At the Sundance Institute, we firmly believe that Black artists and Black stories should be celebrated and uplifted year-round. During February, aka Black History Month, we’re continuing that work with a series we’re calling Black Visionaries, in which we’ll be spotlighting our friends at Black-run arts organizations around the country. First up, we checked in with Harlem-based nonprofit Firelight Media, which produces documentary films by and about communities of color, supports emerging filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work.
Founded by filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith in 1998, Firelight Media has helped produce a long string of award-winning documentaries over the years, many of which have played at the Sundance Film Festival and screened on PBS. They’re one of our closest Allied Organizations and a vital year-round collaborator, deepening our support for artists of color, and expanding our engagement with new regional partners like A-Doc. They’re also known for their signature Producers Lab, which aids a yearly class of 10 to 15 fellows in completing their projects and gaining national distribution.