The Climate Story Fund is now closed.
Since 2020, the Doc Society Climate Story Fund has awarded $1.9M to stories and impact campaigns from around the world that move us closer to a more climate just and biodiverse future.
We believe investing in culture is a solution to address the climate emergency. We aren’t looking for the silver bullet story that will work for everyone, rather we believe we need a multitude of stories “as diverse as the ecosystems we seek to save” (props to filmmaker Michael Premo for coining this phrase).
Stories that are from, by and about different communities.
Stories that tickle the romantics, comedians, and thrill seekers alike
Stories that forge deep connections with those who have historically been ignored and marginalized by the climate conversation.
Stories that can help see new norms and beliefs and germinate visions of a more climate just and safe future.
Stories that forge deep connections with audiences and drive the ground swell for climate action.
Over the past two years, the Doc Society Climate Story Fund has supported the production and impact campaigns of 27 climate storytelling projects set across geographies spanning from Latin America to Sub Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In spite of the continued pandemic, 18 of the projects have completed production and are moving into distribution and activating impact campaigns in collaboration with climate campaigners. Some are reaching their target audiences on public service broadcasters such as the BBC, POV, via digital platforms like Spotify and YouTube, or even messaging applications like WhatsApp. Others are being picked up by streamers including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. All projects have signed or are negotiating distribution deals that align with campaign goals and potential to engage critical audiences in each context where they are being released.
The Doc Society Climate Story Fund provides up to $100K grants to support completion of production of creative nonfiction projects, and to pilot impact campaigns for completed creative nonfiction and fiction projects that engage audiences who are not typically included in the climate conversation.
The Climate Story Fund prioritizes climate stories centering the most affected, the unengaged and the underrepresented, and puts them at the center of the story. The Fund also prioritizes storytellers working in and from those communities, sharing narratives that resonate deeply with new and unengaged audiences, bringing them into critical conversations around climate justice.
The selection process will be guided by such principles. In addition, it will give preference to projects that embody inclusion and diversity across team and subject matter, and exercise responsible practices when engaging story participants and communities.
We are looking for creative nonfiction projects including long form, shorts or episodic documentaries as well as podcasts and radio documentaries, that can complete production in 2023 with support from the Climate Story Fund. The Fund also supports completed creative nonfiction and fiction projects of any medium looking to pilot an impact campaign in 2023 to engage audiences who are not typically included in the climate conversation.
Storytelling as a creative practice is at the heart of this fund and while no previous experience with impact campaigns is required, we need you to be open and willing to embrace this way of working! Each grantee will be invited to participate in an Impact Lab where storytellers will collaborate closely with practitioners, ranging from climate scientists to impact producers to movement builders, to ensure they are building upon existing expertise and advocacy efforts to engage their intended audiences.
If you are selected for funding and you decide to join the cohort, Doc Society will come on board as collaborators, partners and your biggest champion. We see our role as “friend of the artist” and the team here being at your service throughout production and right through to launch. We have one of the best curatorial benches in the business and will offer first class editorial feedback. You can also draw on support from our business affairs and legal team if needed. We have expertise in safety and security if it is relevant. When the project is finished, we also have long term relationships with festivals, distributors and commissioners to help ensure the stories are seen by key audiences. All of this support is included as part of our investment.
The Climate Story Fund is one-of-a-kind in the media ecosystem not only because of comprehensive support through production but also a total commitment to helping you launch an impact campaign alongside the release of your project.
You do not have to be an impact expert to become a grantee but we do need you to be open and engaged with the possibility of the change your project can help ignite in society. Starting in the Impact Lab we will support you through the development of an impact strategy which leads naturally from your project and complements opportunities in mainstream distribution and the priorities within the climate movement. We will provide advisory sessions with climate strategists who can provide insights and intelligence on the issue area and target audiences. We will help you identify regional Impact Producers who can support implementation of the campaign. Finally we will also provide consulting sessions with experts to help develop frameworks and tools to track impact and learnings. In short, we are serious about not only supporting creative excellence but strategic impact. If you are up for that journey, come join us.
|1 December 2022||Call for applications opens|
|11 January 2023||Climate Story Fund Q&A Webinar for interested applicants|
|1 February 2023||Call for applications closes at 11:59 PM PST|
|27-31 March 2023||Shortlisted applicants will be contacted to supply rough cuts (if ready) and extended materials|
|17-21 April 2023||Zoom interviews for shortlisted applicants|
|8-12 May 2023||Selected grantees will be notified|
|22-26 May 2023||Unsuccessful candidates will be notified|
|5-9 June 2023||Virtual Impact Lab week for all new grantees|
We can support:
- Projects from all over the world, these can be localised stories serving local communities, or projects suited to a global audience
- Projects from both new and established artists
- Creative nonfiction projects, including long form, shorts or episodic documentaries as well as podcasts and radio documentaries in production
- Completed creative nonfiction and fiction projects of any medium looking to pilot an impact campaign
We cannot support:
- Stories looking for development funding or in the pre-production stage
- Fiction stories looking for production funding
- Applications must be submitted online via the Doc Society applications portal here
- All projects must be climate themed with an intention to implement an impact campaign. We don’t need you to be an impact expert but open to the idea
- To qualify for production funding, projects must complete production in 2023
- To qualify for impact funding, projects must pilot an impact campaign in 2023
- As part of our grant making for this fund, we require all grantees to attend an Impact Lab to connect with impact producers and climate experts, to help develop impact strategies and to craft impact campaigns that are built upon existing expertise and advocacy efforts to engage their intended audiences. Project teams must be able to attend our virtual Impact Lab during the week of 5-9 June 2023
To bear in mind:
- We are happy to receive applications from Producers, Directors, lead creatives or Impact Producers on the project
- If you would like to work on the application questions offline, you can download a preview of the application
- The Climate Story Fund application form is part of the Non-Fiction Core Application Project, an initiative by international documentary funders to reduce the burden on storytellers/artists/filmmakers by providing the same application form across funders. Guidance can be found at https://www.documentary.org/core-application
- This application is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. If you wish to submit your application in another language, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by January 16, 2023. We will let you know if we can accommodate your request
- Doc Society has created the Impact Field Guide as a useful resource for building impact campaigns. We encourage you to check it out. Other resources to consider are Doc Society’s Green Protocol, the COVID-19 protocol and the Safe and Secure protocol
- Our production grant funding is recoupable on a pro-rata pari passu basis. This means that where our funding is recouped, it is to be recycled to go directly toward the project's impact campaign. This does not apply to impact campaign funding which is non-recoupable
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