Threshold Foundation and Doc Society believe that documentaries that have the potential to transform public perception on major issues by exploring compelling, underrepresented stories with a depth and nuance that is not seen in most mainstream media.

Since 2016, Doc Society and Threshold Foundation’s High Impact Documentary Film Circle are proud to have supported over 35 films covering issues including democracy, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, migration, the climate crisis, and freedom of speech. Films which speak truth to power and open the possibility to spark change.

If you have a film looking at pressing, progressive, contemporary issues in a powerful new light then we want to hear from you. Our Letter of Interest is open from March 1, 2023 through May 1, 2023 when we will be curating a selection of films in production and post production to share with our partners at Threshold.

Threshold Foundation priorities:

Stories that are not being covered in mainstream media;

Crucial stage funding that will help move films forward at critical moments in their production and post-production timeline (we do not prioritize projects in development);

Films that tell powerful stories, have a strong point of view and outreach plans for reaching intended audiences;

Films with a focus that is in sync with the Threshold Foundation’s mission to create a more just, joyful and sustainable world;

Emergent and highly experienced filmmakers welcome;

Compelling stories that leave the audience with an opportunity and desire for positive change.

Apply >

Letter of interest form

Invitations, Letter of Interest, and Things to Note:

Currently, full applications are by invitation only and Doc Society will make recommendations to Threshold Foundation’s High Impact Documentary Funding Circle who will then make all final grant-making decisions.

While Threshold tends to favor U.S. stories, there tend to be 1-2 international films each round, so we always love to hear about new global stories. As such, filmmakers are welcome to complete our Letter of Interest form below to submit basic film materials and alert us to their projects.

Our Letter of Interest is open from March 1, 2023 through May 1, 2023. If we think your project is a potential fit for the fund, we will reach out about the film to request more information.

We will respond to all submissions by June 30, 2023.

Send us your work here through the LETTER OF INTEREST FORM.

Previous Grantees include:

GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators. Directed by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster. (Winner of the Sundance Jury Award 2023)

THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY. Directed by Petra Costa, political documentary and personal memoir collide in this exploration into the complex truth behind the unraveling of two Brazilian presidencies. (Academy Award Nominee 2020)

WHOSE STREETS follows the killing of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising directed by Sabaah Folayan and co-directed by Damon Davis. (Sundance Opening Night, 2017)

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING. The directorial debut of RaMell Ross presents an experiment in representation, examining the lives of two young men living in the historic American South told through real and fictional narratives, as an ode to Hale County Alabama. (Academy Award nominee 2019)

KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE. Directed by Rachel Lears the film follows four working class women (including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) running for Congress, overcoming adversity to battle powerful political machines in very different American landscapes. (Sundance 2019 Audience Award winner)

DARK MONEY is a thrilling expose on campaign finance and political corruption inspiring citizens to follow the money and demand reform. Directed by Kimberely Reed. (Sundance 2018)