How To Apply to Open Call

Open Call is going digital!
Please be sure to read the information on this page carefully as some details have changed.

When you are ready to apply, go to the Open Call Application and Sign Up or Log In to your account.

Important note: you may edit your application up until the deadline. If you have already submitted your application, and wish to edit it, you can, but you must be sure to re-submit so ITVS has your correct information.

Application deadline

All materials must be submitted to ITVS by 5:00 PM PT on Friday, January 11, 2013
All proposals must be accompanied by a work-in-progress video of the proposed program. Please follow the instructions carefully, as some requirements have changed.

Required materials for Open Call application


A note on applying to ITVS online

Please note that all required materials, except the actual application form, are to be uploaded, including video (with the exceptions noted below in the section on uploading work-in-progress materials). You will not be typing your Program Description into a form, or creating your resume online. There is a page on the application form with instructions on how to upload your files, and we accept all standard file types (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .mov, .mp4, etc.). It is an intuitive system and help text is featured throughout the process. 
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact for help.

Part 1: Application form

You must create a user account, and complete the online application form. First, go to Sign Up, and create your account. Once you have an account, select Available Programs, choose Open Call and follow the prompts. (Help text is featured throughout to help you through the process.) You will also be asked to upload your application materials, and clear instructions are provided in the form. If you encounter any difficulties in your online application, please contact N'Jeri Eaton at for assistance. 

Budget information instructions

Please provide estimated budget information only in the budget section of your application. Do not include in-kind costs or support.
a. TOTAL BUDGET = the total cost of the completed production
b. TOTAL CASH SPENT TO DATE, IF ANY = money spent by the producer or other contributors prior to ITVS application
c. PENDING FUNDS = the total of funding sources that have been requested but not committed; do not include your ITVS request
  • PENDING FUNDS DETAILS: grants, foundation requests, etc.; do not include your ITVS request (e.g., applied for $25,000 from CAAM; applied for $10,000 from LPB)
d. CASH SECURED, but not yet spent = committed grants and funds 
  • CASH SECURED DETAILS, but not yet spent: committed grants and funds. Please list the amounts, sources, and year received. (e.g., $5,000 received from the Film Arts Foundation in 2002; $8,000 received from the California Arts Council in 2001)
e. REQUEST TO ITVS = A (total budget) minus B (cash spent) minus D (cash secured). 
The Request to ITVS is amount of money you need to complete the film at time your application is submitted.  This is the budget total less the money you are fully guaranteed to receive. Please ensure this figure is accurate as it can critically impact your application, especially if you advance to later stages of review.
  • For example, if your total budget (A) is $300,000, your total cash spent to date (B) is $100,000, and the amount of cash secured but not yet spent (D) is $50,000, your request to ITVS is $300,000 - $100,000 - $50,000 = $150,000. Do not subtract pending funds from your total budget when calculating your request to ITVS.

Part 2: Program description (up to three pages total)

Communicate your program idea with as much detail as possible within three pages. Be sure to include the following: 
  • A synopsis of the program
  • A treatment specifying how you will translate your story from page to screen
  • A discussion of theme, format, structure, style, and point of view
  • The anticipated audience for the program. Are there specific communities (for example, defined by geography, ethnicity, class, or generation) who are the target audience for this program? In what way is this audience not being currently served by public television? How have you addressed the needs and interests of this audience? What is your relationship and access to this community?
  • Reasons the program is appropriate for public television
  • The current status of the project

Part 3: Production personnel (up to three pages each)

Applicants and Co-applicants must each submit a résumé (including their filmography). No summaries or blurbs will be accepted in place of a résumé, although a summary bio and filmography is acceptable. For the list of key production personnel only (additional directors or producers, advisors, editor, cinematographer/videographer, etc.), include name, position, and short bio only. 

Part 4: Previously completed work and work-in-progress description (one page)

  • Description of your Previously Completed Work, and a description of the applicant's role as credited. Even though you are not submitting a DVD of your previously completed work (see below), we still want to know why the film you list on the application form is relevant to the proposed program, whether on the basis of style, content, approach, etc. 
  • Description of your Work-In-Progress. Also, indicate if the work-in-progress is a rough cut, trailer, scene selects, etc. and specify the length of the work-in-progress.

Part 5: Work-in-progress video

ITVS Open Call now only accepts works-in-progress between 8 and 30 minutes in length, unless you are submitting a full rough cut. If your work-in-progress is 30 minutes or less, you should plan on submitting digitally. If you have a full rough cut, please contact N'Jeri Eaton ( to arrange submission via DVD.
  • All nonfiction proposals must be accompanied by a work-in-progress video of the proposed program of at least 8 minutes in length and no more than 30 minutes in length. All standard digital video formats are accepted, although we recommend Quicktime .mov or .mp4 files or downloadable links (i.e. Vimeo or Dropbox). The video you submit can be a full rough cut, a trailer, scene selects, etc.

  • If you have a full rough cut, you should submit this on DVD or as a downloadable link (i.e. Vimeo or Dropbox).

Please note: Applicants are no longer required to submit a sample of a Previously Completed Work at Internal Review, but must be able to produce a copy upon request from ITVS. Applicants may submit a previously completed work in any genre and of any length, but must have held a primary production role: director, producer, co-director or co-producer.

To apply, please submit your materials online by Friday, January 11, 2013
at 5:00pm PT.