The William Greaves Research and Development Fund resources talented, mid-career nonfiction 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.
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 fourth year of the William Greaves Research & Development Fund.
This fund 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 and any essential need grantees have, including healthcare and childcare costs. This fund is Firelight Media’s first international initiative and was launched to provide opportunities for filmmakers to connect, learn, and build solidarity across borders.
THE APPLICATION IS OPEN FROM MAY 2, 2023 AND CLOSES JUNE 6, 2023 AT 11:59PM EAS, WITH AN ANTICIPATED ANNOUNCEMENT IN OCTOBER 2023.
NOTE: THE APPLICATION FOR THE PBS/FIRELIGHT WILLIAM GREAVES PRODUCTION FUND WILL BE OPEN IN EARLY SUMMER 2023.
We will consider projects that address a range of themes and issues.
We will consider projects with diverse 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 living and working in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, or Brazil.
We will consider submissions from filmmakers of all refugee and immigration statuses. We take notice when projects are socially relevant, formally innovative, address or engage underrepresented issues or communities, and are accountable to the impacted communities they represent.
The Director must hold the intellectual property rights to the film.
The Director must identify as a mid-career filmmaker (see FAQ for more information)
The Director must self-identify as being from a racially and ethnically underrepresented community in the United States or living and working as a filmmaker in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, and/or Brazil.
The Director must be a mid-career filmmaker
Must be working on a feature length documentary film in the pre-production phase
The Director must hold the intellectual property rights to the film
Proposals will be accepted in the filmmakers’ language of choice (English, Spanish, or Portuguese) and 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 comprising filmmakers and industry leaders who work in the countries from which we are accepting applications. All proposals will be reviewed in the language in which they are submitted.
The selection will be based on the strength of the story, the creative approach, the director(s)’ career trajectory, social relevance, viability of the plan proposed, and the ethics and accountability of the approach (e.g. the filmmaker’s relationship to the subject matter; navigating differences in power; impact on film participants, vulnerable communities, audiences; community benefit considerations; decisions related to distribution, rights, and ownership; who is on the team and hiring practices; etc.).