This blog is an online Q&A forum for prospective applicants to ITVS's International Call initiative. The application deadline is Friday, February 6, 2009. First, review the guidelines and instructions for how to apply. View our frequently asked questions and answers below. If you would like to comment or ask a follow up question, click on the "Comments" icon at the bottom of the appropriate topic (please remember to include your name). Programming Manager Cynthia Kane or Programming Coordinator Joy-Marie Scott will respond to questions as soon as possible. You may navigate topics using Labels or the Blog Archive menu on the right.

How does International Call work?

Through the International Call funding initiative, ITVS International works to:
  1. Seek out international projects. We work closely with international media markets, film festivals and producer organizations to find and attract the most compelling television project proposals from around the world.
  2. Select the best projects created by international independent producers. International Call incorporates a peer-review process involving distinguished industry professionals (filmmakers, commissioning editors, broadcasters, etc.) from around the world.
  3. Fund and manage projects to completion. Through International Call, we provide production funds in exchange for a license for domestic broadcast; strategic commissioning commitments vary. ITVS International works with producers to ensure that all programs meet broadcast and editorial standards.
  4. Find U.S. television distribution outlets. Working with the producer, public television and other outlets, we negotiate U.S. distribution through public or cable television.
  5. Maximize impact. Through publicity and community outreach campaigns, we help programs find and impact audiences.

Does the U.S. government have control over the selection of projects?

No. International Call is funded by private foundations and solely administered by ITVS International, a branch of the nonprofit corporation Independent Television Service (ITVS). The staff of ITVS International and independent panels assembled by ITVS International staff make all decisions.

How does ITVS International work to increase diversity in its pool of applicants?

It is the mission of ITVS International to present diverse voices on television. We constantly strive to support underrepresented filmmaking communities throughout the world. We focus our field relations with filmmakers from indigenous and immigrant communities, as well as with filmmakers from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our efforts include outreach to a wide range of international festivals and markets where ITVS staff participate in workshops and serve on panels. Applicants can help guide our efforts by accurately filling out the demographic information on the application and by communicating their own diverse backgrounds in the Filmmaker’s Note section of their project proposal.

What parts of the world are you most interested in?

International Call embraces projects from every part of the world, including places that are lesser known to U.S. audiences or seldom represented on U.S. television. We especially encourage producers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to apply for funding.

What kind of subject matter will funded projects address?

Any compelling projects that bring international perspectives, ideas, events and people to U.S. television will be considered. Topics can vary and include documentaries about global current events, history, politics, culture, economics, arts and biography. To get an idea of the range of ITVS International co-productions, please review our recently funded projects.

If a project is controversial or political, will it be considered?

Yes. Any point of view, well presented, will be considered.