Firelight Media is a non-profit supporting non-fiction filmmakers of color.

An image of Marcia Smith and Stanley Nelson standing on a red carpet in front of a branded background-image that says IDA, Netflix, and A&E.
Firelight Media brandmark of a stylized flame in orange, red, and pink.

Founded by award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith, Firelight Media began in 1998 as an independent non-profit documentary production company that produced stories on topics that are typically underrepresented in the mainstream media.

In 2008, Firelight Media transitioned to focusing on supporting emerging filmmakers of color, while Firelight Films was launched as the new for-profit documentary production company led by Stanley Nelson.


Firelight Media is the premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color. Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work.

We are committed to reach and engage diverse audiences around the world through documentary films.

An image of 13 2021-2023 Documentary Lab Fellows posing together inside the Ace Hotel in New Orleans.


Firelight Media receives institutional, capacity building, and/or project support from the following organizations.

To learn more about how your organization can support our work, please contact us.

General Operating Support
Documentary Lab
Groundwork Regional Lab
FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship
William Greaves Research & Development Fund
PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund
Impact Campaign Fund
Hulu/Firelight Kindling Fund
Beyond Resilience
Beyond Resilience: MASTERCLASS
Spark Fund

our Team

Critically-acclaimed filmmakers and creators


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