American Documentary Inc., the media org behind PBS’s “POV,” is launching a new $100,000 fund on crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to provide grants to aspiring documentary filmmakers.
AmDoc’s Kickstarter fund is supported by the Knight Foundation. The two organizations will use the money to support the production and promotion of nonfiction film and media in the 26 cities where Knight invests.
The program is one of the first under the Kickstarter Patrons initiative, which lets nonprofit or for-profit organizations establish funds for creative endeavors.
In addition to AmDoc/Knight fund, production facility Pinewood Atlanta Studios is launching a Kickstarter Patrons fund committed to supporting projects of female filmmakers in the state of Georgia. As part of the initiative, Pinewood Atlanta Studios is offering artists mentorships, networking opportunities and access to its vendor ecosystem.
For the AmDoc fund, special priority will be given to active Kickstarter projects with a “demonstrated commitment to diversity across the entire production team, including on both sides of the camera,” according to the nonprofit. The fund also will prioritize documentary projects that are geared around emerging digital media platforms and interactive storytelling elements.
The AmDoc/Knight fund will be administered by a rotating committee of AmDoc staff that will evaluate and select projects on a biweekly basis. After an initial contribution of $1,000-$10,000, AmDoc may provide additional support, including outreach support to help the project achieve its funding goal as well as project feedback and mentorship from AmDoc staff. When a project successfully completes its campaign, AmDoc will follow up with creators to offer additional media support and the opportunity to gain feedback, mentorship and engagement strategies from AmDoc staff.
“Through this initiative, [AmDoc] will maximize Kickstarter’s innovative crowdfunding platform to help emerging filmmakers gain critical support,” Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation’s VP for arts, said in a statement.
Since its founding in 1988, AmDoc has pursued a mission of empowering independent, nonfiction storytellers, said Justine Nagan, executive director of American Documentary. “Creating the fund is part of AmDoc’s effort to expand its field-building initiatives and meet mediamakers where they are,” she said, adding that the 26 communities Knight invests in “often encompass small to midsize cities.”
Brooklyn-based Kickstarter, launched in 2009, has provided $3.1 billion in funding to independent creators across multiple categories to date. The company takes a 5% cut of successfully funded projects, plus transaction-processing fees.
For AmDoc/Knight’s Kickstarter Patron initiative, the projects should be based in Knight communities in the following areas: Aberdeen, S.D.; Philadelphia; San Jose, Calif.; Detroit; St. Paul, Minn.; Boulder, Colo.; Akron, Ohio; Biloxi, Miss.; Bradenton, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Duluth, Minn.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Gary, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Long Beach, Calif.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Milledgeville, Ga.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; State College, Pa.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan.