Firelight Media is the premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color. Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work.

Firelight Media’s programs include the flagship Documentary Lab, an 18-month fellowship that supports emerging filmmakers of color; Groundwork Regional Lab, which supports filmmakers in the American South, Midwest, and U.S. Territories; and the William Greaves Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers, among others. Firelight Media also produces digital short film series, including In the Making with PBS American Masters.

Current

The Spark Fund offers support to established independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This one-time opportunity, which is underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (#SHARP) Grantmaking initiative, will provide 36 stipends of $50,000 to selected filmmakers over the period of one year, for their use in alleviating financial hardship and work disruptions endured from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Spark Fund will be accepting applications from November 1, 2021 - December 29, 2021 (3pm ET). Please contact sparkfund@firelightmedia.org if you have questions.


Past

Documentary Lab Open CallIn 2008, Firelight expanded its mission and created the Documentary Lab, a flagship mentorship program that seeks out and develops emerging diverse filmmakers. The Lab provides filmmakers with one-on-one support, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

The Documentary Lab is unrivaled in its representation of diverse producers, creating an exclusive network of talented unique storytellers that receive ongoing support from a project’s conception to its completion.

The Firelight Media Documentary Lab Open Call accepted applications from May 3, 2021 - June 15, 2021. The application is currently closed.

Please subscribe to our newsletter on our website firelightmedia.tv to receive updates on the next round of fellowship and grant opportunities.


The William Greaves Fund   In March 2020, Firelight Media launched the inaugural William Greaves Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers of color . It resources talented storytellers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States, as well as filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia with a particular interest in those who identify as being of indigenous and/or of African descent. The William Greaves Fund started accepting applications for the second year of the Fund on March 15, 2021 and closed on May 1, 2021.

Impact Campaign Fund In 2020, Firelight Media launched the Impact Campaign Fund to address a resource gap in the nonfiction space for impact and audience engagement-related projects by and for communities of color in the U.S. On March 1, 2021, Firelight Media started accepting applications for the second year of the Fund and the application closed on April 15, 2021. This is a dedicated fund to resource audience engagement and impact campaigns led by current or former Firelight supported artists and alumni.

Gracias por su interés en el Fondo Spark de Firelight Media, que ofrece apoyo a cineastas establecidos que filman documentales de manera independiente, que se identifican como pertenecientes a la comunidad Negra, descendientes de pueblos originarios y/o personas racialmente y étnicamente subrepresentadas (personas afroamericanas/africanas/negras y/o árabe americanas/árabes/del Medio Oriente/noraficanas, asiáticas americanas/asiáticas/del sudeste asiático/sudasiáticas, indígenas, nativo americanas/nativas de Alaska, latinx/hispanas/chicanx y/o nativas de Hawái/nativas de otra isla del Pacífico), y cuyo trabajo en proyectos de temáticas humanitarias se vio interrumpido por la emergencia de salud pública ocasionada por la COVID-19. Esta oportunidad por única vez, que cuenta con el respaldo de la iniciativa de asignación de subvenciones del American Rescue Plan (Plan de Rescate Estadounidense) del National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH, Fondo Nacional para las Humanidades), proporcionará estipendios, en lugar de apoyo hacia proyectos, a cineastas seleccionados.

El plazo para presentar solicitudes empieza el 1 de noviembre de 2021, a las 9:00 a. m., hora estándar del este, y finaliza el 29 de diciembre de 2021, a las 3:00 p. m., hora estándar del este. 

Escribe a sparkfund@firelightmedia.org si tienes alguna pregunta. Inscríbase para una consulta de 20 minutos. Revisa las vacantes en este enlace de programación de Calendly.


Propósito:

El Fondo Spark proporcionará 36 estipendios de $50,000 a cineastas seleccionados durante el período de un año, que podrán utilizarse para aliviar dificultades financieras e interrupciones de trabajo producto de la pandemia de COVID-19.


Elegibilidad:

  1. Tanto directores de documentales como directores/productores pueden presentar una solicitud. Los productores o editores que, a su vez, no sean Directores no califican.
  2. Los directores deben identificarse como pertenecientes a la comunidad Negra, descendientes de pueblos originarios y/o personas de comunidades étnica y racialmente subrepresentadas, y deben ser ciudadanos estadounidenses o haber vivido en los EE. UU. durante un mínimo de tres años previo al 29 de diciembre de 2021.
  3. Los solicitantes deben estar trabajando activamente en un proyecto de documental (cortometraje, mediometraje o largometraje) con temática humanitaria y social. Los proyectos pueden estar en etapa de desarrollo activo, producción o posproducción, pero no pueden haberse completado.
  4. Los solicitantes deben tener dificultades financieras debido a la pandemia, y los estipendios se deben usar para ayudar a enfrentar el impacto creativo y económico negativo que supone la pandemia.
  5. Los solicitantes no pueden estar inscritos en un programa donde se les extienda un título o certificación, tener menos de 18 años, haberse jubilado ni gozar de un beneficio por discapacidad del Seguro Social sin tener un puesto de trabajo. Los maestros y el personal de supervisión de escolarización primaria y secundaria, conocida como K-12, no son elegibles.
  6. Los solicitantes no pueden ser funcionarios, empleados ni miembros de la junta directiva de Firelight Media.
  7. Los solicitantes no pueden contar con el respaldo activo de una subvención del NEH ni de otros proyectos del American Rescue Plan (#SHARP).


Prioridades:

Los cineastas seleccionados deben estar trabajando en un proyecto con temática humanitaria. Tenemos particular interés en dar apoyo a cineastas cuyos proyectos estén alineados con la iniciativa “A More Perfect Union” de la NEH, incluidos proyectos que:

  • exploren, analicen y cuenten historias relacionadas con la búsqueda de una sociedad más justa, inclusiva y sostenible a lo largo de la historia de los EE. UU.;
  • aporten una perspectiva humanitaria a preguntas relacionadas con la justicia racial, la igualdad de género, la evolución del paisaje en los Estados Unidos y el rol de la nación en el plano internacional;
  • fortalezcan el conocimiento público de los principios de la democracia, el modelo de gobierno constitucional, la equidad y los derechos humanos; y/o
  • destaquen las experiencias de las naciones y los pueblos originarios, además de otras comunidades con muy poca representación en los medios, incluidas aquellas dentro de los territorios de los EE. UU., además de la historia de las relaciones entre comunidades históricamente privadas de derechos o marginalizadas.

Las solicitudes se revisarán de acuerdo con los siguientes criterios:

  • El solicitante debe ser un cineasta que está en la mitad de su carrera y ha demostrado un compromiso con la filmación de documentales.
  • Interrupción del trabajo y el sustento producto de la pandemia.
  • Relevancia e importancia de las temáticas humanitarias, e ideas con respecto a la integración de académicos y/o del estudio del área de las humanidades al proyecto.
  • Declaración del cineasta que transmita la misión cinematográfica general, el enfoque creativo y el impacto esperado del proyecto una vez terminado.

Sepa si cumple con los requisitos de elegibilidad del Fondo Spark respondiendo a las siguientes preguntas.

Thank you for your interest in Firelight Media's Spark Fund, which offers support to established independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This one-time opportunity, which is underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ American Rescue Plan Grantmaking initiative, will provide stipends rather than project support to selected filmmakers.

The application is open from 9am ET November 1, 2021 until 3pm ET, December 29, 2021. 

Please contact sparkfund@firelightmedia.org if you have questions. Sign up for 20 minute 1-on-1 consultations. Check for openings at the Calendly schedule link.


Purpose:

The Spark Fund will provide 36 stipends of $50,000 to selected filmmakers over the period of one year, for their use in alleviating financial hardship and work disruptions endured from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Eligibility:

1. Documentary Directors or Director/Producers are eligible to apply. Producers or editors who are not also Directors are ineligible.

2. Directors must self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of color, and must either be a U.S. citizen or have resided in the U.S. for a minimum of 3-years prior to December 29, 2021.

3. Applicants must be actively working on a documentary project (short, mid-length or feature) with a social humanities theme. Projects can be in active development, production, or post-production, but cannot be completed.

4. Applicants must have endured financial hardship due to the pandemic, and stipends must be used to help them address the pandemic’s negative economic and creative impacts.

5. Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-granting program, under age 18, retired, or on Social Security Disability with no work attachment. K-12 teachers and administrators are not eligible.

6. Applicants cannot be engaged by Firelight Media as an officer, employee, or member of the board of directors.

7. Applicants cannot be actively supported by a grant from the NEH and/or other American Rescue Plan (#SHARP) projects.


Priorities:

Selected filmmakers must be working on a humanities-themed project. We are particularly interested in supporting filmmakers whose projects are aligned with the NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, including those that:

  • explore, reflect on, and tell the stories of the quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society throughout US history;
  • bring the perspective of the humanities to questions of racial justice, gender equality, the evolution of the United States landscape, and the nation’s role in the world;
  • strengthen public knowledge of the principles of democracy, constitutional governance, equity, and human rights; and/or
  • highlight the experiences of Indigenous people and nations as well as other communities severely underrepresented in the media landscape, including those in US territories, as well as the history of relationships among historically disenfranchised or marginalized communities.

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Applicant is a mid-career filmmaker with a demonstrated commitment to documentary filmmaking
  • Disruption of work and livelihood caused by the pandemic
  • Relevance and importance of humanities themes, and thoughtfulness with respect to integrating humanities scholars and/or scholarship into project
  • Filmmaker Statement conveying overall filmmaking mission, creative approach, and intended impact for the finished project.

Find out if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Spark Fund by answering the following questions.

Firelight Media