Grants & Fellowships

How To Apply

This fellowship is open to filmmakers who meet the following criteria:

  • Filmmaker may not be an SFFILM or Catapult Film Fund employee or Board Member
  • Filmmaker must be at least 18 years old
  • Film must be a feature-length documentary in early development
  • Film cannot be a narrative film. Hybrid films will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • If the project is fully funded and/or has distribution, it is NOT eligible.
  • This fellowship is not solely for Bay Area residents. It is open to filmmakers across the United States. Fellows will be asked to make two (2) three-day trips to San Francisco during the 6-month fellowship—once in the early fall to meet with SFFILM, Catapult, and the mentor; and once during the Doc Stories festival weekend November 1–4, 2018.
  • Applicant must be the director.
  • Filmmaker, or any other applicant or co-applicant must become a SFFILM member at the Film Pro level or above prior to SFFILM releasing funds related to the fellowship.
  • Please note that while we encourage supported filmmakers to submit applications to the SFFILM Festival and other SFFILM Makers programs, winning a grant, residency, or fellowship from SFFILM does not guarantee acceptance into the SFFILM Festival or other SFFILM Makers programs.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Documentaries should represent both SFFILM and Catapult's missions of serving powerful stories, and moving storytelling, across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives
  • Filmmaker has clearly articulated his, her, or their intended goals for the fellowship, how those accomplishments will be measured, and what the next steps will be for the project.
  • Filmmaker demonstrates how the project will impact their short- and long-term professional and artistic goals.
  • Applicant directly answers all questions in the application and does not exceed the word count for a given section. Applications that exceed the word count will be considered ineligible.


  • Filmmaker must currently be working in the United States
  • Filmmaker may not be a SFFILM or Catapult Film Fund employee or member of any SFFILM or Catapult Film Fund
  • Project is not work for hire.


  • Filmmaker will sign an agreement with SFFILM. Changes to the contract cannot be made. Filmmaker may request to review the contract prior to committing to it.
  • Upon completion, a copy of the film will be made available to SFFILM.
  • Filmmaker shall provide acknowledgement to the SFFILM Catapult Documentary Fellowship by including "in association with SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund" with both organizations logos in end credits and on all marketing materials.
  • Filmmaker will offer SFFILM a "first look" and first right of refusal for potential Bay Area premiere at SFFILM Festival and/or other SFFILM exhibition venues.
  • Filmmaker agrees to submit a status report detailing how the funds were spent, and what progress has been made at three months and six months after the fellowship begins.
  • Filmmaker understands there will be a press release announcing chosen fellows. Unless otherwise specified for confidentiality reasons, the submitted bio and logline will be used in that press release.
  • Projects and applicants may reapply to this or other SFFILM Makers opportunities for additional funding.