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Film Fellowships 2017-18

Our Call for Proposals for these Fellowships is now closed. We thank everyone who has submitted proposals to us. The list of filmmakers who have submitted proposals is available here.

Responses through email have been communicated to almost all filmmakers who have submitted proposals to us, except a few, whose proposals are still being considered. Final decisions will be taken by 31 March 2018. If you do not hear from us by this date, please email us on proposals@psbt.org

Fellowship Details
Format: Full High Definition
Average Budget: Rs 4 lakh for 26 minutes and Rs 7 lakh for a few films of 52 minutes


We are looking for a range of films – those on people and issues that inspire, those that evoke deep concern or a combination of these. In all cases, they should move beyond the rhetoric of the familiar, offering engaging insights that are nuanced and substantiated, reaching out to the minds and hearts of audiences.

The best films are usually intensely personal, even as they respond to pressing public concerns and crises, such as, the unfolding issues around public and private health care; the state of education; access to justice and legal redress; cultures of violence; the contamination of the air we breathe and the water we drink. We invite filmmakers to submit proposals on subjects and ideas that move and inspire them.

In evaluating proposals, we consider the potential of the filmmaker, the rigour of research that yields a credible and well-argued point of view, juxtaposed with a treatment that will effectively enable, in Grierson’s words, ‘the creative actualisation of reality’.

Filmmakers are encouraged to look at films they can effectively make within the constraints of our budgets and timelines. We are a donor-driven NGO with modest resources, working to empower the independent filmmaker, limited only by the Broadcasting Code and the CBFC.

We look forward to working with you.

General Call for Proposals

While we encourage filmmakers to submit proposals to us when there is an active call for proposals, we are always open to receiving proposals, in particular those that are topical. If you feel you have something exciting to propose, outside of our commissioning window, please submit your Proposal, under our General Call, which is our rolling call for proposals, open throughout the year.

Proposal Submission Procedure


PSBT encourages the production of innovative documentary films and is committed to expanding the constituency of filmmakers within the genre. We strike a balance among starting out filmmakers – including recent graduates – and those with achievements and recognition. 68 per cent of our films are by first-time filmmakers who have not worked with PSBT before. 100 per cent films are independent, with no middlepersons or production companies.

PSBT calls for proposals from independent filmmakers for specific projects and grants, in response to which, proposals are invited through our online Proposal Submission Interface.

All proposals are reviewed by the PSBT Team and circulated among our Trustees and donor-partners. Based on the collective responses and our expertise, a short list is arrived at. Final commissioning is done based on detailed proposals we invite from those short listed and discussions with the filmmakers.

PSBT is committed to supporting Indian filmmakers, ordinarily resident in India.

By submitting a proposal to PSBT, filmmakers accept our commissioning procedure and the decisions we make as final.

We encourage you to read our FAQs for more.


We seek proposals that aim to tell powerful, moving stories while creatively engaging with the film form. We urge filmmakers to propose ideas that derive from their experiences and truly drive them. The Films should allow for a nuanced and in-depth exploration of the subject. They should have empowering perspectives and strong visual language. We discourage simplistic, information driven, pedantic, universalizing, information-driven presentations.

A variety of considerations play a role in our short listing: the significance and topicality of the subject; proposed cinematic and intellectual treatment and narrative arc; the articulation of the point of view and central arguments; the filmmaker’s investment in the story; linguistic, regional and gender diversity; a balance between starting out and experienced filmmakers; the past work and interests of the filmmaker; research inputs; budgetary parameters, inter alia.

If a proposal has not been short listed, it does not necessarily mean that it has been ‘rejected’ or found wanting, per se. Every proposal we receive is valuable and a potentially good film, but with our limited resources, like any competitive process, we are forced to choose only a select number to support.