Catapult Film Fund Calls for Proposals for Development Grant

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, Co-founder of Catapult Film Fund

The Catapult Film Fund has announced a call for proposals for the Catapult Development Grant that gives early support to propel projects forward that hold the promise of a story that should be uniquely told in the film.

The Fund provides development funding of up to $20,000, to documentary filmmakers who have a strong story to tell, have secured access, and are ready to create a fundraising piece to help unlock critical production funding. It enables filmmakers to develop their projects to the next level, at the early stage when funding is hard to find. The Fund supports powerful and moving storytelling by filmmakers with a strong voice across a broad spectrum of subject matter.

Catapult is not tied to any specific social issue agenda but supports and encourages nonfiction filmmakers to tell a full range of stories on film in whatever form fits the film and artist. As a result Catapult supported films can range widely in style and scope.

The following are the guidelines and eligibility for the Catapult Development Grant:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Catapult does not fund student films.
  • Documentaries must be 28 minutes or longer in length. It does not fund series.
  • Animation is acceptable. Documentary/narrative hybrids will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Development funds must specifically be used for the process of completing a fundraising piece, which may include writing, shooting and editing once story and characters are in place.
  • Applicants must own the copyright of their production, and have artistic, budgetary and editorial control over their project.
  • Applicants should preferably have previous film or television production experience in a principal role (director, co-director, producer, co-producer) as demonstrated by submitting previously completed work sample. Applicants who have not yet produced or directed their own feature length documentary should demonstrate that they will be working with an experienced filmmaker in a principal role.
  • Catapult only makes grants to 501(c)(3) organizations. In most cases, this will mean getting a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for the project. A film production company or individual, including applicants from outside the US, may submit an application without a fiscal sponsor in place. Please see the FAQ section for more details.

What the Catapult Film Fund is looking for:

  • Creative, artful, compelling and innovative storytelling techniques
  • Strong story narrative at the core of the film
  • A unique perspective or approach; use of humor a plus
  • Contemporary relevance
  • Feasibility of the project with respect to its budget, financing, schedule and scope
  • Demonstrated ability of the creative team to have implemented previous projects
  • Grant amount should have significant impact on development stage of the project
  • Emphasis on the story not the lesson or agenda of the filmmaker
  • Filmmakers must demonstrate credible access and rapport with the proposed subject(s) of the story.
  • Originality of form, approach or content
  • Potential of the project to generate public discourse and social engagement
  • Guidelines
  • Catapult Film Fund development grants range from $5000 to $20,000.
  • Catapult accepts applicants who can arrange to have a US 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.
  • Catapult may contact the applicant with questions about the proposal.
  • Grantees must submit two financial reports during the course of the grant period: an interim report, which will accompany a narrative report; and a final financial report to be submitted once the grant is complete.
  • Grantees must submit at the end of the grant period an edited piece that can be used for production fundraising.
  • Catapult Film Fund 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.
  • Catapult will not return DVDs to applicants.

The application closes August 31, 2022 midnight PST. Further information is available online at and to apply for the Catapult Fil