The Center for Asian American Media is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. For over 40 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large.
For over four decades, CAAM has created opportunities for Americans and people around the globe to understand the diverse stories and experiences of Asian Americans through:
▪ Careers. CAAM empowers filmmakers to achieve their full potential by providing training, funding, distribution, and access to professional networks.
▪ Community. Connecting filmmakers and their stories to people and communities in schools, community centers, theaters and neighborhoods, bridging conversations about inclusiveness and social equity.
▪ Perspective. CAAM-supported work changes the way audiences see the world, changing hearts and minds, inspiring empathy and meaningful social action.
Banner for CAAM's Documentary Fund Open Call FY 2024, Image Courtesy: Khai Thu Nguyen and Arthur Yee
With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides project funding to independent documentary films by and about the Asian American experience for public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public television broadcast. Awards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.
The CAAM Documentary Fund is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through a federal mandate designated public funding for programs that increase the representation of diverse stories and communities on public television. As such, please note that in the event your project gets recommended for funding, CAAM is required to ask for certain rights on behalf of CPB through a licensing agreement, including exclusive U.S. television rights for four years after the completion of the project.
To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicant must hold artistic, budgetary and editorial control and must own the copyright of the proposed project.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age, be citizens or legal residents of the United States or its territories.
- All projects in the post-production phase or further must have a full-length rough or fine cut to be considered. Projects in the production phase must include a maximum 15-minute sample of the project that is being submitted.
- Applicants must have previous film or television experience. If this is your first media project, you must provide a video sample that demonstrates your ability to tell a story well through a visual medium.
- In some cases, CAAM may require a Fiscal Sponsor, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt entity. Your sponsor would agree to accept funds from CAAM on your behalf and is responsible for redistributing funds to the project accordingly.
- Projects must be delivered according to PBS standard lengths (26:46, 56:46, 1:26:46 or 1:56:46).
- Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted.
Projects NOT eligible:
- Projects not intended for public television audience.
- Projects not intended to be at standard PBS broadcast length (26:46, 56:46, 1:26:46 or 1:56:46).
- Projects for which the U.S. television broadcast rights are not available.
- Projects in the script development stage.
- Projects intended solely for theatrical release or commercial in nature.
- Projects in which applicant is commissioned, employed or hired by a commercial or public television station.
- Thesis projects or student films which are co- or solely-owned or copy-written, or otherwise editorially or fiscally controlled by the school.
- Projects or production entities which are foreign-based, owned or controlled.
- Industrial or promotional projects.
- Projects that are not about the Asian American experience.
Our funding process will use the following guidelines in awarding funds:
- Is the project a good match for American public television and its national audience?
- Is the story idea compelling, engaging, original and well-conceived?
- Is the visual/stylistic treatment effective and distinctive?
- Can the project be completed within a realistic timeline based on the applicant’s production and fundraising plans, personnel and budget?
- Will the project appeal not only to Asian American viewers, but also to a broader television audience?
- Does the sample demonstrate the skills and/or potential of the applicant to complete the proposed project?
- Has CAAM recently funded a similar topic, issue or treatment?
- Why are you or your team best suited to tell this story and do this project?