ITVS Diversity Development Fund Frequently Asked Questions

April 18, 2023


Q: Does ITVS provide accessibility support for filmmakers with disabilities? 

A: Yes. Please reach out to for any accessibility needs.

Q: Are there limitations and alternatives to ITVS’s accessibility support? 

A: Yes. Despite our best efforts to ensure accessibility of and our application software, there may be some limitations. Please contact if you need assistance or observe an issue.


Q: Who should apply?

A: The Diversity Development Fund (DDF) is a research and development fund for filmmakers of color, over the age of 18, who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories, and have nonfiction projects that are in development or pre-production.

Q: What amount of funding is available through the DDF Initiative?

A:  We provide up to $35,000 in research and development funding per project. ITVS funds are not a grant; it is a development agreement for the public media version of your documentary. 

Q: What can DDF Funds be used for?

A: DDF funds can be used for research, travel, hiring crew, and any preliminary production costs associated with crafting a work in progress and/or fundraising trailer. 

Q: How does ITVS define applicant? 

A: The applicant must be the principal of the business entity. They must maintain at least 50% of the copyright and have majority business and artistic control of the project throughout the production.

Q: What program lengths are eligible for funding?

A: We consider projects at standard public television broadcast lengths: half-hour (26:40), one-hour (56:40), or feature length (86:40).

Q: How many DDF projects are funded every year?

 A: The selection process is highly competitive. Generally, ITVS funds the top 5 percent of applications received annually through DDF.

Q: I do not have any funds secured to date. Am I still eligible for funding?

 A: Yes. Prior funding commitments are not required. All proposals should include a fundraising strategy that details how you will raise the funds for your project, irrespective of potential funding from ITVS. This includes foundation grants, non-PBS broadcast license agreements (pre-sales), private donations, in-kind support and crowd source funding.

Q:  May an applicant submit multiple applications?

A: No. Individuals may only submit one application per round, per initiative. Only one project can be under consideration for ITVS funding at any time.

Q: May I ask ITVS to review an element of my proposal before I apply? For example, a trailer, synopsis, or my treatment.

A: No. ITVS staff will only review materials as part of the application process, after they are formally submitted for consideration through our online application process.

Post-Application Submission:

Q: How will I know if ITVS has received my proposal?

A: You will receive an email from ITVS confirming receipt of your proposal.

Q: When will I find out if my application has been greenlit for funding?

A: Applicants will be notified in writing of funding decisions. Decisions on DDF funding take approximately three months after the application deadline.

Q: If my project is not funded, will ITVS provide feedback?

A: All projects that advance to the second round of DDF, or Panel Review, will receive feedback. Projects that do not advance beyond the first round of review will not receive feedback. The decisions by ITVS regarding funding and the application process are final and are not subject to appeal.

Q. Can I provide project updates after my application is submitted?

A. You may email the programming coordinator (email listed in the application) regarding a major funding update, but in order to maintain a consistent and fair application process, no updated materials are accepted after the application deadline.

Q: Do I need a fiscal sponsor? 

A:  No, you do not need a fiscal sponsor to apply to the Diversity Development Fund.

Q: Can I reapply if my proposal has been declined in the past?

A:  Yes. You are welcome to reapply to the Diversity Development Fund or other ITVS funding initiatives. If you are reapplying with a previously declined project, we recommend sending in updated materials that detail the progress made from previous applications. 

Q: What if I have additional questions?

A: You may send an email query with specific questions to  Please understand that we cannot provide status updates. If ITVS needs additional information, we will contact you during the review and decision process.

Q:  I am having technical trouble with the online application form. Can I submit by email or mail?

A: No. Applications must be submitted through the online process. If you are experiencing difficulty using the online form, please contact

Q: Is there a submission fee to apply to Open Call?

A: No, there is no submission fee required to apply to any ITVS funding initiatives.

Q: I used to work for ITVS. Can I now apply for funding?

A: In order to address any conflict of interest concerns, any former employee has a 12-month waiting period before they are eligible to apply to all ITVS funding initiatives as an applicant.