documentary open call
Open DocsRunway documentary open call
To support short non-fiction films that employ innovative and artistic approaches leveraging AI-powered tools and generative AI as essential components, while exploring contemporary global issues through a cinematic lens.
We promote and foster access to AI-powered tools and generative AI for documentary creators globally by providing financial support, mentorship, and production backing for selected projects. Support and work to happen on a rolling basis.
Our target projects to be created by underrepresented groups and emerging communities within the cinema sphere, from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience. With an emphasis on elevating BIPOC creators and those from regions such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania.
Sponsors Runway Studios & Artefacto
1. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or participate.
2. Scope of Projects: This grant is open to supporting original non-fiction projects: documentaries, animations rooted in reality and any other innovative experimentations around the documentary genre. Projects that blend real-life footage with imagery generated by Runway’s generative models, or exclusively utilize Runway models.
3. Project Stage: Projects can be in the late development stage or early production phase.Completed projects will NOT be accepted.
4. Originality & Ownership: Projects must be original and must not be encumbered bythird-party rights. The authorship should be wholly recognized by the applicant.
5. Technical Requirements: the submitted projects must primarily utilize techniques or methodologies grounded in generative video technology leveraged by AI models and AI-powered tools.
6. Duration: projects must adhere to a maximum duration of 7 minutes to maintain a focused and engaging narrative experience.
7. Production Time: the production timeline should not exceed 3 months from the moment the grant is received.
8. Eligibility: This call is open to filmmakers of all experience levels and backgrounds,globally. Participants must be at least 18 years old at the time of entry, or the local age of majority in their jurisdiction if it’s higher than 18. We warmly welcome creators worldwide, where participation is allowed by US and local law. We particularly highlight individuals or teams from underrepresented and emerging cinematic backgrounds, with an emphasis on elevating BIPOC creators and those from regions such as Africa, Asia,
Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania.
9. We do not provide funding for the following: fiction films, series, NGO films, advocacy films, educational films, or branded content.
10. Submission Limit: Projects can only be submitted once to this call. If rejected, they can only be resubmitted if approved by the committee. An applicant who has been selected once within the annual rolling basis cannot apply again with another project.
11. Language of Application: Application forms must be submitted in English.
12. Application Process: Applications should be made exclusively via the provided form which gathers details about the applicant, the concept, target audience, justification for using generative models, estimated budget, and production timeline.
13. Decision Timeframe: Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. A decision will be reached within two months of each submission, determining if the project has been selected for the grant. Nine projects will be chosen annually, averaging one selection every month and a half.
14. Content Restrictions: Projects promoting discrimination, hatred, or contempt towards individuals based on race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease are strictly prohibited. Additionally, projects containing indecent, lewd, pornographic, obscene, profane, hateful, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous materials, or those promoting alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons, violence, illegal activities, or animal cruelty are
15. Grant Compatibility: Applicants are welcome to supplement this grant with additional financial support from other sources. However, it’s essential to ensure that all the criteria and conditions specific to this grant are fully adhered to. Combining our grant with other forms of financial assistance should not compromise the eligibility or the objectives set
forth by this grant’s requirements.
16. Selection Criteria: Runway Studios and Artefacto will determine the most outstanding projects based on their technical merit, artistic quality, originality, and innovation in the field of AI-powered narratives. Additionally, the projects undergo a thorough evaluation based on several criteria including the adept utilization of film language, engaging narrative techniques, originality, viability, contemporary cultural relevance, and journalistic integrity. A significant factor in this assessment is the project’s potential to connect with
and captivate its intended audience.
Contributions from sponsors
1. Runway Studios’ Support: Runway Studios pledges to champion creativity. For this purpose, each chosen project will receive $2,500 USD and unlimited Runway credits, enhancing its potential. The total value of this support is estimated at over $50,000, highlighting Runway Studios’ significant investment in creative endeavors.
2. Artefacto’s Production Role: Artefacto is integral to the projects’ success. They’ll manage the executive production, supervising the projects from inception to completion. With consistent guidance over the 3-month production phase, Artefacto ensures projects meet quality and innovation standards. The value of Artefacto’s contribution is
Terms of participation
By participating in this open call, creators agree to:
1. Adhere to the guidelines and rules set out in this document.
2. Exclusively use the AI models made available by Runway.
3. Participate in a behind-the-scenes video feature.
4. Grant Runway Studios and Artefacto the right to use any produced content for
promotional and research purposes.
5. Acknowledge and give credit as co producers to Runway Studios and Artefacto in any
6. Projects will be publicly showcased as part of Runway Watch.
Any personal information gathered during a creator’s participation will be used solely for the administration and execution of the open call and will not be shared with third parties
without explicit consent.
Submission ownership & rights
By participating and submitting a proposal, entrants (a) confirm that they have all rights to use any and all content and materials that has been or will be included in their film; and (b) grant sponsors a non-exclusive, perpetual, transferable, global license to the project’s intellectual property rights, and that they have all necessary rights to grant this license. This allows sponsors to display, modify, and use the project on its platforms, including promotional materials, without further approvals. While sponsors can adjust the project for quality or other purposes, entrants still retain primary rights and intellectual ownership. Any moral rights associated with the project, to the extent permitted by law, are waived by the entrants.