ITVS International Initiative

American audiences want to learn more about other places, people, and points of view, but international stories and perspectives are in short supply on U.S. television. Independent filmmakers from other countries create documentaries that have much to offer us, but these filmmakers often have little access to U.S. funding and distribution. The International Initiative was created to give U.S. audiences access to international stories and voices on American television and new media platforms. International funding is only available to independent filmmakers who are neither U.S. citizens nor residents of the U.S.

For more information on our funding programs for U.S. filmmakers, click here.


International Initiative looks to fund:

  • Single programs of standard broadcast length (one-hour). In cases, when a filmmakerÂ’s experience, subject, and story structure warrant it, ITVS will consider programs at feature lengths.
  • Works-in-progress, i.e. projects that have already begun production or are in post-production.
  • Documentaries that can be completed within one year of contracting.
  • Co-production projects that have confirmed (or pre-established) partnerships with documentary strands within PBS and other U.S. or international broadcasters.
  • Single documentaries that support our Women and Girls Lead Campaign and our Diverse Muslim Voices Project.
International Initiative does not accept:
  • Subject matter based in the United States, lifestyle, or childrenÂ’s programming.
  • Proposals for completed projects seeking acquisition and distribution.
  • Series proposals or fictional dramas.
  • Projects intended solely for theatrical release.
We no longer have a submission deadline but you may submit a project inquiry at any time.

Once we receive your submission inquiry, we will confirm receipt, and follow up within 6-8 weeks. If your project meets our current needs, we will ask you to submit a full proposal and additional material.

Funding is competitive: only 1-2 percent of International applicants will receive funding. International Initiative Funding is not a grant; ITVS International becomes a co-production investment in your documentary.

International Funding is an initiative of the Global Perspectives Project, a project created by ITVS in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.