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 2020 Fellows 

Meet Our 2013-2019 Fellows



Now in its eighth year, the Docs In Progress Fellowship provides selected filmmakers from across the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area monthly facilitated meetings where they come together to share progress with their projects and receive feedback and advice on issues related to the documentary landscape, work/life balance, and the creative process.  

The Docs In Progress fellowship experience includes: 

  • 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. 
  • Exclusive networking opportunities with past Fellows as part of our larger Fellowship network. 
  • All in a safe zone where constructive advice and feedback is fostered.

Other Benefits for Fellows:

  • Eight monthly Fellowship Cohort meetings[see schedule below].
  • A pass and accommodations to attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in North Carolina (April 2-5);
  • 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. 
  • A 60-minute consultation with Docs In Progress about their work-in-progress.  The consultation can focus on mentoring, assistance getting a project ready for a work-in-progress screening, Fiscal Sponsorship, or  questions related to structural development, fundraising, or outreach. A Docs expert will be assigned depending upon the fellow's need.  
  • Featured as a Fellow on the Docs In Progress website, including a photo and information about their work-in-progress
  • A private listserv for 2020 Fellows
  • Fellows will also be spotlighted on the Docs In Progress website, will receive added consideration for work-in-progress screenings, and will be eligible to join our Alumni Fellows network at the conclusion of the Fellowship.

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. Fellows must be residents of Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia. 

The review committee will 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 wants to develop,  specific goals for how the Fellowship will help at this stage, and a willingness to give and receive feedback as part of the cohort. This is less a training program than it is an incubator where peer-centered discussion is at the forefront.

We will open up applications for the 2020 Fellowship in February.  Please watch on our website and social media.  Apply Here

There is no application fee to apply.   However, you must either be a current member of the Docs Insiders Program at least at the Basic Level.  If accepted into the Fellowship Program, Fellows pay a participation fee of $500 (due in full before the programs starts.  We charge this fee to ensure commitment of the Fellow to participating in the program.

Schedule of 2020 Cohort Meetings

Cohort meetings will be held on the fourth 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 90% of these meetings in person since they form the core of the Fellowship Program.(This means you may miss only one meeting during your fellowship.  The cohort meetings are scheduled on the following dates for the 2020 Fellows:

March 24
April 28
May 26
June 23
July 28
August 25
September 22
October 27 [final pitch and celebration]


The online application should take about 20-30 minutes to complete. You will also be asked to attach a bio and a headshot photo. We encourage you to include a proposal attachment and/or a trailer, i(f you have one) for your project. 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?

Thank you and we look forward to greeting our 2020 Fellows!