Launched in 2010, the Catapult Development Fund provides early-stage support to documentary filmmakers when funding is hardest to find. Catapult conducts an open call for applications twice a year, with decisions announced in the early spring and late fall.
Check the guidelines for eligibility.
- Artful, compelling storytelling that moves you, with a preference for character-driven narratives over lesson or agenda-heavy projects
- Originality of approach, content, and form
- Creative and innovative storytelling techniques
- Contemporary relevance with a unique perspective, style, and/or tone
- Project feasibility with respect to budget, financing, schedule, and scope
- Demonstrated ability of the creative team to implement previous projects
- Credible access and rapport with the proposed subject(s) of the story, with attention to accountability and ethics
- Significant impact of Catapult grant on development stage of the project
- Potential of the project to generate public discourse and social engagement
- Grant awards range from $5000 to $25,000. If selected, grantees must have a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor to officially accept the award.
- Once accepted, Catapult will provide a letter of agreement that clearly outlines use of funds, reporting, and deliverables. Report deadlines are determined by the grantee, based on project goals and timeline.
- Grantees must submit two financial reports during the course of the grant period: an interim report, which will accompany a narrative report; and a final financial report to be submitted once the grant is complete.
- Upon completion of the award period, grantees must submit the proposed fundraising piece. Grantees agree to return any funds not used for the purpose of the grant.
- Grantees will be expected to acknowledge Catapult support with text and/or logo recognition in film credits, publicity, and promotional materials, as well as tickets to the film’s premiere.
- Beyond the grant, Catapult serves as an early and engaged champion for our grantees by providing editorial feedback, industry connections, and mentorship based on project needs.