Filmmaker Residencies Guidelines

The Docs In Progress Filmmaker Residency is a way to bring guest expertise to the Docs In Progress community while also providing a space for an established documentary filmmaker to develop a new project. 

Residents are selected from a competitive application process and take residency at Docs In Progress just outside of Washington DC for as little as two weeks or as much as six weeks between June and August.

The deadline to apply for the 2019 Residency was Friday, April 26, 2019. Applicants will be notified by May 24.


  • Office space at Docs In Progress for the duration of the residency. This will include desk space and meeting space with wifi Internet shared with Docs In Progress staff. 

  • Convenience to other resources in and around Washington DC. Docs In Progress is based in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland in the heart of an Arts & Entertainment District which includes the American Film Institute, Discovery Networks, and many arts organizations. It is also only 20 minutes from Washington DC by Metro or 20 minutes by car from the National Archives College Park facility holding its film collections. 

  • Honoraria and Travel Stipend: The Filmmaker-in-Residence receives an honoraria of $1,000 and a travel stipend of up to $1,000. While we cannot provide housing, we can offer some leads to local hosts if you do not already have your own arrangements.



  • Teaching a workshop of your own devising during the residency. This workshop must be a minimum of two hours and take place on an evening or weekend. 

  • Mentoring filmmakers in our community: The Filmmaker-in-Residence may be a special guest for one of our Fellowship Cohort meetings during the residency and/or can join us for our Peer Pitch program to provide feedback to attending filmmakers on their works-in-progress.
  • Screen and discuss a finished film in a public or private event for Docs In Progress. 

  • Contribute a blog entryon a topic of mutual agreement.

Both local and visiting documentary filmmakers are encouraged to apply. 

Note to Filmmakers From Outside of the Washington DC area: Travel and housing costs are your own responsibility for organizing. We can provide up to $1,000 as a reimbursable travel stipend if you provide receipts.

Note to Filmmakers From Outside of the United States: Docs In Progress does not have the capacity to sponsor visa applications. Please only apply if you can already work legally in the United States and indicate this in your application narrative. If you give no indication of your visa status in the application, your application will not be considered. 


A panel comprised of Docs In Progress staff and regional film professionals will review applications using the following criteria: 

  • Quality and feasibility of the proposal 
  • Demonstrated need for our facilities 
  • Quality of work sample and body of prior work 
  • Commitment to the ideals of Docs In Progress 
  • Clear articulation of how this opportunity will be valuable to their filmmaking career 


This program is made possible through the support of