Docs

Exclusive: Firelight Media calls for 2021 William Greaves Fund submissions

Harlem-based prodco Firelight Media has announced an open call for the William Greaves Fund‘s second year.Founded in 2020 to support documentary filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities, the Fund ...
February 25, 2021

Harlem-based prodco Firelight Media has announced an open call for the William Greaves Fund‘s second year.Founded in 2020 to support documentary filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities, the Fund is designed to address structural challenges filmmakers face after producing their first films so that they are able to continue creating stories focused on underrepresented people and topics.

As the world moves towards a post-pandemic life, the William Greaves Fund will include a basic care stipend that can be put toward any essential need from healthcare and childcare costs to any other resources which Firelight Media sees as fundamental to producing creative work.

In its second year, the William Greaves Fund will be comprised of grants ranging up to US$40,000 each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. The funds will be used for research, and to develop film treatments, decks, sizzle reels and other materials necessary for fundraising.

The fund was named after William Greaves (pictured), who produced the seminal television newsmagazine Black Journal and 200-plus documentaries over the course of his 60-year career. He was also a mentor to filmmakers including Firelight co-founder Stanley Nelson.

Firelight Media will concurrently be accepting submissions for the 2021 Impact Campaign Fund, which supports the creation of audience engagement and impact campaigns associated with films made by current or former Firelight fellows.

“We know there is a lot of work to do to make the nonfiction film industry a more just one, especially for filmmakers of color,” said Loira Limbal, SVP for programs at Firelight Media in a statement. “The pandemic has exacerbated so many persistent issues and inequities within the industry, which should force all of us to think of new and better ways forward. The basic care stipend is one step toward normalizing programs that support the artist, not just their project.”

Submissions will be accepted from filmmakers based in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent.

The call for proposals opens March 15 and runs through May 1, 2021

Photo courtesy: Firelight Media

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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