2021 WILLIAM GREAVES FUND
New York, NY 10031
Firelight Media invites mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States and filmmakers in Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with particular interest in those who identify as Indigenous and/or of African descent, to apply for the second year of the William Greaves Fund.
This fund, in its second year, is dedicated to resourcing and supporting talented storytellers with grants ranging up to $40K each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. The Fund also provides grantees with limited coaching hours, as needed and based on the particular requirements of each project. The international nature of the call reflects Firelight’s commitment to nurturing transnational solidarity among filmmakers and artists.
To address the devastating toll that the pandemic has had on the independent film community, and how unstable work in the industry can be for filmmakers of color in general, moving forward the post-pandemic William Greaves Fund will include a basic care stipend that can be put toward any essential need grantees have, from healthcare and childcare costs to any other necessary resources. Firelight Media recognizes that reliable support like this is fundamental to producing creative work.
This change reflects Firelight’s commitment to ensuring underrepresented communities are actively cultivated, participating in, and influencing the nonfiction space and a broader discourse. Our criteria for selection (see below) reflects our commitment to creative rigor, imagination, ethics and accountability to impacted communities in filmmaking practice.
The application opens March 15, 2021 and closes May 1, 2021, with an anticipated announcement and disbursement in late summer 2021.
- We will consider projects that address a range of themes and issues.
- We will consider projects with a range of aesthetic approaches (verité, essay, experimental, investigative, personal, historical, etc.).
- We will consider projects that are ambitious or narrowly focused.
- We will consider submissions from filmmakers based in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Brazil.
We value and will consider submissions from filmmakers of all refugee and immigration statuses, recognizing that migration flows are necessitated by the global challenges and forces we seek to overcome.
We take notice when projects are socially relevant, formally innovative, address or engage underrepresented issues or communities, and are accountable to the impacted communities their films represent.
FUNDING CRITERIA + SELECTION
Projects will be selected through a tiered process: the first round by a panel of peers; the second round through an internal review; and the final round through the review and deliberation of an advisory panel comprised of filmmakers and other industry leaders of color and/or of Indigenous and African descent who work in the U.S. and/or countries from which we are accepting applications.
The selection will be based on the strength of the story, the creative approach, it’s social relevance, the viability of the plan proposed, and the ethics and accountability of the approach (e.g. trauma-informed approach and/or consideration of impacts/benefits for participants and impacted communities and/or hiring practices and/or decisions around rights or distribution, etc.).
- Filmmakers must self-identify as being from a racially and ethnically underrepresented community
- Filmmakers must be based (i.e. living and working) in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, and/or Brazil
- Must be a mid-career / Director
- Must be for a feature-length documentary film in the pre-production phase
Our starting point is to define a mid-career filmmaker as someone with an established track record or substantial body of nonfiction cinema works, including but not limited to the completion of 2 feature-length documentaries to date and 7-25 years of experience. But given the variable backgrounds filmmakers often have, particularly when facing structural barriers in the industry, we will consider proposals that necessitate a different definition of “mid-career.” We expect a clear articulation of why your career trajectory positions you as mid-career if you do not fit this definition of mid-career.
Producers applying on behalf of a Director should apply in collaboration with the Director. Please note the funds will go towards the Director and not the Producer. Collectives that apply should note that the majority of their collective should identify as being from a racially and ethnically underrepresented community and should be majority mid-career as per the definition above.
For frequently asked questions, visit the FAQ page.
Please apply here beginning March 15, 2021.
Please send questions to: email@example.com.