Ends in 6 days, 6 hours

The American South––our people, culture, landscape, history––can both captivate and bewilder.

In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, REEL SOUTH reveals the South’s proud yet complicated heritage, reckoning with our past, present, and future.

A co-production between the two Carolinas' state-wide public television stations, UNC-TV and SCETV, REEL SOUTH showcases authentic documentary films told by a diversity of voices and perspectives. Millions of viewers see REEL SOUTH documentaries on WORLD Channel and PBS stations across the country.

Submit your film and join us on a journey through the REEL SOUTH.


REEL SOUTH films focus on the people, issues, and culture of our region. The films must highlight a Southern story in all its possibilities.

The series seeks films that cover a broad range of topics and filmmaking styles: from public affairs or social issues, to more personal or experimental works. Particular topics of interest include social justice, the economy, the environment, civil rights, history, as well as arts and culture. In terms of style and format, narrated and non-narrated films are considered along with first person or point of view projects, observational films, and news documentaries. 

REEL SOUTH selects well-crafted stories featuring compelling characters—stories and people that are provocative, passionate, and unforgettable. Not only do we want well-told stories, we are interested in artfully made films, works that are visually rich and deftly edited. 


Non-fiction: Only documentary films will be considered. No narrative films, docudramas, or performance pieces. 

Independents only: Filmmakers must have artistic, editorial, and budgetary control of their projects, and own the copyright. 

Completed or nearly completed works: Submitted works must be completed films, fine cuts, advanced rough cuts, or festival versions. Please note that filmmakers must be willing to commit to on-lining, packaging, and broadcasting their films within 6 months of being accepted to the series. 

Rights and Releases: Submitted works must have signed appearance releases for all persons appearing in the film before applying to the series. Additionally, all music, photos, and acquired footage must be licensed before applying. Proof of releases and licenses may be required before the panel will consider the film. 

Length: Submitted rough cuts and fine cuts should be as close to PBS standard half-hour and hour lengths as possible; festival versions may run slightly longer. If a film is selected for the series, filmmakers will be required to cut their projects to a PBS half hour (approximately 25 minutes) or hour (approximately 55 minutes) prior to broadcast. 

Editorial and Funding Practices: All projects must comply with PBS' editorial and funding guidelines found here: http://www.pbs.org/about/producing-pbs/ 


Filmmakers are required to grant REEL SOUTH exclusive US public television broadcast rights. The series also requires non-exclusive streaming rights for PBS online platforms. All third party material included in the films (archival footage, newspaper or magazine headlines/articles, music, photographs, etc) must be cleared for these same rights.


Selected films will receive a license fee, series packaging, captioning, mastering, inclusion on the series website, promotion, and errors and omissions insurance coverage.


The Season 4 submission window is open from May 16 – July 18, 2018. Final selections will be made in August by the series selection panel, which will include the co-producers at SCETV and UNC-TV plus invited public TV professionals. Post production will take place in December 2018 and January 2019, with the packaged series available in Spring 2019 for broadcast.