ABOUT THE DEREK FREESE DOCUMENTARY FUND
After 25 years of support to film students and established filmmakers, the board of directors is announcing that the Derek Freese Film Foundation is soon ceasing operations. As a result, the Derek Freese Documentary Fund is no longer being given.
Eight years ago, the Freese family and the board decided to “pay down” the foundation’s funds. In doing so, we were able to establish a larger award – the Derek Freese Documentary Fund - that could provide a greater impact to help documentary filmmakers get their projects over the finish line. Our list of award recipients is impressive: Alive Inside, 2013; Almost Sunrise, 2015; Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, 2017; Memphis, 2019. We are extremely proud that we were able to make a difference and assist in the production of these four superb films that all went on to great critical acclaim. We've also been grateful for our relationship with the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, who have administered the award and worked closely with us from the very beginning.
Once we finish supporting a few previous commitments over the next year, the Foundation will close its doors. We are all proud and honored that we have been able to allow Derek’s spirit to touch so many filmmakers for so many years.
Derek Freese Documentary Fund is no longer accepting applications.
Proposals must include:
Synopsis/Treatment providing a narrative summary, including project topic, subject profiles, and essential story lines, and clearly communicating a vision and theme for your finished film.
Resume and Bios highlighting previous credits and relevant experience for the primary applicant and key individuals working on the film.
Distribution/Marketing Strategy outlining intended plan for distribution and outreach to target audience.
Budget overview of all documentary-related expenses from development through distribution. This budget should include the amount requested, list the production-related expenses that the award would be used to cover, and state how that amount would impact your film.
Fundraising strategy that lists secured and intended funding sources. Applicant must either have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status or be able to secure a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for the project. A film production company or individual may submit an application without a fiscal sponsor in place. Once a project is chosen to receive DFDF, the applicant will need to submit documentation from a fiscal sponsor before the grant can be processed.
Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
DFDF may contact the applicant with questions about the application or proposal.
Award winners may be required to submit a financial report during the course of the grant period and/or a final financial report.
High Definition copy of the finished film must be submitted to the foundation.
Derek Freese Documentary Fund support must be acknowledged with a logo – of similar size and stature to other logos in the credits – at the end credits of the film as well as on all publicity and promotional materials relating to the production. In addition, it should be noted in the credits and publicity that DFDF is "proudly managed by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office" with logo included.
Please provide a sample of the work in progress no more than 15 minutes in length. The sample work should accurately represent the film you plan to complete and provide a solid example of your storytelling technique and visual aesthetic. Include a link to your work sample within your proposal. Downloads will not be accepted.
If you still have questions after reviewing the guidelines and application, please contact Joan@film.org.