1. If the director is based outside of the U.S. but the producer is based in the U.S., do we still qualify?

We will accept applications from producers based in the U.S. (even if the director isn’t based in the U.S.), as long as the producer will be the person leading/running the impact plans and will be the one prepared to attend meetings and the Impact Kickstart strategy summit.

The director must still identify as an underrepresented maker, as defined above, in this case.

2. If our director doesn’t identify as underrepresented but a majority of the rest of the team does, do we still qualify?

No. Although the director doesn’t have to be the applicant, we still require that the director identify as an underrepresented maker. Our lens is one of equity, and decolonizing the documentary field. This award is for film projects directed by underrepresented filmmakers. It’s not just a matter of diversity, but rooted in a desire to lift up largely underrepresented perspectives and to serve directors and film teams who disproportionately do not have the same level of access and resources as other directors proximate to power and privilege who are more widely represented in the field.

3. How do you define “feature length”?

40 minutes or longer. If you are submitting a multi-part series, then the total run time of the full series should be 40 minutes or longer.

4. How does Working Films define accountability to and consent from participants and communities?

Accountable filmmaking acknowledges that storytelling is a sacred, human endeavor, and that storytelling through filmmaking is a privilege that, like any privilege, is fraught with power dynamics, historical context, and social inequities. Accountable filmmaking responsibly stewards the intended and unintended impacts of making a film and conscientiously aspires to operationalize values and ethics in each aspect of the storytelling process (This is a definition co-created by the Indie Media Arts South working group focused on non-extractive storytelling). While every film is unique in its process of production and release, there are core values that we believe should undergird all storytelling endeavors. These are outlined by the Documentary Accountability Working Group here. Regarding consent, we believe that it is an ongoing process that should be revisited throughout the making and release of a film, not a one time agreement at the start of the filmmaking process.

5. If one of the directors is from an underrepresented community, does the film have to deal with the same underrepresented community our director has experienced?

No, the filmmaker does not need to reflect or represent the same community, or underrepresented matter as the film explores. Applicants should be able to speak to this in the application.

6. Are the expenses related to the strategy summit (honoraria for participants, venues, etc.) deducted from the grant amount?

All of the costs associated with the strategy summit are separate from the awarded $60,000 of the Impact Kickstart grant and will not be deducted from the grant amount.

7. If a strategy summit has a transnational component, can the summit accommodate non US based participants and non English speakers?

Yes! To date we have not had non US based participants take part in the strategy summit, but we will work with film teams to have an in-person strategy summit for all participants and if that is not possible we can definitely embrace hybridity and find creative ways to include participants from across the globe. And although we have not yet had non English speakers take part in a strategy summit to date, we have worked with interpreters before and can definitely make any language accommodations for a strategy summit.

8. What is the acceptance rate of impact campaign recipients?

There are 2 grants awarded each cycle of Impact Kickstart, and historically there have been 60+ applicants each cycle.

9. Can the film have impact internationally and in the U.S.?

Yes! There has been a heavy U.S. focus as we are a U.S. based organization, but we can definitely work with film teams towards an international impact campaign.

10. Can Working Films provide an impact budget template?

There is not a required template applicants need to follow. However, you can certainly reference the impact budget template below.

Impact Campaign Budget – Template

11. Can the funding be used to pay the protagonist as part of implementing the impact campaign?


12. Are film participants encouraged to take part in the strategy summit.

Absolutely. The voices of film participants are so valuable in the strategy summit. Although, it’s not lost on us that film participants are already asked to do so much over the lifespan of the film so we also encourage taking that into consideration.

13. I have more questions! What can I do?

You can watch our webinar linked on the call for applications page. If you have any additional questions, please email Mara Henderson at mhenderson@workingfilms.org.