The BRITDOC Bertha Journalism Fund seeks to help international filmmakers with funds for their feature documentaries. It is a partnership between Bertha Foundation and Doc Society. It solely provides funding for documentaries with a journalistic nature that bring unreported and important issues to attention. The grant’s goal is to fight for social justice without compromise, through the documentaries that are funded. BRITDOC organizers say they “are looking for films that break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, and bring attention to unreported issues and cameras to regions previously unseen”. If you are a filmmaker interested in telling stories of this nature, you should apply for this grant. The grant opens twice a year and funds range between 5,000 to 50,000 Pounds.

CONDITIONS OF FUNDING

“Our primary aim is to assist you in creating the best film you possibly can, raising finances and getting that film out into the world to be seen. When we invest in a film, we will give you both a grant and the benefit of Doc Society and Bertha’s editorial experience, network and input.

The Bertha / Doc Society Documentary Journalism fund does NOT take any rights in your film.

Our grants are recoupable in a pro rata pari passu position with other funders where applicable and up to the amount of the grant only. We do not seek to make a profit on our grants and we do not look to recoup until the full budget deficit is made up. Where the film team is seeking a separate UK TV rights deal, we are able to facilitate conversations with the BBC as part of our co-funding agreement with them, subject always to good faith negotiations between the filmmaker and the BBC.

The Bertha / Doc Society Documentary Journalism fund does require acknowledgement in both front and back end credits of the finished film in the form of a written credit or logo where appropriate. The Bertha / Doc Society Documentary Journalism fund requires reporting not limited to but including narrative descriptions of the film’s status, activities and information on objectives and milestones consistent with the application. Furthermore Doc Society and Bertha Foundation requires to be listed as “additional insured” on the film’s E&O policy” – Bertha BRITDOC Journalism Fund.

The Fund Supports

  • In-depth research & development
  • Production funding for longitudinal investigations
  • Editorial support for long-form documentary structure
  • Safety and Security Training
  • Legal advice during production and post-production
  • Legal advice for complex E&O policies

The Fund does not support

  • Productions intended solely for television broadcast
  • Profiles
  • News
  • Current affairs
  • Fiction films
  • Formats

Things to note about the fund

  • This is a rolling fund
  • It mainly supports feature length documentary films, 65mins+ in length
  • While the fund mainly focuses on features, it is format agnostic and open to evaluating projects based on what format is best to tell the story effectively
  • Recoupable grants from £5,000 to £50,000 are available
  • The organisers aim to get back to all applicants within 8 weeks of application. If your project is an urgent response to events they will endeavour to respond sooner
  • They are unlikely to fully fund a film so it must have international co-financing potential
  • They don’t fund retrospective activity or post-production cost

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