PBS Open Call: Emerging and BIPOC Documentary Content Creators

March 4, 2021

To amplify the voices of emerging and Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) content creators across public media, PBS – America’s public broadcasting system – has issued an open call for proposals to support long and short form documentaries produced and created by diverse and emerging filmmakers that explore a broad range and collection of experiences, perspectives, and points of view. Proposals are sought for genres and themes that resonate with a U.S. audience, including (but not limited to) personal history, arts, culture, science, and democracy/civics.

WNET, whose stations and digital platforms are part of the PBS system, hopes to see many applicants from our tri-state area. Originality, creativity, engaging storytelling, and an ability to reach the intended audience are encouraged. PBS welcomes innovative approaches and invites you to include animation, found footage, or personal audio/visual material.

Projects must be in the production stage or near completion and are subject to PBS editorial criteria.

All submissions will be reviewed by a group of editorial executives, public media professionals, and filmmakers. Funding recipients will be selected based on editorial merit.

PBS will make the final determination on the specific funding amount based on production status of each project.

The application deadline is Friday, April 16, at 5 p.m. ET.


Broadcast Long Form (30, 60, or 90 minutes): Projects submitted in this category for Production or Completion Funding may be eligible for up to $50,000.

Digital Short Form (8-25 minutes): Projects submitted in this category for Production or Completion Funding may be eligible for up to $15,000.


Films selected must be produced and delivered in accordance with all applicable PBS policies, including the PBS Editorial Standards & Practices; the PBS Funding Standards & Practices; the PBS Producer’s Handbook; and the PBS Technical Operating Specifications. See all four PBS guides on PBS.org.

For more information on eligibility, how to submit, and deliverables and terms, see the PBS announcement on PBS.org.


PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations –noncommercial, educational licensees that operate more than 330 PBS member stations – such as THIRTEEN – and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

Learn more about the PBS mission and its programming.