Promoting unique, independent voices by helping documentary film and tv show producers advance important work.


Ford’s Documentary Labs are open to all filmmakers, regardless of background, level of education and training or previous accomplishment. Fellows receive year-round support and more.

Screenwriting Lab

Screenwriting Lab is a one week workshop designed to provide individualized story and professional development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay.

Producing Lab

Producing Lab is a one week intensive designed to help creative independent producers develop their skills.

Documentary Lab

Documentary Lab is an in-depth, one week program designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films.

Episodic Lab

Episodic Lab is a one week workshop where Fellows gain the tools needed to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape.

In addition to Labs listed above, our Documentary Development programs encompass a wide range of initiatives that help filmmakers push their projects forward, including:

Project Involve

Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program that, for over 25 years, has helped filmmakers from communities underrepresented in entertainment hone skills, form partnerships and launch careers as successful working artists.

Fast Track

Fast Track is a four-day film finance market where select fiction and nonfiction filmmakers pitch to top executives, financiers, agents and distributors.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal Sponsorship opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists, allowing them to seek grants and solicit donations for their project.

Global Media Makers

Global Media Makers is an innovative mentoring initiative that connects visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals.

Grants & Awards

Grants & Awards are available to help filmmakers advance their current projects and acknowledge professional accomplishments in independent film.