Interested in getting support for your project?

Digital Shorts Fund


The Digital Shorts Fund is PIC's newest funding initiative, which provides funding of up to $25,000 for the completion of fiction and non-fiction short content of untold stories and fresh perspectives on the indigenous Pacific Islander experience.  Projects that are completed will be distributed on public media digital platforms with an option for public television broadcast. 


Applications are now CLOSED.


IMPORTANT UPDATES:  Before you apply, it's very important that you read the following sections for updates on what weʻre looking for, what to expect and application materials.   


PIC defines Pacific Islanders as the descendants of the indigenous peoples of Hawai‘i, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas, and other Pacific Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.




We're looking for projects that are engaging and artistically innovative on subject matter that covers issues important to indigenous Pacific Islanders with the intention of social change to support a more educated, just and inclusive society.  Topics could include, but aren't limited to:

  • Social issues (i.e. physical and mental health, housing, education, food security, economic opportunities, etc.).
  • Environment and sustainability. 
  • Community portraits (i.e. LGBTQ, rural, families, imigration, underserved and underrepresented, etc.). 
  • Travel, lifestyle, personal stories, identity, sports, etc. 



More information on what we’re looking for:

  • Single fiction or non-fiction films of 15 minutes or less.
  • Serial or anthology web-series that are fiction or non-fiction with each episode being 15 minutes or less.
  • Projects can be in pre-production, production or post-production stages.  Regardless of the project's stage, if your budget is larger than $25,000 you will be required to have a fundraising plan to raise your total budget.
  • Projects that can be finished within 18 months of being awarded PIC funding.
  • Proposed projects for which the exclusive U.S. and non-exclusive online streaming rights are available.
  • Stories that are untold, little known, have an innovative approach and/or fresh perspectives of the indigenous Pacific Islander experience.
  • Fully realized stories with completed treatments and/or scripts that are engaging, compelling and fitting for online streaming.
  • Projects with universal themes that have a strong potential of appealing to a wide and diverse audience.
  • Projects that include a robust outreach, engagement and social impact plan with the intention of social change to encourage and support a more educated, just and inclusive society.
  • Applicants who are open to working with a mentor to further develop their projects once PIC funding is awarded.
  • Projects that have a strong training plan that strives to provide meaningful training and mentorship for emerging indigenous Pacific Islander media makers.




Once you submit your application, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission and our review process begins.  Our process includes internal vetting by staff, and evaluations by a peer review panel made up of film industry professionals, independent filmmakers, public media executives and cultural advisors, all of which can take up to eight to ten weeks to complete. Once our review process is completed applicants will be notified whether their projects have been recommended for funding or not.



Other things to expect that are new to this year's Digital Shorts Fund are:

July, 2019

  • Notification of application status will be sent in early July.
  • Producers whose projects are recommended for funding, will be required to attend a two-day Orientation/Workshop (in-person or via video conferencing) in mid to late July in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
  • During the Orientation/Workshop, producers will learn about PIC and what to expect when working with us – co-producing relationship, contracting, further content development with a mentor, etc.

November, 2019

Depending on each project's timeline and producer availability, producers will be eligible to participate in:

  • PIC Media Makers Summit (November 5, 2019).
  • Good Pitch Local Hawai‘i (November 6, 2019).
  • PIC Pitch Forum (tentative November 7, 2019):  this is a brand new program intended to help our funded filmmakers with fundraising and further content development.



Digital Shorts Fund is not your typical grant. If your project is recommended for funding you will need to enter into a production agreement in which PIC will require certain rights to the film including exclusive U.S. and non-exclusive online streaming.  Other terms of our contract worth noting are below:

  • Adherence to a schedule of deliverables and budget.
  • Meet PBS underwriting, technical specifications and editorial standards.
  • Agree to receive regular feedback from PIC in good faith.
  • Clear all third party material used in your project for online streaming.
  • Have acquired all necessary intellectual property rights.
  • Seek PIC's approval of other underwriters for the project.
  • Seek PIC's approval for any forms of distribution not controlled by PIC.
  • Keep and report accurate and detailed records and bookkeeping for the project.
  • Share with PIC a pro-rata percentage of net revenues of net distribution income.
  • In-kind services and equipment are allowed in your budget. However, it should be capped to 15% of the total budget.




You are eligible to apply if you are:

  • An independent producer who holds artistic, budgetary, and editorial control and must own the copyright to the proposed project.
  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States or its territories.  If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal resident, you can still apply, but you will be required to have a fiscal sponsor if awarded PIC funding.
  • Have previous film or television experience in a key creative role:  director, co-director, producer, co-producer or writer.
  • Applying with only one project to the Digital Shorts Fund.  
  • Applying to only one PIC funding initiative at a time.  If you have an application in for another PIC funding initiative your application to the Digital Shorts Fund won't be considered.

You are not eligible if you are:

  • Applying with a thesis project or student film which is co-owned or solely owned or copyrighted, or otherwise editorially or fiscally controlled by the school.
  • Producers or production entities that are foreign-based, owned, or controlled unless you are working with a U.S. fiscal sponsor.
  • Applying with an industrial, commercial and promotional projects.
  • Current signatories of a PIC-funded project.  You may not enter into a new PIC contract until final delivery on your previous project is approved.



Please proceed to our How to Apply page for a list and descriptions of application materials, and the link to our online application portal.

For questions contact Cheryl Hirasa (chirasa@piccom.org), (808) 591-0059, ext. 2.