PBS investigative strand ‘Frontline’ and Firelight Media have named Assia Boundaoui, Andres Caballero, Jacqueline Olive and PJ Raval as its recipients of the Frontline/Firelight Investigative Journalism Fellowship.
The second year of the fellowship has expanded to include independent filmmakers of color who will research and develop non-fiction shorts or immersive projects on underreported issues in America.
Each recipient will receive a three-month research and development grant. They’ll also have reporting and editorial support for their investigative story ideas. ‘Frontline’ and Firelight will choose one to two concepts to greenlight for digital short production, and provide funding up to US$60,000. After a festival run, the doc short or immersive project will be distributed on ‘Frontline’s digital platforms.
Boundaoui, Algerian-American filmmaker and journalist, has previously made a short film about hijabi hair salons for HBO, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; while her feature-length directorial debut, The Feeling of Being Watched, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and national broadcast on PBS ‘POV.’
Caballero is a filmmaker, journalist and public radio producer who co-directed Gaucho Del Norte and is also a 2016 MacArthur Documentary Grant recipient for The Interpreters.
Olive’s debut feature documentary, Always in Season, premiered and won the Special Jury Prize for Moral Urgency at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, before its television broadcast premiere on PBS’s ‘Independent Lens’ last month.
Raval’s work, meanwhile, explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the marginalized LGBTQ+ community, and his film Call Her Ganda was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and broadcast on ‘POV’ on PBS in 2019. As a cinematographer, Raval shot the Academy Award‐nominated documentary Trouble the Water.
“We are so pleased to again partner with ‘Frontline’ on this unique fellowship,” said Firelight co-founder Stanley Nelson. “It’s the greatest privilege that we, at Firelight, have the ability to create mentorship and support programs for underrepresented documentary filmmakers, and given the current crisis, developing diverse voices in the field of investigative journalism feels more timely than ever.”