At a Glance
  • 1450 selections at Festivals around the world

  • 250 Awards in India and abroad

  • 45 National Film Awards
Our Trustees»  Adoor Gopalakrishnan
»  Fali Nariman
»  Kiran Karnik
»  Mrinal Sen
»  Rajiv Mehrotra
»  Shyam Benegal
»  Sharmila Tagore
»  Sunita Narain
»  CEO, Prasar Bharati

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Our Calls for Proposals are now closed. If you wish to submit a proposal, please submit it under the General Call for Proposals, open throughout the year.

Please note that at any given time, only one project can be commissioned to a filmmaker, irrespective of the number of proposals from her/ him short listed for further consideration. 







We thank everyone who has submitted proposals to us. The evaluation of proposals submitted is underway and we hope to have an update on these proposals by mid-April 2017.


We have received a small grant from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for a few documentaries at modestly enhanced budgets than we have usually been able to offer.

Format: Full High Definition
Duration: 48 minutes
Average Budget: Rs 10 lakh
Deadline for Proposal Submission: 06 pm, 13 February 2017 

The general subject guidelines regarding the project, to be broadly interpreted, include:

Archaeology and Monuments: heritage conservation.
Art and Culture: dance, decorative art, drama, music, painting.
Biography: Exponents of performing art and creative artists, freedom fighters, national leaders, reformers, poets, scientists, agents of social change, sportspersons.
Childrens’ films.
Crafts: arts and crafts of India, Mahila haats.
Women’s Empowerment.
Labour and Employment: labour reforms.
Disability and access: success stories.
Urbanisation: challenges and opportunities, smart cities, slum rehabilitation.
Environment and Climate Change: environment protection, bio-diversity conservation, climate change issues, water conservation, rain water harvesting.



We thank everyone who has submitted proposals to us.
The evaluation of proposals submitted is underway and we hope to have an update on these proposals by mid-April 2017.


We invite proposals from starting-out and mid-career filmmakers for the award of Independent Fellowships for films that engage with experiences and conversations around sexualities from various standpoints. From personal narratives and stories to social commentaries, the project provides a wide canvas to explore, both creatively and politically.

Format: Full High Definition
Duration: 10 minutes
Average Budget: Rs 2 lakh
Languages: English and Hindi mandatory
Deadline for Proposal Submission: 06 pm, 13 February 2017 

Intrinsic to sexuality is who we are, our bodies, how we express ourselves, who we desire, our politics and questions of identity, choice, love, fear, freedom, dignity, autonomy and livelihood. Even as it is a deeply personal and unique experience, it is created and produced in specific, historical, cultural and social contexts which define the ways in which it finds expression.

Patriarchy and heteronormativity work together to sustain unequal and hierarchal structures wherein some bodies and forms of being and sexual expression are systematically privileged over others, ostracising non-conforming behaviour as deviant, unnatural, immoral, illegitimate and wrong, thereby criminalising and/ or invisiblising it. Feminist and queer analyses and interventions have for long recognised the deeply problematic manifestations of patriarchy and gendered control, not just for women, but any body that transgresses the rules of prescribed sexual or gender behaviour. The male body must have an affirmative, commanding and gratifying relationship with sex; the female body must engage with sexuality only in limited, socially useful ways (reproduction) and mostly to provide for the male fantasy; while a body with disability is desexualised and stripped of any sexual agency.

Performing socially sanctioned (hetero)sexuality comes with entitlements and privileges, while love and desire that do not conform are reprimanded, often with violence. Unsafe and hostile familial and social spaces - schools, workplaces, hostels, health care set ups, campuses and streets force people to live up to rigid and oppressive notions of normality and morality. Growing up and living as non-conformist is fraught with stigma, prejudice and stereotyping. To have no reference, no vocabulary or popular imagination that aids self-definition, to feel trapped in a body that does not feel like one’s own, to feel different from those around oneself and to be shamed, threatened and violated for not fitting in is a lonely, terrifying and alienating experience.

India has a long history of diverse sexual practices and identities, which have flourished with varying degrees of visibility and cultural and political articulation across time. These relationships, these ‘transgressions’, have always existed, often namelessly, and allowed people to form relationships of love, consent and mutuality.  The very existence of diverse people with diverse choices constitutes the subversion of patriarchy and heteronormativity. The last two decades, in particular, have witnessed significant political and social expression and consolidation of gender and sexuality, rejecting them as stable and permanent entities.

This is a fascinating and significant period in history, for those intervening and those witnessing. People are leading spirited battles demanding autonomy, equality, freedom of expression, access to services and the right to be free from the tyrannies of biology, domination, control, boxed categories and violence. These struggles have also allowed a recognition of the interrelatedness of our many identities and their subjectivities.

It is this hope, joy, agency and turmoil that we want these films to capture - narratives that emanate from peoples’ lived experiences and their readings of their worlds, aspirations, fears, triumphs, interpretations, rebellion, fantasies and tales of love. We hope these films will contribute to the body of work that transcends popular visual vocabulary and questions dominant and limiting media representations which range from sexist and misogynistic stereotypes to loathsome caricatures. Those that go beyond ridiculous questions such as what a woman was wearing, why she was out by herself, why someone in a wheelchair should bother about body image and sex, when someone realised they are homosexual, when they ‘came out’, as if some sort of a surrender, how sex work is morally degrading, that sexual rights have to wait for loftier goals like poverty eradication and national development, among others.

While pitching an idea, please bear in mind the potential impact of the film on conversations around sexualities, gender, equality, inclusion, representation and human rights and efforts towards affirmative change.


PSBT is not liable for proposals that do not reach us/ do not reach us on time.

If you are currently doing a film for PSBT, you are eligible to apply only if your Rough Cut has been submitted or will be submitted before the end of this Call. Please note that if the Rough Cut is not submitted, the submitted proposal will not be considered.

If your Proposal is currently under consideration with PSBT, you are eligible to apply under any or both of the projects above.

By submitting a proposal, you agree to abide by PSBT’s selection process and commit to accepting PSBT’s commissioning decisions.

Short listed filmmakers will be required to elaborate on the submitted proposals and budgets, before further consideration. They may be invited to pitch their proposals to a panel in Delhi or submit their research on the subject or a short video, in support of their proposal.

The subject and budget presented in the final detailed proposal should not be at variance with the one being submitted now, unless so discussed with PSBT.

Please write to us at in case you have any difficulty filling or submitting the Proposal Form.

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


Proposals can be submitted to us under the GENERAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS (OPEN THROUGHOUT THE YEAR)

PSBT is always open to exceptional proposals. If you have something to propose, please register  and submit your proposal through our online submission interface. You are welcome to submit a proposal to us, unless your proposal is under active consideration or you are currently making a film with us.

General Proposals submitted to us between 09 December 2016 and 16 February 2017 will be considered by PSBT for the PSBT-Ministry and Sexualities projects.


Please click SUBMIT PROPOSAL below to reach our Proposal Submission Interface.

You will be required to sign in and register before you can submit your Proposal. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU CREATE A UNIQUE PASSWORD FOR THIS INTERFACE. DO NOT SIGN IN WITH YOUR EMAIL PASSWORDS.

The Director and Co-Director profiles you create can be edited and updated once submitted, but once a proposal is submitted, it cannot be updated, modified or overwritten.

An applicant will be allowed to submit no more than ONE Proposal under a category.

A maximum of two applicants will be allowed per proposal.

If you choose to copy material from a document, please use Notepad or its equivalent program to do so, in order to ensure that the text in the Proposal is not distorted.  You could also use the Paste from Word icon in the Proposal Form.

In the duration section of the Proposal Form, please choose the option ‘Other’ and mention the duration of the proposed film – 48 in case of Project I and 10 in case of Project II.

Please note that saving your proposal is NOT equivalent to submitting it.

Write to us at in case you face trouble filling or submitting your proposal.


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 first-time filmmakers, students of recognised media institutions – including recent graduates, women filmmakers and those with achievements and recognition in related fields. 67 per cent of our Films are by first-time and starting out filmmakers; usually, more than two thirds have not worked with PSBT before; almost 50 per cent by women and 100 per cent independent – no middlepersons or production companies.

Our commissioning procedure is transparent. All proposals are circulated amongst our Trustees and donor partners. Based on their comments 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.

A variety of considerations play a role in our short listing: the significance and topicality of the subject; its appropriateness; linguistic, regional and gender diversity; a balance between first time and experienced filmmakers; the proposed treatment and budgetary parameters, inter alia. If your 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, we are forced to choose only a select number to support.

PSBT actively engages in commissioning and supervision of the production of films in a transparent, credible and professional manner. Any attempts to influence the process lead to disqualifications. We also discourage filmmakers from seeking to meet PSBT while their proposal is under consideration, to ensure a level playing field.

While we usually encourage filmmakers to submit proposals when there is an active call for proposals, we are always open to exceptional proposals, in particular, topical ones. If you feel you have something exciting to propose, please submit your Proposal by filling the Preliminary Proposal Form.

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

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



The evaluation of proposals received under this project is now complete. We are in touch with select filmmakers about their projects and will commission films 
upon further consideration of their short listed proposals.

Responses to all other applicants (those whose proposals have NOT been short listed) have been communicated.

If you have any queries, please email us on

(This is an older project from 2015 and has no bearing on any of the above mentioned projects.)

PSBT is currently supported by
  • Doordarshan
  • Public Diplomacy
Partnerships with
UNESCO MMB Movies that Matter Woman make movies The Ford Foundation European Union MacArthur Foundation UNDP UNFPA Ministry of Environment United Nations
Affiliated to
United Nations
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