Fundraising and Professional Writing for Documentary Films
Effective writing for all your documentary fundraising and pitching needs

Documentary Film Writing for Funding

Do you need a treatment written fast? A letter of inquiry? A competitive pitch? Film festival submission copy? A Look Book? An NEH proposal? I can help!

Since 2004 I’ve helped filmmakers apply to: NEH; ITVS; IFP/the Gotham; Catapult Film Fund; Sundance Documentary Fund; Just Films; IDA Enterprise Film Fund; Pare Lorentz Film Fund; Vision Maker Media; San Francisco Documentary Film Fund; LEF Moving Image Fund; The Good Pitch; Chicken and Egg; Creative Capital; NEA, and many other philanthropic foundations. Many of the films I’ve written for have been successfully funded. Look me up on the documentary listserve “The D Word” and you will see rave reviews of my work.

I’m happy to write as much or as little as you need: a treatment, a synopsis, a logline. I understand distribution, outreach and production/post production plans and timelines, and can present these professionally. I almost always have additional ideas and input. I understand budgets and can help you apply strategically. I can help you develop your ideas and story arcs, and I can give you feedback on your fundraising trailers and help make them sharper. I tailor every proposal carefully for maximum success. Documentary film fundraising is my specialization.

I can also help you in your career development, helping to craft successful proposals for fellowships such as Guggenheim, Open Society, etc.

I’m here to make you and your film look and sound great!

Lastly, I am also an excellent researcher—archival, background and story research—you name it, I can dig it up and track it down.

Joanna has a way of seeing the story even if the story isn’t actually in the film and this film [tentative title GIRL MODEL] will certainly be shaped by her vision and helpful direction […] Joanna Rabiger [is] a close advisor for our projects and someone who understands stories from the inside out.

—David Redmon/Ashley Sabin, Carnivalesque Films

Interviews with Joanna

Joanna was featured on The Documentary Life’s podcast discussing the details of How to Write Your Documentary Grant Proposal in January 2018.

Joanna also featured on Blog Talk Radio’s episode “How to Win Grants” in November 2015.