, and have non-fiction projects that are in development or pre-production.

Q: What amount of funding is available through the DDF Initiative?

A:  We provide up to $25,000 in Research and Development funding per project. ITVS funds are not a grant; it is a development agreement for the public media broadcast version of your documentary. 

Q: What can DDF Funds be used for?

A: DDF funds can used for research, travel, crew, and any preliminary production costs associated with crafting a work in progress and/or fundraising trailer. 

Q: What program lengths are eligible for funding?

A: We consider projects at standard public television broadcast lengths: half-hour (26:40), one-hour (56:40), or feature length (86:40).

Q: How many DDF projects are funded every year?

 A: The selection process is highly competitive. Generally, ITVS funds the top 5%  of applications received annually through DDF.

Q: I do not have any funds secured to date. Am I still eligible for funding?

 A: Yes. Prior funding commitments are not required. All proposals should include a fundraising strategy that details how you will raise the funds for your project, irrespective of potential funding from ITVS. This includes foundation grants, non-PBS broadcast license agreements (pre-sales), private donations, in-kind support and crowd source funding.

Q:  May an applicant submit multiple applications?

A: No. Individuals may only submit one application per round, per initiative. Only one project can be under consideration for ITVS funding at any time.

Q: May I ask ITVS to review an element of my proposal before I apply? For example, a trailer, synopsis, or my treatment.

A: We only review materials as part of the application process, after they are formally submitted for consideration through our online application process.

Q: How will I know if ITVS has received my proposal?

A: You will receive an email from ITVS confirming receipt of your proposal.

Q: When will I find out if my application has been greenlit for funding?

A: Applicants will be notified in writing of funding decisions. Decisions on DDF funding take approximately 3 months after the application deadline.

Q: If my project is not funded, will ITVS provide feedback?

A: All projects that advance to the second round of DDF, or Panel Review, will receive feedback. Projects that do not advance beyond the first round of review will not receive feedback. The decisions by ITVS regarding funding and the application process are final and are not subject to appeal.

Q. Can I provide project updates after my application is submitted?

A. You may email the programming coordinator (email listed in the application) regarding a major funding update, but in order to maintain a consistent and fair application process, no updated materials are accepted after the application deadline.

Q: Do I need a fiscal sponsor? 

A:  No, you do not need a fiscal sponsor to apply to the Diversity Development Fund.

Q: Can I reapply if my proposal has been declined in the past?

A:  Yes. You are welcome to reapply to the Diversity Development Fund or other ITVS funding initiatives. If you are reapplying with a previously declined project, we recommend sending in updated materials that detail the progress made from previous applications. 

Q: What if I have additional questions?

A: You may send an email query with specific questions to  Please understand that we cannot provide status updates. If ITVS needs additional information, we will contact you during the review and decision process.

Q:  I am having trouble with the online application form. Can I submit by email or mail?

A: No. Applications must be submitted through the online process. If you are experiencing difficulty using the online form, please contact

Q: Is there a submission fee to apply to Open Call?

A: No, there is no submission fee required to apply to any of ITVS's funding initiatives.

Q: I used to work for ITVS. Can I now apply for funding?

A: In order to address any conflict of interest concerns, any former employee has a waiting period of 12 months before they are eligible to apply to all ITVS funding initiatives as an applicant.