PROJECT WORK PLAN: The scope of the DP includes examination and analysis of:
  • The feasibility of creating a sustainable, independent, nonprofit entity dedicated to funding documentary films and factual programming. 
    Financial practices and business models that might be employed to fund documentaries and factual programming, including the study of applicable tax law, potential tax benefits and governing legal and regulatory framework issues;
  • The methods by which an independent nonprofit entity could act as an asset manager, funding advisor and regranting organization;
  • The feasibility of utilizing sustainable investment / asset accumulation funding models that include managed investment trusts, endowments, "multi-project" investment partnerships, "socially responsible investment" mutual funds or other investment vehicles whereby investors can seek reasonable returns while supporting production and distribution with a portion of the gains (It should be noted that the general public can potentially play an important investor role. Currently, over 80% of all funding for PBS affiliate stations comes from individual donations).
  • The feasibility of an independent, nonprofit entity or "hybrid" nonprofit and for profit entity operating as a fascilitator of the distribution of documentary films and factual programming to existing television, cable and satellite television distributors, and through theatrical release, domestically and in foreign and other ancillary markets, and via the internet.
  • The needs of the viewing public, programming producers, donors, investors, advertisers and sponsors, and distributors (television, cable, satellite, internet and other ancillary), as they relate to the focus of the DP study.

PROJECT ORGANIZATION: To the greatest extent possible the Documentary Project employs internet-based, virtual methodologies in order to maximize effectiveness and minimize costs. Individuals interviewed during this investigation include:

  • The viewing audience and public interest group representatives, filmmakers and programming producers, distributors, marketing and advertising professionals, tax experts, legal experts, foundation and private funding organization decision makers, corporate sponsors and prominent philanthropic individuals, PBS affiliate and sponsorship organization representatives, investment bankers, money managers and financial experts, and other media industry participants as required.
Copyright 2005 Environmental Media Fund, Inc. All Rights Reserved