The deadline for submitting new projects comes once per quarter: January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15. All submissions must be received by midnight on the deadline date. Late submissions will not be considered.

Please contact us if your need for sponsorship is urgent and falls outside of these set deadlines. 

Fiscal sponsorship application consists of:

  • Application form 
  • Budget (as .pdf attachment) 
  • Work Sample 
  • Application Fee

Please email us if you have questions:

As a fiscally sponsored project of SDF you are entitled to make one disbursement request per month. SDF recommends that you request your balance from us prior to making the disbursement request. Your funds will be available for disbursement two weeks from the SDF deposit date.


1.     Fill out the disbursement form here at Submittable.

2.     If it’s your first request make sure to submit a W9 with the request. 

Disbursement checks must be made payable to an LLC or business checking account. For folks who don’t have an LLC you’ll need to make sure you have a business checking account set up in the name of the project with your bank prior to making a disbursement request. SDF cannot write checks to individual project directors. We also don’t pay your vendors directly.

3.     Submit the proper reporting:

Anticipated Expenses – Each time you make a disbursement request you must submit an outline of what the funds will be used for.

Previous Expenses – You must also report on the actual expenses paid for with your previous disbursement funds. Examples of this reporting are a Quickbooks P&L for the specific date range that covers the expenses incurred.

We need a report on previous expenses with the following detail:

Payee name

Check number and date

Purpose/description of the service/expense and budget category

Is there a balance forward? For example, you previously received a disbursement for $5,000 but only have expenses so far totaling $4,000. You will need to note a balance forward on your report and include actual reporting on that remaining $1,000 balance with your next disbursement. 

Ends on July 31, 2017

The Southern Documentary Fund is proud to announce our filmmaking grants for documentaries made in or about North Carolina, funded with generous support from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

The next application round will open on June 1, 2017. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2017. Grant awardees will be announced in October 2017.

The SDF Filmmaking Grant application consists of this online form and an attached budget.

Note: Please answer all of the application questions thoughtfully and thoroughly. There will be a robust review process, and submissions that are not complete will not advance to the final review stage.


  • Applicants must have a US social security number or US federal tax ID.
  • Applicants must be 18-years of age or older.
  • Applicants must live and work in NC, or their story must take place in NC.
  • SDF does not fund student films.
  • Applicants may be first time filmmakers (if working with experienced collaborators), emerging artists, or veteran producer/directors.
  • Projects must be non-fiction documentaries, 26 minutes or longer in length.
  • Applicants must own the copyright of their production, and have editorial and budgetary control over their project. No works-for-hire.
  • You do not need a fiscal sponsor in order to apply for a grant. But if you are accepted, you must have a US fiscal sponsor in order to receive the funds. 

  • Projects in development, production, or post-production (no grants available for distribution or engagement).
  • Compelling Southern stories.
  • Well-written and researched proposals.
  • Strong samples (for films in production or post production).
  • Contemporary relevance.
  • Feasibility of the project (budget, financing, schedule and scope).
  • Confirmed access to subjects and story.
  • Originality of form, approach or content.
  • Potential to generate public discourse and social engagement.

  • SDF filmmaking grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Funds may not be used to cover previously incurred expenses.
  • Applicants may submit only one project per funding cycle.
  • Previously funded projects should not re-apply, even if in different stage of production.
  • Grantees must submit narrative and financial reports during the course of the grant period, along with photos and other publicity materials.
  • SDF support must be acknowledged with a tag line and logo–of similar size and stature to other logos in the credits–at the end credits of the film as well as on all publicity and promotional materials relating to the production.

  • If you are not certain you or your project are eligible, please contact SDF before filling in the application materials: