Firelight Media Seeks Filmmakers of Color for 2018 Documentary Lab

By Sameer Rao Apr 11, 2018

Firelight Media, the film company founded by Stanley Nelson ("Tell Them We Are Rising"), looks to support a new class of documentarians of color through its annual Documentary Lab. Firelight Media issued a call for candidates today (April 11).


An emailed statement noted that the 18-month fellowship offers customized mentorship, networking and funding opportunities for filmmakers of color who are developing their first or second feature-length documentaries. It is one of several Firelight Media programs, including the Impact Producer Fellowship, dedicated to uplifting people from underrepresented groups in the nonfiction film world.

“There are hundreds of talented, diverse filmmakers out there creating work that pushes the boundaries of documentary," Firelight Media vice president and Documentary Lab leader Loira Limbal ("Estilo Hip Hop") says in the statement. "These voices are critical to providing new narratives about the most pressing issues of our time. Many of them, however, do not have accessible points of entry to the film industry. Through this open call, Firelight can better reach those filmmakers, support them, and flood the industry with new stories and fresh perspectives.”

Firelight Media will demonstrate the fellowship’s impact at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival, where three previous fellows debut their documentaries: Assia Boundaoui ("The Feeling of Being Watched"), Melissa Haizlip ("Mr. SOUL!") and PJ Raval ("Call Her Ganda").

"I’m deeply inspired and also humbled to be part of the Firelight Media Documentary Lab with an amazing lineup of filmmakers, activists and storytellers—all committed to social justice and education,” Raval said in the statement. “Making a documentary film can be a lonely road, so having a supportive community that shares your passion and process is invaluable and empowering."

Firelight Media will accept applications via through June 12.