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Welcome to the Docs in Action Fund Application Form.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm ET on Dec 1, 2020. All applications, including all required uploads, must be completed by then.

To start your application, click on the “More” button in the Docs in Action program box below. The next screen will ask you to register.

Once you start your application, select “Save & Close” at the bottom of any page and you can return to complete and submit it by logging in and clicking on “My Applications” on the next screen.


Working Films recognizes the power of stories to inform and inspire. We build partnerships between nonfiction media-makers, nonprofit organizations, educators, and advocates to advance social justice and environmental protection. We help filmmakers use social issue documentaries to raise public consciousness and create meaningful change and measurable impact.

Under this call-for-media, Working Films and our partners at the Center for Political Education, Critical Resistance, MPD150, and Survived & Punished, are looking for short films to define and amplify what prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition means, and to inspire people to imagine and take action toward a world without police and prisons.

We will accept short documentary films, under 30 minutes, that have already begun production. The request for funding for a work-in-progress (up to $30,000), can only be applied to the cost of completing the project. The submitted budget must reflect the project’s entire cost and the source of all revenue to-date including in-kind support.

We will also accept applications that propose to cut-down a longer-form non-fiction film to meet the time specifications of this RFP (under 30 minutes). The longer film must have been completed no earlier than 2017 and be at least 59 minutes in length when originally distributed. The submitted budget for the revision must reflect the film’s entire cost, including the reversioning, and the source of all revenue to-date including in-kind support and screening fees.

Only one project can be submitted per applicant and the applicant must be the director or producer of the film. If selected, all projects must be fully completed no later than July 19, 2021. This will enable Working Films to begin scheduling screenings in the summer of 2021.


This RFP is intended to solicit applications for grants made to individual artists and/or their non-profit or for profit production companies. Applicants must be living in the United States and planning an impact campaign to be carried out in the U.S. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age as of the RFP application deadline.

This RFP is open to filmmakers who have completed at least one non-student documentary film project as the director before the application is submitted and will serve as the director having total creative control of the project for which support is requested. We will give special consideration to directors who represent the communities depicted in their films. For directors who do not represent the communities depicted, we will give special consideration to those whose past work has demonstrated that same commitment and a high degree of accountability to the subjects and communities featured.

Working Films has an extensive list of local, regional, and national NGO partners, however, it is advisable for the applicant to seek their own subject matter expert(s) and/or partner(s) and provide at least two letters of support from them, and/or people who are featured in the film with their application.

This RFP will not support:

Applications from non-media organizations

Applications through fiscal sponsors; individual artists and production companies will be funded directly

Completed short films, installations, Virtual or Augmented Reality, games, or interactive work

Student work and/or proposals from currently enrolled students

Long-form work completed prior to 2017 applying for support to revise


The Application must include a comprehensive line item budget expressed in U.S. dollars. It should include all expenses and any revenue raised to date. Revenues can include grants, donations, and in-kind contributions.

Review Process

All applications will be reviewed by Working Films staff and a panel of media and subject matter experts including members from the Center for Political Education, Critical Resistance, MPD150, and Survived & Punished. Incomplete applications will be rejected automatically. The criteria for review are weighted equally in these four areas:

  1. Comprehensive presentation of the topic area
  2. Artistic excellence
  3. Audience engagement ability
  4. Accountability to subjects and featured communities

A preview of the application can be viewed here.

For more information visit: http://www.workingfilms.org/abolition. If you have questions, please contact us at info@workingfilms.org.

We look forward to your submission!

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.