Doc Dev’l Fellowship

Women in Film & Video DCDoc Dev’l Fellowship

Women in Film & Video (WIFV) is inaugurating a Documentary Development Fellowship program, exclusively available to members of WIFV and members of Filmmakers with Disabilities-Documentary (FWD-DOC). This program will give documentary filmmakers a safe space to learn about the ecosystem for indie docs during a six-month program of 3-4 workshops/month to support fellows in taking a documentary idea from early stages to closer to production. Among the topics presented will be Producing, Budgeting, Building Crews, Raising Funds, Securing Licenses, Distribution. This program embeds accessibility as part of the framework for the filmmaking process, while also providing access to top-notch programming, networking, and mentorship support.

From June-December 2024 fellows will receive individual feedback on their project in addition to engaging in fellowship with their cohort. Every Tuesday night at 7pm ET, fellows will receive programming and networking with doc experts or time for reflection within their cohort on core principles in documentary filmmaking. Most, if not all meetings, will be on Zoom.

Requirements and Eligibility:

-Fellows must be 18 years of age or older
-Fellows must be proficient in English, both written and spoken
-Fellows mush be a member of WIFV or FWD-DOC
-Fellows must commit part-time (about 8 hours a week) to the fellowship throughout the six-month term, from June 2024 to mid-December 2024.
-If selected as a WIFV Documentary Development Fellow, you must remain a WIFV or FWD-DOC member in good standing for the duration of the fellowship.

After paying the application fee, you will receive a link to the application form in your payment confirmation. You will submit required documents as an attachment to the application form. Questions? Email Melissa Houghton at

2024 Schedule

May 17, 2024 – Fellows were notified of their selection.  They should plan to devote 15-20 hours/month to the program including meetings and revisions.  Meetings will be held via Zoom.  Expect to block out Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm eastern time!  Mentors and Fellows will provide feedback monthly to identify additional subject matter needs.

June 2024 – Think Like A Producer master class; Film Safely master class; Budgeting workshop; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

July 2024 – Budget Review; Prepare a Doc Core Application; Develop a Letter of Inquiry; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

August 2024 – Legal Issues: Releases, Life Rights, Archival Licensing, Fair Use; Distribution Master Class; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

September 2024 – How to Build Your Crew and Lead Your Team; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

October 2024 – Pitch Deck Master Class; Planning for Film Festivals; Distribution Ecosystem, including markets and public television; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

November 2024 – All about Outreach and Promotion, including identifying your audience; Pitch Deck Review; Practice Pitches; cohort meeting; mentor check-in.

December 2024 – Make Your Pitch; Mentors review final presentation materials; final evaluations; congratulations and networking.

Who’s Involved?

Virginia Bertholet, Producer

Kiah Amara, Producer/Accesibility Coordinator

Ariel Baska, Producer

Cathie Saadeh, Esq.

Day Al-Mohamed, Producer

Bonnie Rowan, Archival Researcher

Patricia Aufderheide, Scholar on Fair Use in media creation

Akima Brown, Reel Families for Change

Andrea Passafiume, Film Festival Consultant

Kate Pearson, managing director, MPT Programming & Acquisitions Division

Mark Maxey, Rolling Pictures

Steve Douglas-Craig, Lit Vision Media

Seed and Spark

Sara Elizabeth Timmins, Life Out Loud Productions

and others TBA

Application Process

Application process starts here.  There is a $50 application fee.  Applicants must be WIFV Members or FWD-DOC Members in good standing. Application deadline for the 2024 program is April 30, 2024.

Applications are to be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm (eastern time).  Application process starts here. The applicant must provide the following as one pdf attached to the application form:

  • Contact info;
  • Title for project under consideration;
  • 1-2 page project Proposal/Synopsis;
  • Estimated Project Budget and Schedule;
  • Anticipated Audience and Distribution;
  • List of Donors to date;
  • Filmmaker Production Experience and Bios of Key Personnel;
  • Samples of Past Work/Demo Reel..

The WIFV Documentary Development Fellowship is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit