TFI New Media Fund: Frequently Asked Questions


Is my project eligible?

The TFI New Media Fund is seeking non-fiction projects around issues of contemporary social justice and equality that go beyond traditional screens – integrating video with content across media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and interactive websites. We do not require that your project is developed across multiple platforms (a single iPad app or interactive website may suffice for example) but you do need to demonstrate why it is innovative and how it engages audiences in new ways. The video component can be feature-length or short and can be designed specifically for a new media platform – for example a web series. We welcome documentary, hybrid/scripted, animation and other innovative storytelling approaches as long as the focus is non-fiction. We are looking for projects that give equal thought to story, design and impact.

We DO NOT support:

Traditional marketing or outreach for films.
A website that supports a film but does not push boundaries around storytelling, audience engagement and interaction.

NGO Projects, charity projects, PSAs.

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

Our previous grantees include but are not limited to:


An interactive website extending a standalone film like Who Is Dayani Cristal


A purely interactive experience like the webdocumentaries Hollow and Alma: A Tale of Violence


An installation offering an immersive and interactive experience like Use of Force


In order to be eligible, does my video component need to be a particular length?


No, please note that video footage is optional. However, you do need to show that the storytelling is a crucial component of the overall project. We are looking for projects that bring storytelling, technology and design together to create real impact.


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


Your project must be in advanced development or beyond (ie. beyond the conceptual phase with video, designs, mockups or prototypes to show)


Do you provide mentor/peer support for projects awarded funding?


Yes, we do expect you to build a team that can help you realize your interactive project but we will also help in terms of both mentor and peer support and can help facilitate any additional R&D (research & development) your project requires.


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 written in English.

Are student projects eligible for the Fund?

No, unfortunately we do not accept submissions for student productions.

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

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

Will you be sharing resources and case studies on interactive or cross-platform project creation?

Yes, we created TFI Sandbox (, which extends the conversation of technology and design around storytelling and provides case studies.


How do I apply?

An application for the TFI New Media Fund consists of forms that must be completed and uploaded online, and that includes links to prototype or mockups as well as to your footage if you have some. Please note that the uploaded files should not be more than 5 MO each.

What is a proposal/treatment?

Your written proposal is separate from your online application; both are required. While the online application provides us with a reference for your information, the proposal/treatment is your chance to fully introduce your project and yourself. Your proposal/treatment should provide a clear overview of what happens (or you intend to happen) in your story from start to finish, introducing all of the major characters and covering all of the major plot points. However if your project involves a feature film, your proposal/treatment should be the new media component. You should also describe the interactive or cross-platform elements of your project and show how this engages audiences from a user experience perspective. Please provide us with a clear user journey. In addition, your proposal should describe your target audience and how your project will reach that audience. Provide images, screengrabs and designs if necessary. Treatments that are too short or are vague will not be considered strongly. Your proposal is usually read before your work sample is viewed, so it is your chance to explain context, production notes and your approach to the project.

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 project. We therefore ask that you submit a short break-down of how you will use the requested money. Final decisions on all dollar amounts to funded projects will be decided by TFI and the Selection Committee.


What should I submit as a work sample?

You should submit a mockup or a prototype either in your proposal/treatment or as a link.

Where applicable, applicants can also provide a link to their extended trailer (no shorter than seven minutes), short film (any length), or complete feature project (final or rough cut). If you are submitting a feature length film please submit an extended trailer as well. Provide passwords if necessary.


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 are open from March 12 to May 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. There is no application fee.


What is an Artistic Statement?

The Artistic Statement is your opportunity to discuss your creative vision for your project. This is where you can speak to the design and style of your project, and to the reasoning behind your creative choices with regards to subject matter, interactivity, platforms etc. It’s also the place to touch upon your motivation for telling this story and how you’ve decided to tell it.

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 email you my submission materials?

No. We require that you upload any documents so that they are linked with your online 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 with the subject “UPDATE: Project Title (Application #)”. Depending on how far along we are in the review process, we will do our best to take developments into consideration. That said, once submissions close additional footage or new designs will not be reviewed until an applicant is made a finalist.


Will the Fund return my submission materials?

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


How are winning projects 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 from interdisciplinary fields reflecting film, social change and technology.

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


You will be notified whether or not you are granted funding no later than August 2015.


When will recipients of the Fund by announced?


Fund recipients will be announced no later than August 2015.


Will you give feedback on my project if it is not awarded funding?

No, unfortunately we do not have the capacity to provide specific feedback.

Where can I find additional answers to questions?

You will find more information by going to our Rules and Regulations. Our staff will be happy to answer any other questions or concerns you may have. Please contact us at or call us at 212-274-8080 x22.