Whether you are a beginner, emerging, or somewhere in-between we have a documentary program for you.

Our Doc U program is for first time media makers. This 16 week program takes you through the process of story construction, learning our cameras and field gear (while shooting your documentary) and Adobe Premiere (while editing your doc). You (and your fellow participants) will screen your five minute documentary at our community screening. This program runs January through April. Applications are open November 1-November 30 with interviews in December. This program is made possible through a grant from the McKnight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Spotlight Shorts is a program for folks with 1-3 years of media making experience and have done short documentaries, but not necessarily longer docs. In this program we will spend time building cinematography skills, more advanced lighting, and editing with storytelling in mind. Participants will work on their own short documentary (5-20 minutes) and work on two other members documentaries.  This program runs November through March.  The next cohort will run July-December. Applications will be open June 1. This program is made possible with a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Emerging artists who are looking to build skills in pitching, story development, funding, and marketing can do so in our New Angle Fellows program. This program runs October through May. We meet every other week. Applications are open September 1-September 30. This program is made possible with a grant from the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

With a grant from the Raymond J Christensen Foundation of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation SPNN is able to offer $15,000 post production grants to emerging artists through our Fresh Vantage Program. Applications for 2024 will open March 15.


Foundation Support

Our documentary programs are made possible with support from the following foundations. 

  • Black broken circle with Jerome Foundation in capital Black letters

    Jerome Foundation

  • Clean water Land and legacy amendment logo and the Minnesota State Arts Board logo

    Minnesota State Arts Board

  • Red background with McKnight Foundation in white letters

    McKnight Foundation

  • Black background with white Letters that say National Endowment for the Arts with red, white, and blue lines underneath that lead to arts.gov

    National Endowment for the Arts

  • Black with green outline circle with eye in the right half. Black letters say Raymond J. Christensen Foundation

    Raymond J. Christensen