The California Documentary Project (CDP) is a competitive grant program that supports the research and development and production stages of film, audio, and digital media projects that seek to document California in all its complexity. Projects should use the humanities to provide context, depth and perspective and reach and engage broad audiences through multiple means, including but not limited to radio and television broadcasts, podcasts, online distribution and interactive media, community screenings and discussions, in classrooms and libraries, at cultural centers, film festivals, and beyond. Funding is available in three categories:
CDP NEXT GEN Grants up to $15,000
Research and Development Grants up to $10,000
Production Grants up to $50,000
You always need a Film Business Plan to get funding from investors.
California Humanities has awarded over $5 million to projects that document California and its cultures, peoples, and histories, and that together help us better understand who we are and where we live. Recently supported projects include the podcasts and radio series California Foodways, The Stoop and The Intersection; interactive and transmedia documentaries such as K-TOWN ‘92 and The Mojave Project; and documentary films such as REAL BOY, The Return, Forever, Chinatown, No Más Bebés? The Last Day of Freedom, Romeo is Bleeding, Ovarian Psycos, Tribal Justice, Dogtown Redemption and many more.
CDP Production grants are designed to strengthen the humanities content and approach of documentary media productions and help propel projects toward completion. Projects must be in the production stage, have a work-in-progress to submit, and actively involve at least two humanities advisors to help frame and contextualize subject matter throughout the production process.