We learn from each other.
The Miller / Packan* Film Fund supports documentaries that Educate, Embrace and Inspire. The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation. We believe in the transformational power that comes from enlightening narratives and inspiring characters.
The Fund begins granting in 2016. In its first year, grants totaling $150,000 will be awarded to between six and ten filmmakers. The fund operates an open rolling submission process, and awards will be announced bi-annually. The first grants will be awarded in July 2016.
Each grant will be one-time only and offered in amounts of between $5,000 to $25,000. Due to the large number of submissions, our selection process will be highly competitive.
Submissions will be reviewed in the first round by Rogovy Foundation staff. Final selections will be chosen by an Awards Committee which includes notable members within the film industry.
Mission and Objectives:
We believe in a more perfect world. The Miller / Packan Documentary Film Fund provides grants to feature-length non-fiction projects that address social issues and inspire others.
Our planet is wonderfully diverse. We support film as an instrument for change, delivering greater knowledge, compassion and awareness. Listening and understanding bring us together.
Subject Categories / Areas of Interest:
At the highest level, the Fund’s subject categories are Education, the Environment and Civics. Please review our Ideals and Values for a sense of what types of topics we might support. Grants will be awarded to filmmakers who most closely match our defined areas of interest.
We back a variety of styles that drive a film’s narrative. This might include character-driven storytelling, a fact-based exposé or an informational point-of-view upon a controversial subject.
We look for quality filmmaking comprised of inspiring characters, a fascinating story, a strong visual style, tight editing and generally high production values.
We seek projects that open our eyes through a strong premise, critical thinking, detailed analysis and competing views.
We like investigations into the cost structures of our social institutions, such as healthcare and education. We appreciate the celebration of public heroes and find inspiration through their stories. We favor topics that bring our global community together.
Your success in winning a grant will depend upon how well your film matches up with our mission and the strength of your proposal.
Supported Activities / Stages of Production:
The Fund supports filmmaking in advanced development (up to $10,000), production and post-production stages (up to $25,000).
If your film is in advanced development, you will need to provide a detailed synopsis (or shooting script), along with supporting research and legal clearances to use your material. You will also need to include at least 7 minutes of footage, which helps us understand your project in relation to your vision.
If your film is in production or post-production, we will evaluate your project based upon the application details and progress of your project. You must also submit footage (seven minutes minimum) or a rough cut of your project. The more footage submitted, the better we can understand your story and evaluate your proposal.
We do not fund outreach or audience engagement activities. Nor do we fund expenses related to fund-raising, distribution, publicity or marketing.
• The applicant must be the producer and/or director, and at least 18 years of age
• The film must be feature length of no less than 70 minutes.
• The film addresses a social issue that reflects the Foundation’s Ideals and Values
• The film is commercially viable and capable of reaching a large audience
• The project must have IRS 503(c)(3) status or a Fiscal Sponsor
• Non-English language films are eligible but must have English subtitles.
• Student films are ineligible
• Completed films are ineligible
Applications are accepted online only. Your submission will include details about your project, links to view footage and examples of past work. Once your proposal is successfully received, an acknowledgement email will be sent to you.
Proposals go through two stages of evaluation: Finalists and Award Winners. During the first stage, Rogovy Foundation staff will review your submission to determine if it qualifies as a Finalist. If your package does not make this round, we will notify you within three months of your submission.
The Finalist round will be reviewed by our staff along with notable members within the film community. The first Award Winners will be announced in July 2016.
You may make one submission per Open Call. No project updates will be accepted once we have received your proposal. If you are denied an award, you are welcome to re-submit your application during another Open Call period. You are only allowed two submissions per project.
The Fund evaluates your application based upon the following criteria: How compelling your Story is, the Issue areas being addressed and the Strength of your proposal.
We look for stories that engage an audience, propelling a narrative forward. The issue area should align with the Fund’s Ideals and Values. We also consider the filmmaker’s previous experience and the soundness of the proposal.
• Logline (2-3 Sentences)
Provide a brief, catchy summary of your story.
• Story Summary / Synopsis (Approximately 1-2 pages)
What is your story and story structure? Give an overview of your story, introducing the main characters and potential plot points. Describe the anticipated story structure and narrative trajectory, or potential character arcs for your project. Discuss your access to the story and characters.
• Topic Summary (Approximately 1-2 pages)
Why is this topic important, timely, or relevant? Why are you the best person to make a film about this? Explain the cultural or social relevance and context for the topic, and why this project is timely or urgent. Detail the topics, issues, themes, challenges, stakes, or questions that your project will cover.
• Artistic Approach (Approximately ½ page)
How are you going to tell this story? Describe your creative vision for the finished project – its visual look and feel. Explain your intended use of cinematic language or any particular artistic approach that informs the storytelling.
• Project Stage (Approximately 1 paragraph)
Outline the projected production timeline from the project’s current state to the anticipated completion date. Your timeline should cover both the creative and production processes and should detail major project activities, production schedules, and anticipated post production and release dates.
• Key Creative Personnel (Approximately 1 paragraph/bio)
Provide brief biographies (50-150 words) for the director(s), and if attached, the producer(s), cinematographer, or editor. Include notable credits and/or major recognition or award information. For each key creative, include information about relevant expertise and the individual’s role in the project.
• Audience and Distribution Strategies (approximately 1 paragraph for each)
◦ Distribution and Marketing Strategy
Characterize the intended distribution life for your film. Specify plans for festival, theatrical, and/or community screenings, as well as plans for securing national broadcast and/or distribution.
◦ Audience Engagement
Describe the anticipated audience for your project, including any underserved audiences. How do you plan to reach your target audience? Not all films are suited for social engagement, but if yours is, what actions do you hope for viewers to take after seeing your film?
• Financial Info (1 paragraph for each)
◦ Fundraising Strategy Describe the strategy for raising the additional funds necessary to complete the project. Include all sources and amounts raised to date. Clearly distinguish between potential sources of funding and secured amounts. List the status of other sources of funding currently under consideration, whether to be applied for or pending. Example: Foundation A: $X Secured Private Donations: $X Secured Foundation B: $X Applied Broadcast License A: $X In Negotiation Crowdfunding: $X In Process (Campaign end date MM/DD/YY)
◦ Grant Impact Amount requested? If you were to receive a grant, describe how the funds would be spent. In light of your total budget, how would these funds help you move forward with your project?
2. Statement of Interest:
In the online application form, you’ll be asked to briefly address the following question: How does your project relate to the Ideals and Goals of the Rogovy Foundation?
3. Comprehensive Line Item Expense Budget:
Your budget should provide a detailed breakdown of all expenses from development through release in U.S. dollars, including a grand budget total.
• Top Sheet Provide a single page budget top sheet/summary.
• Line Item Budget Provide a comprehensive line item budget including all documentary related expenses. The budget should be broken down on a line item basis in the form of a spreadsheet. A budget cover sheet or narrative budget summary alone is not adequate. Please include detailed budget notes for any areas that may be viewed as out of the ordinary or which requires further explanation.
4. Visual Sample and Description:
A current work sample is required. Provide a link and password to a streaming version of your work sample as part of the application. There is no specific length required. Submit the sample that you feel best represents your project at its current phase of production. While samples may be any length, for longer samples we will only guarantee to consider the first 10 minutes. The sample provided must be for the project you are applying for. Include a paragraph giving your work sample context and background information.
Submit your application
When all of your materials are gathered and prepared, you are invited to submit your grant application via our online system.
You will receive an automated email confirmation acknowledging receipt of your application. If your film does not qualify as a finalist, you will be notified within three months of your submission.Submit
If I’m a first-time filmmaker, can I still apply?
We do consider both first-time and accomplished filmmakers. However bear in mind our selection criteria includes strength of proposal. Your experience will be a factor in our evaluation.
Do you accept International productions?
Yes, we accept International productions as long as the film is either in English or includes English subtitles. If you are based internationally and do not have IRS 501(c) (3) status, you will need to work with a Fiscal Sponsor who does.
You may submit your film without 501(c) (3) status and without a Fiscal Sponsor. However you will need one should your application be accepted.
We will only consider submissions which are written in English.
What is a Fiscal Sponsor?
A Fiscal Sponsor is an organization that qualifies as an IRS public charity 501 (c) (3) and can accept funds on your behalf. The funds are then re-distributed to your project, thus ensuring a tax-efficient transaction for the Film Fund.
How many times may I re-apply?
You may re-apply if your first application is denied. However we will only accept two submissions per project.
If my application is denied, when can I submit it?
You can re-submit your application during any Open Call period.
Can I make changes or update my application?
If a decision is still pending and you have more information that would make a material difference to our evaluation, you are welcome to send us the update and we will do our best to incorporate that information into our evaluation process.
Can I check on the application progress or discuss?
Unfortunately, we are unable to respond verbally to any inquiries. You best option to contact us is via email: email@example.com
Are animated documentary films eligible?
Yes we do consider animated films for awards.
Do I need to request a specific amount of money with my application?
Yes. We want to best match the grant to your requirements.
Can the funding be allocated to marketing and distribution expense?
No we do not fund outreach or audience engagement activities. Nor do we fund expenses related to fund-raising, distribution, publicity or marketing.
When are the awards announced?
The awards are announced bi-annually, in January and July.
Can I send materials on a DVD?
No, we do not accept materials sent by mail. All submission material must be sent via our online application system.
What is the best way to be in touch with you?
If you have additional questions, we are happy to discuss them with you. The best option to reach us is via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Selection Process / Committee:
The applications for funding will be initially reviewed and vetted by the staff of the Rogovy Film Fund. Finalists will be reviewed by a Committee comprised of Foundation staff and notables within the film industry.
If you are selected for a grant, you will be required to list the Fund and its logo within the film credits.
*Miller / Packan represent two legendary Ohio High School teachers: Sally G Miller and Mae Packan. Teaching is the noblest of professions. To learn more about these two legendary For We honor the profession … etc etc….
About Miller / Packan
Who are Sally Miller & Mae Packan? It’s nearly certain you’ve never heard of these outstanding educators. Locally, they left a mark on several generations of high school students. Yet there are no major awards given to them, no buildings named after them, not a statue nor even a plaque. Like many exceptional educators, their impact goes largely unrecognized.
It’s in their honor, and in honor of all the other exceptional yet unheralded educators, that we dedicate this Fund. The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries that perpetuate the Idealism and Critical Thinking they brought to their students.