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In the spirit of expanding KQED’s commitment to diverse voices and viewpoints, and our belief in the power of independent film to educate, entertain and enlighten audiences, KQED has created a showcase for the best documentary films about the Golden State. Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories airs year-round on TV and on the web.

Every year, KQED reaches out to the independent film community throughout the state to find completed or nearly completed feature-length or short documentaries. After a competitive review process, KQED offers selected films packaging, closed captioning, promotion and a modest licensing fee. In addition, one or more films in the series may be offered in-kind completion resources tailored to the needs of each project.

Submission Deadline: We have a rolling deadline for submissions but to be considered for Season 12, your application must be received by January 31, 2016.

Eligibility Requirements

Within the documentary genre, we consider a broad range of topics and filmmaking styles, from political and social issues to more personal or experimental works. Above all, we’re looking for well-crafted stories that feature compelling characters — stories that are provocative, passionate and unforgettable. Though we strive to support California’s talented independent documentary filmmakers, California residence is not a requirement.

Non-fiction: Only documentary films will be considered. No narrative films or performance pieces.

Independents only: Filmmakers must own the copyright to their films and have artistic, editorial and budgetary control.

Completed or nearly-completed works: We accept fine cuts, advanced rough cuts and festival versions. Filmmakers must be able to commit to on-lining, packaging and broadcasting their films within two to six months of being accepted to the series.

Rights and releases: Submitted works must have signed appearance releases for everyone appearing in the film, and licenses for all music, photos and acquired footage. If your film is selected, a complete production binder with releases and licenses will be required. If you have questions about clearing third-party materials, a good place to start is the ITVS Production Manual. It includes templates for releases and other contracts and is available for purchase at ITVS.

Length: Feature-length films should be as close to an hour as possible, but we will consider submissions between 40 and 90 minutes. If a film is selected for the series, filmmakers will be required to cut their projects — or add additional material — to bring their project to a PBS hour (approximately 52-54 minutes). This editing is done by the filmmaker and is not covered by Truly CA resources. Short film submissions can be any length, but should be under 30 minutes.

Format: Films can be shot on any format, including all film formats and both SD and HD video.

Funding restrictions: All projects must comply with PBS funding and underwriting guidelines, which can be found at PBS.

Prior broadcasts: Films that have aired on other PBS stations or have current or prior distribution deals in place are still eligible to submit as long as they are free to grant KQED the rights outlined below.

Submission Procedures

Deadline: We have a rolling deadline for submissions but to be considered for Season 12, your application must be received by January 31, 2016.

Independents only: Filmmakers must have artistic, editorial, and budgetary control of their projects, and own the copyright.

Completed or nearly completed works: Submitted works must be completed films, fine cuts, advanced rough cuts, or festival versions. Please note that filmmakers must be willing to commit to on-lining, packaging, and broadcasting their films within 2-6 months of being accepted to the series.

Rights and Releases: Submitted works must have signed appearance releases for anyone appearing in the film before applying to Truly CA. Additionally, all music, photos, and acquired footage must be licensed before applying to Truly CA. Proof of releases and licenses may be required before the Truly CA panel will consider the film.

Length: Submitted rough cuts and fine cuts should be as close to an hour as possible, festival versions may run slightly longer. If a film is selected for the series, filmmakers will be required to cut their projects to a PBS hour (approximately 52-54 minutes) prior to broadcast. Short film submissions can be any length, but should be under 30 minutes.

Format: Films shot on a variety of video formats will be considered, including: miniDV, DVCam, film, Betacam, Digital Betacam, HDV, and HDCam.

Funding: All projects must comply with PBS’ funding and underwriting guidelines (at pbs.org).

How to Submit

Deadline: We have a rolling deadline for submissions but to be considered for Season 12, your application must be received by January 31, 2016.

Fee: None.

Submit Electronically: Complete and sign the electronic form below.

Or,

Submit via Mail:

Please note that digital submissions are preferred.

Mail your completed copy of the application form with signed release letter (found at the end of the application form), as well as a link to an online screener or two (2) DVD copies of your film to:

Mailing Address:
Truly CA
KQED
2601 Mariposa Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

If you have questions about the eligibility of your film or the submission process, please email TrulyCA@kqed.org.

Fees/Rights

Filmmakers are required to grant KQED non-exclusive US public television broadcast rights, covering KQED’s digital channels as well as Channel 9. The station also requires a period of exclusive streaming rights and non-exclusive rights to promote the films and include them on the series web site. All third party material included in the films (archival footage, newspaper or magazine headlines/articles, music, photographs, etc.) must be cleared for these same rights. If a Truly CA film is broadcast on any other US public television station or acquired by national public television strands and/or distributors, KQED must be credited as the presenting station.

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