The Docs In Progress Fellowship gives up to ten DC-area filmmakers each year a facilitated support system for them to develop new documentaries.   

Made possible through the support of


Meet Our 2017 Fellows

Meet Our 2013-2016 Fellows


Over the eight months of each Fellowship cohort, Docs In Progress provides selected filmmakers monthly facilitated meetings where they come together to share progress with their projects and get feedback and advice on issues related to the documentary landscape, work/life balance, and the creative process.  

Benefits to Fellows include: 

  • Accountability: By setting realistic goals for progress and having monthly check-in sessions with the facilitator and other participants, Fellows are more likely to make significant progress with their films than going it alone. 
  • Expertise from seasoned documentary industry professionals who come as guest presenters on topics ranging from work/life balance to time management to getting control of your story. 
  • A professional development voucher which can be applied to a one-day or one-evening Docs In Progress program during the course of their Fellowship.  This could be used towards registration for a one day or one night workshop or Peer Pitch. 
  • A 60-minute consultation with Executive Director Erica Ginsberg about their work-in-progress.  This may focus on mentoring to help get a project ready to apply for a work-in-progress screening, Fiscal Sponsorship, or on questions related to structural development, fundraising, or outreach. 
  • Featured as a Fellow on the Docs In Progress website, including a photo and information about the work-in-progress. 
  • Exclusive networking opportunities with past Fellows as part of our larger Fellowship network. 



There is no fee to apply.  However, you must either be a current member of the Docs Insiders Program at least at the Basic Level or be an alumni of another Docs In Progress program (class, workshop, Peer Pitch, or have presented a work-in-progress at a Docs In Progress screening or Roundtable). 

If accepted into the Fellowship Program, Fellows pay a participation fee is $500. We charge this fee to ensure commitment of the Fellow to participating in the program which is valued at $2,200 per Fellow.The fee includes eight monthly Fellowship Cohort meetings (see schedule below), one 60 minute one-on-one consultation with the Docs In Progress Executive Director, a voucher which can be applied towards another Docs In Progress single-day or single-evening professional development program or workshop during the year, and (new for 2017!) a pass and accommodations to attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in North Carolina and a free seat in our Docs In The City screening programs.  Fellows will also be spotlighted on the Docs In Progress website and will receive added consideration for work-in-progress screenings.
Schedule of 2017 Cohort Meetings 
Cohort meetings are generally held on the first Tuesday of the month from 7:00 – 10:00 pm at Docs In Progress in downtown Silver Spring, MD (except when there is a holiday conflict). Accepted Fellows must commit to attending at least 80% of these meetings in person since they form the core of the Fellowship Program (that means you may miss only one meeting).  The cohort meetings are scheduled on the following dates for the 2017 Fellows:

February 7
March 7
April 4
May 2
June 6
July 11 (note this is the second Tuesday of the month)
August 1
September 12 (note this is the second Tuesday of the month)

Other Scheduled Activities for 2017 Fellows

* Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, all 2017 Fellows will receive non-transferable passes and accommodations to attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina from Thursday, April 6 through Sunday, April 9. We will organize carpools for transportation.

* Docs In The City - All Fellows will receive a free pass to attend our "Docs In The City" programs where we will welcome top documentary filmmakers from around the country to Washington DC to give feedback on a work-in-progress. While the dates for these programs have not yet been finalized, we expect them to take place on two Saturdays in the summer and fall.

* Alumni Fellows Meetings - Once the Fellowship Cohort Meetings end, the 2017 Fellows will become part of our broader Fellowship network which meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Docs In Progress.


Past Fellows have included both first-time and more seasoned filmmakers and both those who make a living in the world of media and those who are working on a labor of love in addition to another career. We have welcomed projects at all stages of development -- from pre-production to production to post-production to completed films beginning the distribution phase. Projects have ranged in topic from the global to the local, from social issue exposes to personal documentaries, from feature length documentaries to transmedia projects.

When we are reviewing applications for the Fellowship, we look at both the individual applicant and how they will fit in to the group. We want to see that the filmmaker has a solid idea he or she would like to develop, specific goals for how the Fellowship will help at this stage, and a willingness to open up to give and get feedback from peers. This is less a training program than it is an incubator and a cohort where peer-centered discussion is at the forefront.


The online application should take about 20-30 minutes to complete.  In addition to standard questions about you and your project, you will be asked the following  questions:

Other than funding, what are the biggest challenges you have faced or are currently facing with regards to your work-in-progress?

What experience have you had giving or getting feedback from peers (whether within the film world or in another discipline)?

How would the Docs In Progress Fellowship be beneficial to you moving forward with your project and your artistic career?

You will also be asked to attach a bio, headshot photo, and an optional proposal of your film. 

The deadline to apply for the 2017 Fellowship has passed.

Want to know more? 
We held a lunchtime information session by phone with the Docs In Progress Executive Director and former Fellows on Wednesday, January 11. You can access the recording of the call at https://fccdl.in/WFVS9Lwkr

Or contact Docs In Progress Executive Director Erica Ginsberg at 301-789-2797 or erica AT docsinprogress DOT org if you have any questions.