Submissions are closed for The Intercept, ScreeningRoom and Double Exposure Short Investigative Film Grant.

Submission Guidelines

WHAT: A $5,000 grant, a one year ScreeningRoom Pro account, and in-kind equipment use to support the production of a short investigative film for potential publication at The Intercept and a screening at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival (DX) in 2019.

SUBMISSIONS: Open to any documentary filmmaker or video journalist.

JUDGES: Representatives from The Intercept, ScreeningRoom and DX will review the submissions and make a final decision in February 2019. The decisions of the judges are final.

FILMMAKER FEEDBACK/MENTORING: As the winning filmmaker works on their film, representatives from ScreeningRoom, The Intercept and DX will watch cuts on ScreeningRoom and leave feedback for the filmmaker.

PUBLICATION: The winning piece will be considered for publication by The Intercept on a platform and at a date of its choosing. The Intercept reserves the right to decline to publish the film in its sole editorial discretion.  The filmmaker agrees to grant the right to publish the completed work - a six month exclusive and in perpetuity across all platforms - to The Intercept.

SCREENING: The winning piece will be considered for screening at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival in 2019.  DX reserves the right to decline to screen the film in its sole editorial discretion. The filmmaker agrees to grant the right to screen the completed work at DX in 2019.

RIGHTS:  All entrants and the winner retain all rights to their films.  

CREDIT:  The selected filmmaker agrees to provide an Executive Producer credit to The Intercept and ScreeningRoom.

SUBMISSION PROCESS: There is no submission fee, but filmmakers need to have a Basic, Premium or Pro ScreeningRoom membership in order to apply.


Submissions open at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival on Oct 10, 2018

Submissions close January 10, 2019

Final decision will be made by February 15, 2019

Announcement of Grant winner will be made on March 1, 2019

Short film to be completed by September 1, 2019

Short film to be published on the Intercept in the fall of 2019 (if accepted in final form)

Short film to be screened at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival in the fall of 2019 (if accepted in final form)


We are looking for a subject matter that is investigative and visually compelling. Topics of interest include civil liberties, national security, immigration, environment, politics and human rights. Please take some time to read The Intercept and explore the films presented at Double Exposure to get a sense of the types of stories that we’d be interested in.  


The length of the finished film should be approximately 5-10 minutes, but they can be longer if the subject or artistic approach requires it.


  • Trailer or sample scene if you have already begun filming
  • Previous work sample
  • Link to your website
  • Written application (uploaded as PDF document)
  • Representation that you have all rights and releases required for publication and screening; prior to publication, The Intercept and DX Conference may request copies of releases.


  • A $5000 grant for making your film
  • Use of a Canon C300 Mark I Cinema camera (EF mount with a 24-105 lens) for 10 days. (Filmmaker will be responsible for any damage or loss of equipment)
  • A free year-long ScreeningRoom Pro account
  • Feedback on your cuts from representatives from The Intercept, ScreeningRoom and Double Exposure through the process of making your film
  • Publication on The Intercept platform, if accepted in final form by The Intercept
  • Inclusion in the DX Conference 2019, if accepted in final form by DX

Video Guidelines

All video samples must be uploaded into ScreeningRoom (links to videos hosted elsewhere will not be accepted).

The ScreeningRoom application allows for the upload of one video file with your application.  That can either be a tailer or work sample if you have been filming on the project you are proposing, or a previous work sample.  There is additional space in the form field to include a ScreeningRoom link to your previous work sample, which you can upload into a project in ScreeningRoom and share with us.

If you already have a trailer or sample scene for your proposed film:

  • please upload the trailer or sample scene into ScreeningRoom with your application, and 
  • please also include a previous work sample by uploading it in ScreeningRoom and putting the link to that in your application in the form field for 'previous work sample'.  You can do that by:
    • create a new project in ScreeningRoom
    • upload your previous work sample
    • create a screening
    • go into the tool menu (green tool icon next to the title) for the screening and choose 'create a public link'
    • go back to the screening and go to 'share' and copy the public link
    • paste the public link into the application form field for 'previous work sample'

If you do not have a trailer or sample scene 
  • upload your previous work sample into ScreeningRoom with your application
  • also paste the public link for your previous work sample into the application form field for 'previous work sample'

If you are at all confused about how to create a public link, here is a helpful video

ScreeningRoom supports most major file formats and codecs for video. Filmmakers have the best results when using an H.264-based codec to compress their files.

Here is a list of the video extensions we allow: mp4, mov, wmv, webm, mkv, flv, vob, ogv, ogg, avi, qt, asf, m4v, mpg, mpeg, m2v, 3gp, mxf.

Your video file should be less than 5GB.

We recommend the following compression settings:


H.264 (High Profile)

2-Pass VBR, Target: 5Mb/s Max: 8Mbps

Frame Rate:
(same as original)

(same as original, up to 1920x1080)

Our recommended target bitrate for H.264 encoding is 5Mb/s. Lowering this bitrate will allow you to upload more minutes of material at smaller file sizes. Please note that doing so will reduce the quality of your videos

Document Guidelines

Please upload one document, PDF preferred, that has the following information based on the Documentary Core Application created by IDA (International Documentary Association).  Please number each section as described below.  You can read more about IDA's initiative to make applying to different grants easier for filmmakers.


1. Project Description

Logline - Provide a brief, catchy summary of your story.

Suggested Length: Approximately 2-3 sentences

2. Story Summary/ Synopsis- 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.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1 page

3. Topic Summary - Describe why this topic is important, timely or relevant. Things to consider include: Why are you the best person to make a short investigative 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.  How is this short film investigative?

Suggested Length: Approximately 1/2 page

4. Artistic Approach - 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. If applicable, mention any creative elements and assets, interactive elements, new technologies or non-traditional mediums that you intend to utilize (if relevant). Explain how these elements will enhance the experience and interaction between viewers and the world of the story.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1/2 page

5. Project Stage and Timeline - 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 to this fund previously, please share how your project has progressed since the last time you applied.  Please also describe any challenges you might face to finishing the short film, including difficulty accessing subject or material.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1-2 paragraphs

6. Project Team

Bios of Key Creative Personnel - Provide brief biographies for the director(s), journalist(s) and if attached, the producer(s), cinematographer, and/or editor. Include notable credits and/or major recognition or award information. For each key team member, include information about relevant expertise and the individual's role in the project. Bullet list names and titles of any attached advisors and/or consultants.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph/short bio for each team member

7. Fundraising Strategy and Grant Impact

Grant Impact - Please describe how the grant will help you complete a short film.  If you need more than the grant to finish the film, please describe your Fundraising Strategy for raising the additional funds necessary to complete the project. Be specific.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph

Funding to Date - Provide a list of all sources and amounts raised to date. 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.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph

8. Budget

Simple Budget - Please provide a simple high-level breakdown of your project's projected expenses in U.S. dollars.  Expense categories should include: Director's Time, Editor's Time, Equipment, Travel, Fixer, Transportation, Housing, Food, Translation (if applicable), and any other major expense you have.  

9. Relevance to The Intercept

Please describe why this short film would be relevant to The Intercept, and what ways the story would be of interest to an American audience.

Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph

  • Short film
Short film
Deadline $0.00