The award will be given out again in 2015. The application will be available late 2014 or very early 2015. Sign up on the Greater Philadelphia Film Office mailing list under About Us to receive a notice when the application is available.

logoDerek Freese Documentary Fund (DFDF) provides production support for feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and a connection to Greater Philadelphia. This award is given biennially to an independent filmmaker and provides up to $35,000 in finishing funds.

DFDF helps support documentary filmmakers who are in various stages of the production and post-production process, and have a compelling story to tell and a strong vision for a finished film. Applicants must include a proposal and sample work that conveys the narrative and aesthetic visual for the final film, containing footage of no more than 15 minutes. We do not fund student films.

The Derek Freese Film Foundation was created in 1997 to honor the memory of Derek Freese, an aspiring filmmaker who passed away two days after arriving in Hollywood to pursue his dream of making movies. In January 2013, the Foundation launched Derek Freese Documentary Fund to honor Derek's love of film, a good story, and his hometown of Philadelphia.

videoWatch the video of the DFDF announcement by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office at the Sundance Film Festival, 2013. Click here: http://youtu.be/aiEA6OCaV3I


Derek Freese Documentary Fund will start accepting applications on January 28, 2013. The application deadline for the 2013-2014 cycle is June 7, 2013, and final decisions will be announced in fall 2013. The completed application and supporting documents must be emailed to Joan@film.org.

Proposals must include:

• Synopsis/Treatment providing a narrative summary, including project topic, subject profiles, and essential story lines, and clearly communicating a vision and theme for your finished film.

• Resume and Bios highlighting previous credits and relevant experience for the primary applicant and key individuals working on the film.

• Projected timeline for the film providing a brief description of the project's status and timeline for completion.

• Distribution/Marketing Strategy outlining intended plan for distribution and outreach to target audience.

• Budget detailing a comprehensive breakdown of all documentary-related expenses from development through distribution. This line item budget should include the amount requested, listing the production-related expenses that the award would be used to cover, and how that amount would impact your film.

• Fundraising strategy that lists secured and intended funding sources. Applicant must either have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status or be able to secure a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for the project. A film production company or individual may submit an application without a fiscal sponsor in place. Once a project is chosen to receive DFDF, the applicant will need to submit documentation from a fiscal sponsor before the grant can be processed.

Sample Work

Please provide a sample of the work in progress no more than 15 minutes in length. The sample work should accurately represent the film you plan to complete and provide a solid example of your storytelling technique and visual aesthetic.

Please upload your sample work to an online sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo, and include the link with the proposal requirements. Downloads will not be accepted.

Click here for the application (pdf).

If you still have questions after reviewing the guidelines and application, please contact Joan@film.org.


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