Catapult Development Grant (Round 2)

Catapult Development Grant (Round 2)

Launched in 2010, the Catapult Development Fund provides early-stage support to documentary filmmakers when funding is hardest to find. Catapult conducts an open call for applications twice a year, with decisions announced in the early spring and late fall.

This year, we will offer twenty grants of up to $25,000 USD to filmmakers in development with a documentary feature or short. We do not support docuseries at this time. Learn more about previous Catapult Development Fund grantees»

Our flagship program is geared toward independent filmmakers who have a strong story to tell, have secured access, and are ready to unlock critical production funding.

This grant can be used for a variety of development needs and must result in the creation of a fundraising piece as the final deliverable. We prioritize artful, moving storytelling and are not tied to any specific social issue agenda.


  • Applicants (Project Director) must be 18 years or older.

  • Documentaries must be in development or early production with an intended length of 28 minutes or longer.

  • Grant funds must specifically be used to create a fundraising piece, which may include writing, shooting and editing once story and characters are in place.

  • Applicants must own the copyright of their production, and have artistic, budgetary, and editorial control over their project.

  • Applicants should have previous film or television production experience in a principal role (director, co-director, producer, co-producer) as demonstrated via previous work samples. Applicants who do not meet this criteria should demonstrate how they will be working with experienced filmmakers as key creative personnel.

  • Catapult does not make grants to individuals. If selected, applicants must be able to accept grants through a 501(c)(3) organization such as a fiscal sponsor. Projects may apply without a fiscal sponsor but must confirm the designated organization in order to receive funding. Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions»

  • Catapult does not fund student films, docuseries, fiction projects, or projects that are in production, post-production, or completed. Hybrid and experimental formats will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Selection Criteria

  • Artful, compelling storytelling that moves
    you, with a preference for character-driven narratives over lesson or agenda-heavy projects

  • Originality of approach, content, and form

  • Creative and innovative storytelling techniques

  • Contemporary relevance with a unique perspective, style, and/or tone

  • Project feasibility with respect to budget, financing, schedule, and scope

  • Demonstrated ability of the creative team to implement previous projects

  • Credible access and rapport with the proposed subject(s) of the story, with attention to accountability and ethics

  • Significant impact of Catapult grant on development stage of the project

  • Potential of the project to generate public discourse and social engagement


  • Grant awards range from $5000 to $25,000. If selected, grantees must have a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor to officially accept the award.

  • Once accepted, Catapult will provide a letter of agreement that clearly outlines use of funds, reporting, and deliverables. Report deadlines are determined by the grantee, based on project goals and timeline.

  • Grantees must submit two financial reports during the course of the grant period: an interim report, which will accompany a narrative report; and a final financial report to be submitted once the grant is complete.

  • Upon completion of the award period, grantees must submit the proposed fundraising piece. Grantees agree to return any funds not used for the purpose of the grant.

  • Grantees will be expected to acknowledge Catapult support with text and/or logo recognition in film credits, publicity, and promotional materials, as well as tickets to the film’s premiere.

  • Beyond the grant, Catapult serves as an early and engaged champion for our grantees by providing editorial feedback, industry connections, and mentorship based on project needs.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Catapult Development Grant (Round 2)

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