American South 2019: Call for Submissions

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) is thrilled to partner with the Surdna Foundation and New Orleans Film Society to stimulate the art of short-form documentary storytelling in the American South.

Applications are now open. Click here to apply.

We are inviting diverse filmmakers (POC, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, women, nonbinary, people with disabilities) from the American South to apply for a new TFI IF/Then Shorts pitch opportunity at the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival, centered on the topic of Inclusive Economies. The pitch calls for original stand-alone short documentaries (10-20 minutes) that explore themes of economic inclusion and resilience through a regional and place-based lens.

What makes this Inclusive Economies pitch unique is that it aims to highlight character-led stories in which systemically excluded people and places in the South are maximizing their economic potential as creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. The Inclusive Economies theme for this year’s IF/Then American South Pitch seeks to amplify individuals and communities who are leveraging their social, cultural, financial, intellectual, and creative capital to create their own new economic realities.

Priority will be given to POC-led stories and storytellers.

Support for travel and accommodation to attend the pitch event in New Orleans will be provided to the finalists. Eligible projects must be completed within six months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be presented in English or subtitled in English.

TFI and NOFF will jointly select up to 6 finalists to present their projects at a live pitch event at NOFF, before a panel of industry judges on October 18, 2019.

Each pitch team will have 7 minutes to present their project, which will be followed by a short moderated discussion with a tailored jury. One project, selected by the jury, will receive up to USD $25,000 in project funding and will have the opportunity to participate in TFI’s IF/Then Shorts Program, which provides year-round mentorship and career development opportunities.

Storyville is a proud partner of Tribeca Film Institute and NOFF, and will provide a Festival Finishing Package for this year's IF/Then Shorts American South pitch competition winner. The short film package is comprised of picture, sound, and deliverables from their award-winning talent.

For the second year, POV Shorts (American Documentary) is a proud partner of Tribeca Film Institute and will additionally provide a $1,000 cash prize and mentorship to a second project. ​

  • Online registration opens: July 15, 2019 
  • Project application deadline: September 2, 2019 at 11:59PM ET 
  • Notification of project selection: late September 
  • IF/Then pitch competition in New Orleans: October 18, 2019 

All stories and storytellers coming from the American South. These states and one federal district include: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Your project tells a story about Inclusive Economies and/or addresses issues around the topic of Inclusive Economies.

These projects must be completed within 6 months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be presented in English or subtitled in English.

Please make sure your project fits the general eligibility requirements presented on our Pitches and  Eligibility page.

If chosen as a finalist, it is mandatory that you participate in the event. You will have to arrange travel and accommodations yourself; however, a travel stipend will be provided. You will also receive an Industry accreditation for the host film festival free of charge.