Program-filling documentaries; applying for a story development grant

If you are developing an artistically outstanding programme-length documentary film project, you can apply for a material development grant under certain conditions.



Applications may be submitted by:

  • Director(s), provided they already have a full-length documentary film to their credit that has been exploited in cinemas, festivals or on television.

Further requirements:

  • You must have secured a production company for your project and be able to prove this with an appropriate letter of intent.


You must submit the application for funding in writing and additionally by e-mail to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

  • Download the application form from the BKM website. Complete the application electronically, print it out and sign it.
  • Complete the application and compile all the necessary documents. Please use only punched or stapled documents without covers for this purpose. Send the application form and attachments by mail to the Federal Archives.
  • In addition, send the application form and the enclosures as a single PDF file by e-mail to the BKM(
  • The BKM decides on the applications based on the recommendation of the independent "Jury Dokumentarfilm" (material development and production funding for documentary film projects).
  • You will then receive notification by mail from the BKM as to whether your application for funding has been approved.
  • The German Federal Film Board (FFA) is responsible for processing the funding.
  • Once the development of the material has been completed, the result of the funding must be approved by the Documentary Film Jury.
  • You must keep the BKM informed at regular intervals about the further production process.
  • When you have completed your project, you are required to submit a proof of use.



  • before the start of the project

Proof of use of funds:

  • within 6 months after the end of the project

Processing time

8-10 weeks

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    When submitting your application, you must submit:

    • synopsis (maximum 1 DIN A4 page)
    • meaningful project outline with presentation of
      • possible storylines and protagonists
      • initial ideas for the visual and dramaturgical concept and
      • objectives of the story development funding (about 10 pages)
    • description of the time frame for the planned activities
    • realization concept after completion of the script development
    • Vita/filmography of the director(s) as well as the producer(s) or dramaturgical consultant(s)
    • Letter of intent from a producer with a producer's note or letter of intent from an external dramaturgical consultant with a brief assessment of the project (see application requirements).
    • if applicable, further expressions of interest from third parties (broadcasters, distributors)
    • detailed cost breakdown, broken down by:
      • Author's fee in an appropriate amount
      • Costs for rights acquisition and legal advice
      • research and archiving costs, provided that the costs incurred can be substantiated
      • travel expenses in accordance with the Federal Travel Expenses Act (BRKG) and participation fees for project presentations

    at film trade fairs; both must be demonstrably in direct connection with the development of the material

    • Translation costs
    • Costs for the creation of a teaser or trailer
    • Fees for dramaturgical consulting
    • Costs for the creation of marketing and exploitation concepts and materials
    • Declaration of rights to the material; if applicable, proof of personal rights or rights to existing works must also be provided
    • If applicable, explanation of resubmission and status of submissions to other funding bodies.


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Stoffentwicklungsförderung für programmfüllende Dokumentarfilmvorhaben
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.


  • none


Responsible for editing:Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

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  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
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