bravoFACT announces new $50K short-doc grant program

BravoFACTUAL will fund short documentaries of up to 15 minutes; Bob Culbert (pictured: far left) and Richard Crouse (far right) sign on to mentor filmmakers.

Short film funder bravoFACT kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday with the launch of bravoFACTUAL, a new program providing grants for short-form documentaries.

The new fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 for short docs with a running time of up to 15 minutes. There is no cap on the number of grants awarded per round; recipients will vary based on the submissions received and the amount of money available.

BravoFACTUAL will draw from the same financial pool as bravoFACT, which amounts to 5% of the gross revenues from the bravo channel. Bravo and bravoFACT are divisions of Bell Media.

In addition to the new money, the program is also boosting its profile with the addition of high-profile mentor-consultants Robert (Bob) Culbert and Richard Crouse.

Culbert, a former journalist, CBC exec and Playback Hall of Fame alumus, will mentor projects funded on the factual side, while film critic and author Crouse will consult on projects on the scripted side.

Gina Dineen, bravoFACT manager, says the new fund opens doors for emerging doc filmmakers, particularly at a time when doc funding has been hit hard in Canada, a point echoed by Culbert. The new fund, he says, also presents an opportunity for doc filmmakers to get back into the game following the recent doc funding squeeze.

The doc selection process will be different than the scripted process, Dineen explains. While the selection for scripted shorts is rigorously based on set guidelines (filmmakers must have their cast in place, demo reels are scrutinized), the doc selection will be based on a concept, giving filmmakers greater freedom to shape their concepts. The new mentorship program is meant to aid the creative process, she adds.

The doc shorts, as with the scripted shorts, will be posted online at, for worldwide viewing.

The first of two deadlines for the bravoFACTUAL is Oct. 31.

Pictured, from left to right: Robert Culbert, bravoFACTUAL consultant; Rachel Goldstein-Couto, Director, Specialty Programming, Bell Media; Gina Dineen, Manager, bravoFACT; Michael Levine, Chair, bravoFACT; Richard Crouse, consultant, bravoFACT.

- with files from Danielle Ng-See-Quan