Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

Submissions Now Open

Is my project eligible?

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund seeks feature-length documentaries that are in the production or post-production stage with an intended premiere exhibition date after August 2020. Eligible films highlight the most critical, important stories affecting the world we live in today in a humanizing, illuminating manner. We are looking for films which challenge the status quo not just as pertains to subject matter, but also in form. Films should also be commercially viable and resonate with a mainstream U.S. audience.

A select number of the projects supported will spotlight the lives of women and youth around the globe, and illuminate the ways they are working to improve their communities, their futures and the world.  In an effort to promote more voices in the film industry, TFI seeks to promote directors, producers and screenwriters from traditionally under-represented communities. For the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund we require that eligible filmmaking teams must consist of either a director or producer from an underrepresented community.

What are some examples of films that would qualify for funding?

Please refer to our previous grantees to get an idea of the types of films we fund.

In order to be eligible, what anticipated length should my film be?

The Fund is designed to support feature-length films with an intended length of at least 70 minutes.

Are films in development or early in production eligible for the Fund?

No. Feature documentaries in development are no longer eligible for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. Submitted projects must be in the production or post-production stage, and must have enough footage shot of the current project to suitably show character development and story flow in 7 minutes or longer.

Are student films eligible for the Fund?

No, unfortunately we do not accept student film submissions.

What if I am turning my grad thesis into a feature?

Yes, grad theses being turned into feature films are eligible for the Fund – but they need to be separate, stand-alone projects that are distinct from the thesis film.

If I am a first-time filmmaker am I still eligible to apply?

We encourage both seasoned and first-time filmmakers to apply for the Fund.

Are international productions eligible for the Fund?

Yes, international productions are eligible. All sample work provided must have English subtitles and be suitable for an American audience. The Fund will only consider proposals and applications submitted in English.

Are animated documentary films eligible to apply?

Yes, animated documentary films are eligible, but they must be feature-length.

Submissions

How do I apply?

An application for the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund consists of: a) an application that must be completed online (SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN) and b) footage that must be embedded as links onto the application.

What is a proposal/treatment?

While the online application provides us with a reference for your information, the submitted proposal/treatment is your chance to fully introduce your film and yourself. Your proposal/treatment should provide a clear overview of what happens (or what you are currently pursuing) in your story from start to finish, introducing all of the major characters and covering all of the major plot points. It is important that you not only lay forth the characters and major beats, but link them together in a way that reflects the tone and style of the story you intend to tell. Treatments that are too short or are vague will not be considered strongly. On the whole, the submitted proposal/treatment is your chance to explain context, production notes and your approach to your film.

Why do I have to request a specific amount of money from the Fund?

One of our main goals is to ensure that our funding will have the best possible impact on your film. We therefore ask that you submit a short breakdown of how you will use the requested money. Final decisions on all dollar amounts for funded projects will be made by TFI and the Selection Committee.

Can I request funding to be applied towards outreach, marketing or distribution?

No. Funding will be allocated towards a feature documentary project’s production or post-production stage. Applicants are encouraged to delineate their goals regarding audience engagement and impact in the Distribution, Marketing, and Intended Audience question in the application - in order for TFI staff to better assist each project if they end up becoming a grantee.

What kind of footage sample should I submit?

The idea is for you to put forth what you consider to be your best work. We will accept all materials you choose to make available and viewable, as long as it is footage of the current project.. We accept a combination of scene selects, a scene assembly, an extended trailer or a rough cut (if applicable).

Sample work from the project can be in any language or dialect; however, if it is not in English, it must be subtitled.

I do not have a seven-minute trailer completed at this time -- what should I provide as a sample?

We need a sample from the proposed film, so that we can understand your project and your stage of production. The submitted footage must be at least 7 minutes long, and such a sample should convey the subject, approach and scope of the project. Alternately, we are happy to look at scene selects or an assembly. We encourage you to send as much footage for us to look at as you are comfortable sending.

Can I provide a previously completed work instead of a sample from the submitted project?

No, we cannot accept a previously completed work as a work sample. You must provide a sample representative of the submitted project.

When is the submission deadline? Is there a fee?

Submissions for the 2020 cycle will open on February 6th 2020, and the deadline has been extendecd to April 30th, 2020. 

There is no entry fee for projects submitted to the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

Do you need a budget from me? Why?

We do require an actual or estimated budget top-sheet, and the more detailed a budget you can provide, the better. These allow TFI staff and the Awards Committee to more accurately evaluate your project and the strength of your plans for seeing it realized.

Can I e-mail you my submission materials?

No, you cannot e-mail your submission materials. We require that you upload any documents and visual materials so that they are linked with your online application.

Project footage should be embedded as links within your application.

What kind of photo do I need for my application? How can I get it to you?

You should upload a photo that is at least 1200-1500 pixels in width or height so that it’s linked to your application. While you definitely don’t need a professional headshot, you should upload a picture that you are comfortable seeing online and in print, as it may be used for promotional purposes if your project is selected. Be sure to name your photo 'firstname_lastname.jpg' before uploading it! We cannot accept photos by mail or email.

What if there are developments with my project after I submit it?

Please keep us posted about new project developments by emailing documentary@tfiny.org with the subject “UPDATE: Project Title”. Depending on how far along we are in the review process, we will do our best to take developments into consideration. That said, once deliberations enter the final phase of review, revised treatments, additional footage, or new cuts will not be incorporated and taken into consideration.

What if I'm unsure if TFI received all of my materials?

You can review your submitted application via our online application platform. Please make note of your login information when you create your application and you can review submitted applications here.

Will the Fund return my submission materials?

No, we will be unable to return any of your submitted materials.

Selection

How are winning films selected?

Initial rounds of evaluation will be conducted and thoroughly vetted by Tribeca Film Institute staff. Final Selections will be made by TFI as well as by a final selection committee comprised of notable talents in the field.

When will I be notified if my film is awarded funding?

You will be notified whether or not you are granted funding no later than September 2020.

When will recipients of the Fund be announced?

Fund recipients will be officially announced by September 2020.

If my project is selected to the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, will it screen at the Tribeca Film Festival?

Acceptance to the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund does not indicate acceptance to the festival. Filmmakers with completed films seeking to apply to the Tribeca Film Festival should fill out a separate application by visiting www.tribecafilm.com/festival/.

Where can I find additional answers to questions?

You will find more information about the application process in our Rules and Regulations. Our staff will be happy to answer any other questions or concerns you may have. Please contact us at documentary@tfiny.org or call us at 212-274-8080.