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    Documentary Exploration Grants

    Background and Purpose:

    The Colorado College Documentary Exploration Grants seek to use documentary filmmaking as a means to tell today’s most powerful stories. Given the ability of film to support interdisciplinary conversations and analysis, students across campus are invited to apply for grants to research and create character-driven documentary films that push them outside their comfort zone and challenge their worldview. Competitive projects will explore personal, social, environmental, or cultural perspectives; engage an audience; and invite solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future.

    The grant also encourages students to take advantage of the network of CC alumni in the documentary filmmaking space. Students will be able to tap into the collective expertise of these alumni through close mentorship throughout the life of the project. Based on need, one or two alumni will help guide the filmmaking journey.


    Grants will range from $500 - $10,000 based on the budgetary needs of the proposed project. Projects should be entirely student produced. 

    Grant monies may not be used to purchase filmmaking equipment or other gear that becomes the property of the student; however, gear rental, travel, food costs, special services, finishing and festival costs, and other expenses may be supported.


    All students, regardless of major and including graduating seniors, in good academic standing are eligible to apply, assuming they meet the requirements spelled out in the application. Filmmaking teams are supported and encouraged. 


    February 19: Application opens

    April 17: Applications due

    April 20 - May 1: Finalists interviews

    May 5: Recipients announced at Honors Convocation

    Completed projects will be shown in Cornerstone Arts Center. Recipients will introduce their work and provide commentary on the process for making their film.


    Elevator Pitch (2-3 sentences)

    Catchy summary 

    Qualifications (1-2 paragraphs + link and letter)

    Description of relevant coursework and/or experience          

    Work Sample (previous film)

    Background in subject matter                             

    Letter of support from a faculty member or alumna/us

    Synopsis (2 paragraphs)

    Overview                                       Anticipated Plot

    Characters                                     Narrative trajectory

    Topic (1-2 paragraphs)

    Why make this film?                       Themes

    Issue(s) it addresses and how         Challenges

    Approach (2 paragraphs)

    Creative vision/style

    Access to story and characters

    Technical approach – camera platform, editing software, etc.

    Intended Audience and Outcome (1 paragraph)

    What audience do you intend to reach?

    How will you evaluate your project's personal/social/cultural impact?

    If you have a non-profit partnership, please list the organization.

    Distribution Plan (1 paragraph)

    How will the film be seen?

    Collaboration (1-2 paragraphs)

    If this is a team project, please outline how the collaboration will work and what strengths each member brings to the project 

    Internship/Mentorship (1 paragraph)

    Is there a specific alumna/us that would be the best fit for your project? Why? 


    Comprehensive budget


    Projected timeline, with dates, for pre-production, production, post-production

    For assistance with this grant application, please contact Professor Dylan Nelson.