| Guidelines for Filmmakers


These guidelines have been prepared to help filmmakers understand how they can qualify their projects to be listed on entirely free of charge. enables documentary filmmakers to broadcast short fundraising trailers for their current projects accompanied by supporting written materials, audio and photos and to solicit tax-deductible donations from the general public for those projects.

In addition to facilitating fundraising, also provides a venue where documentary filmmakers can showcase their projects and invite other forms of help, participation and assistance to accomplish their goals.

We do not, however, accept all submitted projects for publication on the site.

Our emphasis is on quality. As such, you should do everything you can to convince editors that you are developing a high-quality project.

Be as complete as possible when filling out the fields in the Project Upload section.

Produce a short video or trailer that makes a direct appeal for financial or other forms of support - a "Pitch Video" -- for your project and make it available to us as indicated on our Project Upload page.

Your Pitch Video can be anything from one person simply describing your vision, as persuasively as possible, to a more complete edited trailer, featuring interviews, subject matter experts, messages from project supporters, etc. The goal of a Pitch Video is to grab the attention of the viewer and convince them to give you the help you need to get the project made. In the process, you will also begin to build an audience for the finished work.

We recommend that each Pitch Video be 10 minutes or less, but will consider Pitch Videos of up to 20 minutes.

Your project will be judged by the content and thoroughness of your written project description and the quality of your Pitch Video. To advance our mission, ReelChanges's editors will consider the following:

  • Does the filmmaker demonstrate the ability to complete the project with a high degree of professionalism and storytelling?
  • Does your Pitch Video move people to action?
  • Does your Pitch Video enable viewers to understand the issues/needs/opportunities at stake sufficiently so they will want to get personally involved in helping you tell that story?
  • Does your Pitch Video make an effective appeal for funds or other types of public involvement in your project? The appeal can be explicit or subtle but the goal is for it to be effective.

Filmmakers are encouraged to be creative about how you ask viewers for contributions or other types of support. In the case of fundraising, some experts have noted that an effective fundraising appeal usually has three "asks" - places where potential contributors are asked directly for financial support. You may prefer a different approach. The idea is to use your filmmaking talents to build the support you need to create your film.

One of our goals is to get the public more deeply involved in the documentary arts as participants, micro-funders and collaborators, not just as an audience.

We want projects on our site that people want to support, that move people and that help to move the world, or at least some small part of it, in a good direction.

Convince us that you have such a project.

And then let us help you raise money for your project, and find an audience for your finished film, at no charge to you.

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In order to maintain our nonprofit 501c3 status and our high standards does not accept all submitted projects. Please see our FAQ for a list of excluded project types.

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End Guidelines for Filmmakers version 1.0