Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories is KQED’s showcase of the best independently produced documentaries about the Golden State.

Truly CA broadcasts year-round on KQED’s television channels, bringing audiences original and entertaining stories from all corners of the state. To find out when to tune in, please check our broadcast schedule:

You can also watch films in their entirety online:

As part of KQED’s commitment to representing diverse voices and viewpoints, Truly CA features films about all aspects of California life. We welcome your submissions! For more information, please visit:

In the spirit of expanding KQED’s commitment to diverse voices and viewpoints, and our belief in the power of independent film to educate, entertain and enlighten audiences, KQED has created a showcase for the best documentary films about the Golden State. Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories airs year-round on TV and on the web.

Every year, KQED reaches out to the independent film community throughout the state to find completed or nearly completed feature-length or short documentaries. After a competitive review process, KQED offers selected films packaging, closed captioning, promotion and a modest licensing fee.


Within the documentary genre, we consider a broad range of topics and filmmaking styles, from political and social issues to more personal or experimental works. Above all, we’re looking for well-crafted stories that feature compelling characters — stories that are provocative, passionate and unforgettable. Though we strive to support California’s talented independent documentary filmmakers, California residence is not a requirement.

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

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

Completed or nearly-completed works: We accept fine cuts, advanced rough cuts and festival versions. Filmmakers must be able to commit to on-lining, packaging and broadcasting their films within two to six months of being accepted to the series.

Rights and releases: Submitted works must have signed appearance releases for everyone appearing in the film, and licenses for all music, photos and acquired footage. If your film is selected, a complete production binder with releases and licenses will be required.

Length: Short films should be no less than 5 mins in length reaching a maximum of 30 ins, while feature-length films should be as close to an hour as possible. However, we will consider submissions between 40 and 90 minutes.

If a film is selected for the series, filmmakers will be required to cut their projects — or add additional material — to bring their project to a PBS hour (approximately 52-54 minutes). This editing should done by the filmmaker and is not covered by Truly CA resources.

Format: Films can be shot on any format, including all film formats and both SD and HD video.

Funding restrictions: All projects must comply with PBS funding and underwriting guidelines, which can be found at:

Prior broadcasts: Films that have aired on other PBS stations or have current or prior distribution deals in place are still eligible to submit as long as they are free to grant KQED the rights outlined below.


Filmmakers are required to grant KQED non-exclusive US public television broadcast rights, covering KQED’s digital channels as well as Channel 9. The station also requires a period of exclusive streaming rights and non-exclusive rights to promote the films and include them on the series web site. 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. If a Truly CA film is broadcast on any other US public television station or acquired by national public television strands and/or distributors, KQED must be credited as the presenting station.