The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)

San Francisco, CA 94103


Mar 15, 2021


Feb 18, 2021

CAAM’s Documentary Fund is open for submissions once again. With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides production funding to independent producers creating documentary films that illuminate the Asian American experience for a national audience via public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public media. Awards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.

We will begin accepting submissions for documentary projects starting Monday, February 15, 2021 at 12 a.m. PST. Applications will close on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Previous films supported by CAAM include: Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1989) by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima Pena (Oscar nominee), Days of Waiting (1988) by Steven Okazaki (Oscar winner), Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994) by Freida Lee Mock (Oscar winner), a.k.a. Don Bonus (1995) by Spencer Nakasako and Sokly Ny (Emmy winner), Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (2013) by Tadashi Nakamura (Gotham Audience Award winner), American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (2014) by Grace Lee (Peabody Award) and Abacus: Small Enough To Jail (2018) by Steve James (Oscar nominee). Learn more about the films CAAM supported last year here.

For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions and CAAM Documentary Fund page.


  • 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 10-15 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©(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).
  • Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted.

Projects NOT eligible:
* Projects not intended for public television audience.
* Projects not at standard PBS broadcast length (e.g. 26:46, 56:46).
* Projects for which the domestic 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.

Application Instructions

Apply at CAAM’s Submittable page