Documentary Photography & Film Grant

Deadline: 31 March 2014
Open to: documentary photographers and filmmakers with at least 18 years old
Grant: $5,000


The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film is a non-profit private operating foundation headquartered in Rochester, New York. The foundation was established in 2010 by documentary photographer Manuel Rivera-Ortiz to support underrepresented photographers and filmmakers from less developed countries with grants, awards, exhibitions, and educational programs.

This grant was created to encourage the betterment of humanity through the presentation of editorially-based imagery representing humanistic themes including human unrest, famine, disease, national and international politics, war, uprisings, injustice and triumph. Proposals and work submitted for this grant must be of human interest, resonating globally due in no small part to its potential impact on humanity.


Entrants and submissions must adhere to following for eligibility:

  1. Must be 18 years of age at the time of submission;
  2. Per regulatory considerations pertaining to this foundation and non-profit filings, photographic images and proposed projects must be in the photojournalistic tradition of Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, Foundation Founder & President. They must be real non-fictional works based on such pressing social issues as health, poverty, oppression, war, famine, religious/political persecution, and similar topics;
  3. All participants (including non-U.S. entrants) must be able to submit their entry over the Internet via electronic email;
  4. All entries must be submitted by the individual(s) most involved in the key creative aspects of the photographic process. There will only be one award prize regardless the number of individuals involved in your proposal;
  5. All submissions must be proposals for new and continuing projects with the purpose of completion. Already completed projects are not eligible;
  6. Group entrants are permitted. Only one submission set of documents per group will be accepted.


Grant funding will be disseminated in “Two Equal Installments” of 2,500 USD, transferred to your account as your project is completed and submitted to us for approval.

Upon notification that you have been selected as our Award/Grant recipient, you agree to complete your Award/Grant project within nine months of date and year selected not to exceed date and year of our next call for entries.


The application’s deadline is 31 March 2014.

You must e-mail to the five documents detailed below:

  • 15-image Portfolio (in a single PDF formatted file) from a recently completed or partially completed, cohesive documentary photographic project;
  • 1-page CV/Résumé in English;
  • Headshot;
  • Submissions for Grant Proposal — 1500 word count maximum. This section is meant as an opportunity for you to help the jury get to know you, to understand your project proposal and your work better;
  • Proposed Budget for your documentary project. Your budget should include estimated travel costs and materials.

For further information, please visit the official website.

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