Kartemquin Alumni COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund


Kartemquin Films has allocated $75,000 to provide relief grants for its alumni who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are projecting awarding uniform grants of $1,000 per person to up to 75 applicants; however, we will strive to be as responsive to the number of applications received as possible, while remaining committed to awarding substantial grants to a smaller group of people.


This emergency relief fund was created to alleviate the disproportionate impact that filmmakers from marginalized groups are facing due to the COVID-19 crisis. For this reason, the fund prioritizes applicants who self-identity as: 

  • Black
  • Indigenous
  • Latina/o/x
  • Immigrant
  • Transgender
  • Persons with a disability

Followed by applicants who self-identify as:

  • Non-Black, Indigenous, or Latina/o/x POC
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Genderqueer/Non-binary
  • Women
  • Veterans
  • Persons with non-traditional educational/career paths (including no high school diploma/GED earners, delayed enrollment into postsecondary education, career change to documentary)

Applicants who do not self-identify with either group may still be eligible depending on volume of applications and availability of funds. Priority consideration in awarding relief funds will be given to those that do.


  • MUST be an alumni of the Kartemquin Internship Program OR Diverse Voice in Docs.
  • MUST be a resident in one of the following Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. (If temporarily sheltering in place during pandemic in one of the states not listed, but one's typical residence is one of the Midwestern states listed, you are still eligible.)
  • MUST be able to provide documentation of having worked in the documentary field since January 2019 in one of the following positions:
    • Directors
    • Producers (this includes Associate and Impact Producers)
    • Directors of Photography
    • Editors, Assistant Editors
    • Sound Recordists/Designers
    • Researchers
    • Assistants
    • Critics & Writers who have covered documentaries
    • Publicists
    • Outreach/Impact Coordinators
    • Production Assistants

Other freelance roles will be accepted if they meet the rest of the criteria. (Please note that these positions/roles need only be credited or otherwise verifiable; the work does not need to have been paid, and can include unpaid internships, volunteer work, resource exchange, or deferred pay arrangements.)


  • Current Kartemquin employees are NOT eligible.
  • People currently employed full-time are NOT eligible.


The timeline for this relief fund will be as follows (subject to change, as volume of applications dictates):

  • Application Open: Wednesday, July 8th, 9:00AM CST - Sunday, July 26th, 11:59PM CST
  • Applications Reviewed: Monday, July 27th - Friday, August 7th
  • Notification of Decisions: Monday, August 10th
  • Funds disbursed: Friday, August 21st (by paper check via mail OR electronic transfer)


Please email emergencyrelief@kartemquin.com if you have any questions about eligibility, the application process, or any related concerns.