The International Documentary Association has announced a four-year, $5 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to establish a fund that supports the critical storytelling efforts of independent documentary filmmakers.
The IDA Documentary/Journalism Project will award $1 million annually in production and development grants to nonfiction filmmakers committed to the in-depth exploration of contemporary stories through a journalistic lens. It also will support mentorship, training, and access to resources, including research tools, legal resources, and other support services, for both grantees and the broader field.
To that end, the project will engage an advisory committee of filmmakers and journalists to award production grants ranging from $75,000 to $100,000 to ten films and development grants ranging between $10,000 and $15,000 each to ten to fifteen films.
"The MacArthur Foundation supports independent inquiry and storytelling that helps to inform, engage, and inspire the American public to think critically and deeply about the challenges we face as a nation," said Kathy Im, director of the foundation's Journalism and Media program. "Support for this new fund at IDA is an expression of the foundation’s enduring commitment to independent media, and part of a broader set of investments aimed at building strong institutions in the fields of nonprofit journalism, nonfiction storytelling, and participatory civic media."