IF/Then Shorts - Pitches and Eligibility

Specific eligibility requirements along with regional or topic focus is outlined in each individual pitch listed above.

Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an original short documentary with a final duration (TRT) of between 10-20 minutes
  • Be completed within 3-6 months of receiving the IF/Then Shorts grant. The amount you request should allow you to complete the film within this time frame.
  • Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics and be designed for a U.S. audience
  • Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured
  • Be presented in English or subtitled in English
  • Have no prior distribution attached and be able to participate in the IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative

Projects that we DO NOT support:

  • Student projects
  • Feature-length documentaries, series or cut-downs of completed films
  • Films that are made to support an advocacy campaign
  • Films with distribution attached

Projects will be prioritized based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality
  • Originality and social relevance
  • Robust storytelling that brings new facts, perspectives and under-represented stories to light
  • Financial feasibility
  • Potential to travel

Applications requirements:

We urge you to have the following ready before you begin the online application process:

  • Working title and project basics (TRT, languages, etc.)
  • Logline (75 word max)
  • Project description/topic summary (500 word max)
  • Synopsis/treatment (500 word max)
  • Project status (250 word max)
  • Funding status (250 word max)
  • Distribution and rights status (250 word max)
  • Name and contact info for up to 2 pitch members – including 175 word bio each.
  • Link to a video sample (3 minutes max) presenting the project/characters/topic
  • An original photo that best represents the project


  • If chosen as a finalist, it is mandatory that you participate in the event. You will have to arrange travel & accomodations yourself; however, a modest travel stipend will be provided. Check NOFF and IDFA pitch pages for additional information. You will also receive an Industry accreditation for the host film festival free of charge. 
  • Each pitch team will have a maximum of 7 minutes to present their project. All visual material will be part of your 7-minute presentation, and can be no more than 3 minutes long.
  • Each pitch is followed by a short, moderated discussion with a tailored jury.
  • Please see individual pitch application pages for key dates and specific eligibility requirements and see also Frequently Asked Questions