As part of your application you will be asked to upload a proposal and budget. Please read the proposal checklist carefully. Proposals should include all of the elements listed. Page limits are suggested lengths, not requirements.


Logline (1-2 Sentences)
A logline is a brief summary of a film that states the central conflict, a synopsis of the plot, and an emotional hook. A good logline will provoke the viewer's curiosity. (For more tips, here’s a great article on crafting loglines.)

Story Summary / Synopsis (Approximately 1-2 pages)
What is your story and story structure?
Give an overview of your story, introducing the main characters and potential plot points. Describe the anticipated story structure and narrative trajectory, or potential character arcs for your project. Discuss your access to the story and characters.

Topic Summary (Approximately 1-2 pages)
Why is this topic important, timely, or relevant? Why are you the best person to make a film about this?
Explain the cultural or social relevance and context for the topic, and why this project is timely or urgent. Detail the topics, issues, themes, challenges, stakes, or questions that your project will cover.

Artistic Approach (Approximately 1/2 page)
How are you going to tell this story?
Describe your creative vision for the finished project – its visual look and feel. Explain your intended use of cinematic language or any particular artistic approach that informs the storytelling. 

Project Stage (Approximately 1 paragraph)
Explain the current status of the project. Outline the projected production timeline from the project’s current state to the anticipated completion date.  Your timeline should cover both the creative and production processes and should detail major project activities, production schedules, and anticipated post production and release dates. If you have applied before, please share how your project has progressed since the last time you applied.

Key Creative Personnel (Approximately  1 paragraph/bio)
Provide brief biographies (50-150 words) for the director(s), and if attached, the producer(s), cinematographer, or editor. Include notable credits and/or major recognition or award information.  For each key creative, include information about relevant expertise and the individual’s role in the project.  Do not send resumes, CVs or extensive filmographies. Bullet list any other advisors or consultants, if applicable.

Audience and Distribution Strategies (1 paragraph for each)
Distribution and Marketing Strategy
Characterize the intended distribution life for your film.  Specify plans for festival, theatrical, and/or community screenings, as well as plans for securing national broadcast and/or distribution

Intended Audience
Describe the anticipated audience for your project, including any underserved audiences. How do you plan to reach your target audience? How have you addressed the needs and interests of this audience in your film? What is your relationship and access to this community?

Audience Engagement and Social Impact (if applicable)
Audience Engagement is a strategy designed to activate audiences and constituencies toward a specific goal. Not all films are suited for social engagement, but if yours is, what actions do you hope for viewers to take after seeing your film? Potential activities could include organizational partnerships, educational guides, targeted stakeholder/community screenings, social media strategies, multi-platform activity, or social change campaigns. Do you have partnerships with organizations in your issue area already, and if so, how are these relationships informing your project development?
Financial Info (1 paragraph for each)

Fundraising Strategy
Describe the strategy for raising the additional funds necessary to complete the project. Include all sources and amounts raised to date. Clearly distinguish between potential sources of funding and secured amounts. List the status of other sources of funding currently under consideration, whether to be applied for or pending.

Foundation A ……………….$X Secured
Private Investment A………..$X Secured
Foundation B ………………. $X Applied
Broadcast License A ………. $X In Negotiation
Crowdfunding ……………….$X In Process ( Campaign end date MM/DD/YY)

Grant Impact
Amount requested? If you were to receive a grant, describe how the funds would be spent.  In light of your total budget, how would these funds help you move forward with your project?


In the online application form, you’ll be asked to briefly address the following question: How does your project relate to the Ideals and Values of the Rogovy Foundation?


Your budget should provide a detailed breakdown of all expenses from development through release in U.S. dollars, including a grand budget total.

Top Sheet
Provide a single page budget top sheet/summary.

Line Item Budget
Provide a comprehensive line item budget including all documentary related expenses. We do not require any specific software or format, but the budget should be typed and broken down on a line item basis in the form of a spreadsheet. A budget cover sheet or narrative budget summary alone is not adequate. Please include detailed budget notes for any areas that may be viewed as out of the ordinary or which requires further explanation.

Download this sample budget template that will help you customize and create your own budget.
It is not necessary to fill in every line included in the sample budget. You can customize it by adding lines or leaving out line items that are not relevant to your project.

View this excellent article from the IDA website about writing a documentary budget, that includes a detailed sample budget.

Please upload your visual sample with your application through Submittable. If you wish to provide links, please include both links and passwords in your written proposal.

Visual Sample
A current work sample is required. Upload a sample or provide a link and password to a streaming version of your work sample as part of the application. There is no specific length required. Submit the sample that you feel best represents your project at its current phase of production. While samples may be any length, for longer samples we will only guarantee to consider the first 10 minutes. Reviewers may watch and consider more than 10 minutes at their discretion. We unfortunately cannot accept previous work samples. The sample provided must be for the project you are applying for.

Sample description (1 paragraph)
Provide necessary background and/or context for the work-in-progress. What should reviewers be looking for in your sample? Explain what is present or absent in the sample, and how it will differ as a finished film. How is it representative of the intended story, style, subject, or other aspect of the project?

Director’s Prior Work (1 paragraph)
Provide the director’s previous work (any length or genre) if available. If a prior directing sample is not available, you may submit a film you have shot or edited. Alternatively, previous work from a key creative on the team will also be accepted. Describe the sample you have submitted, including its narrative, aesthetic, or communication intentions. Discuss the relevance of the work  to the current project, if any. 

Current Sample/Rough Cut: Link and password

Director’s Prior Work: Link and password

Please provide complete contact information including a valid email address, telephone number and mailing address.

Please note that the awards are announced bi-annually and submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Summer Award Winners will be announced in June and Winter Award Winners in January. If you would like to be considered for the Summer awards, please submit your application by May 15th and submit by November 15th for the Winter awards. If you fail to meet the deadline, your submission rolls over to our next open call period.