The Southern Documentary Fund is proud to announce our 2021 SDF Production Grant for documentary makers living and working in the American South. This grant is made possible by the generous support of The MacArthur Foundation.

Please carefully review the information and guidelines below.

  • Prepare your submission by using the Documentary Core Application Proposal Checklist.
  • Applications are due by Midnight EST on October 15th, 2021. 
  • Five projects will be selected to receive a grant in the amount of $10,000.
  • Grant recipients will be notified and announced December 2021.


  • Projects must be non-fiction documentaries.
  • Projects must be in pre-production, production, or post-production. Proposals for research, development, distribution or engagement funding are not eligible to apply for this grant. 
  • Project Directors should reside in one of the following twelve Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Applicants must have a US social security number or US federal tax ID number.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants must not be enrolled in a film school or seeking funds for a student project.

NOTE: If your project has special circumstances regarding eligibility, please feel free to reach out to our Program Manager:


  • Project falls within the scope of SDF's mission and values.
  • Primary team members have a strong connection to the story.
  • Proposal is well-researched and clearly presented.
  • Project has a feasible budget and fundraising plan.
  • Project Director and collaborators posses the skills necessary to successfully complete the project.
  • The applicant shows an understanding of their intended audience and how to reach them.

Information Sessions will take place on September 14th and October 2nd. Please pre-register here

For questions regarding the application process, email:

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.