HBO Documentary Films And The Gotham Film & Media Institute Announce New Documentary Development Initiative For Filmmakers From Underrepresented Communities

HBO Documentary Films and The Gotham Film & Media Institute’s Expanding Communities program have announced the Documentary Development Initiative, created for storytellers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or storytellers with disabilities with the intent of providing resources to develop thought-provoking, character-driven contemporary ideas for documentary films and limited series.
Through this initiative, up to ten selected filmmakers will be given grants of $50,000 for research and creative development at an early stage. HBO and The Gotham will provide resources and mentorship to support the development of documentary projects and select grantees will have the opportunity to receive additional funding. Funding for these grants is sponsored by HBO Documentary Films, OneFifty and WBD Access.
“We are excited to collaborate with The Gotham and work closely with the Documentary Development Initiative filmmakers at the ideation stage of the development process,” said Sara Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, HBO Documentary Films. “It will be a privilege to help support the creative ambitions of the grantees.”
“We are so proud to announce this initiative, which will provide resources to filmmakers from historically excluded communities as they develop creative and thought-provoking documentaries. We are thrilled to champion these voices as they further their careers in the entertainment industry,” said Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Equity and Inclusion, Warner Bros. Discovery. “OneFifty is thrilled to expand upon our long-standing relationship with the Gotham Film & Media Institute, an organization deeply committed to identifying talented emerging independent artists,” added Axel Caballero, Head of OneFifty & Vice President, Artistic and Cultural Innovations, Warner Bros. Discovery.
“We are honored to partner with HBO Documentary Films on this new initiative with our Expanding Communities program,” said Kia Brooks, Deputy Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “Expanding Communities seeks to uplift historically excluded voices and organizations that support them. We look forward to being able to provide these nonfiction storytellers with the necessary tools and resources to help propel their careers forward.”
Ideas generated through the Initiative will be offered to HBO on a “first-look” basis, giving the network the first opportunity to make an offer to develop them further.
Those interested in applying can do so here. Applications will be accepted until July 26, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET.
About OneFifty
OneFifty represents the natural complement to the industry-leading work of Warner Bros. Discovery and its brands HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. Inspired by the nearly 100-year tradition of innovation at our company, OneFifty serves as the content elevation hub for Warner Bros. Discovery, and as an artist studio where content innovation happens, seeking to amplify the best, most compelling, untold, and artist-forward stories to audiences. For more information, please visit    
About WBD Access  
At Warner Bros. Discovery we believe in authentic, meaningful connection—to each other, to culture, and to our consumer. That’s why we empower fearless storytellers who bring our world into focus—and create cultural touchstones with the power to draw us together. Through best-in-class talent development programs, mentorship, placement opportunities and industry exposure, WBD Access serves as a powerful conduit connecting underrepresented talent to our content and brands. For more information on WBD Access visit
About Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than  220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit
About the Gotham Film & Media Institute
The Gotham celebrates and nurtures independent film and media creators, providing career-building resources, access to industry influencers, and pathways to wider recognition. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham Labs, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Awards, Gotham EDU, Owning It, and Expanding Communities.
Expanding Communities, a program of The Gotham Film and Media Institute, is dedicated to providing resources, a community space, and industry access to individuals with Disabilities and Black, Indigenous, PoC, and LGBTQIA+ creators across film, TV, and audio industries. Through partnerships with organizations aligned with uplifting historically excluded voices, the program acts as a platform for both creators and organizations to reach new audiences, develop networks of potential collaborators, and access career advancement resources and opportunities within the media and entertainment industry. Partner organizations include Black Film Space, Black Star Projects, Black TV & Film Collective, CAAM, Film Fatales, Film Festival Alliance, Film Independent, Islamic Scholarship Fund,, Minorities in Film, NewFest, New Orleans Film Society, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Q26, Real Abilities Film Festival, Transgender Film Center, Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, Women in Film, Women Make Movies, among others. If interested in participating or supporting this program, please reach out to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s