The Next Great American Documentary Project
Create a feature-length documentary that captures an amazing untold and unique American story. Subjects could be a cultural phenomena or movement, undiscovered histories, biographies, exposés, local heroes, underdog stories, top dog stories… any story really. As long as they’re fresh, original and would appeal to an American audience.
This is your chance to be the next Errol Morris or Ken Burns — to make the next Jiro Dreams of Sushi or Citizenfour. We're searching for fresh, untold and original stories — cultural phenomena or movements, undiscovered histories, exposés, biographies, local heroes, underdog stories, top dog stories... fascinating real-life tales that could only happen in America. We want to unearth never-before-filmed subjects that are just begging to be brought to life on television — because that's exactly what the Tongal community's going to do! DIRECTV will provide a production budget and support to realize the vision and bring one of the films to life.
As you can tell, this is a BIG project and it’s going to move fast – the documentary will premiere the end of this year! So please pay very close attention to details in the next few sections. We’ve also built an FAQ to answer all your questions, so be sure to check that out, too.
The goal of this project is to create a feature length (80 to 85 minutes) documentary that captures an amazing untold and uniquely American story. Subjects could be biographies, exposés, underdog stories… any story really. As long as they’re fresh, original and would appeal to American audience.
Your feature documentary is destined for television – which means it must be filmed on a 4K master and will need to conform to very specific broadcast specs. There are a lot of moving parts to this project and it’s going to go fast so please pay special attention to the information outlined in this section and the Details section.
This project will be broken into four production and two voting phases. These are outlined thoroughly in the Details section but here’s a quick breakdown:
PHASE 1 – SUBJECT (OPEN TO EVERYONE): March 17th – March 30th
PHASE 2 - SUBJECT VOTING (OPEN TO ANYONE): April 7th – April 13th
PHASE 3 – PITCH (OPEN TO ALL FILMMAKERS): April 14th – April 27th
PHASE 4 – SIZZLE REEL (OPEN TO THE TWO PITCH WINNERS): May 5th – June 1st
PHASE 5 - SIZZLE REEL VOTING (OPEN TO ANYONE): June 1st – June 5th
PHASE 6 – PRODUCTION (OPEN TO THE ONE SIZZLE REEL WINNER): June 8th – October 16th