Firelight Media, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), Black Public Media (BPM), and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) have released the RFP for the second season of award-winning, regionally focused documentary short film series, HOMEGROWN: A Part Of/Apart From. This series will comprise eight documentary short films made by emerging BIPOC filmmakers living in the U.S. territories, Hawai‘i and their diasporic communities who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC).
The partners seek projects that disrupt mainstream narratives about the U.S. territories and illuminate the living histories, cultures, and future visions of the regions. Titled after a phrase coined by Michael Bevacqua, host of the Guam-based podcast Fanachu!, the upcoming HOMEGROWN collection will focus on stories grappling with issues of sovereignty, agency, and the variety of ways communities negotiate what it means to be at once “a part of and apart from” the United States.
Eight selected filmmakers will receive $45,000 each to produce an 8-15 minute nonfiction short film. The filmmakers will work with Firelight Media, PIC, BPM, LPB, and PBS from development, production, and distribution, and will receive mentorship from established independent filmmakers. Additionally, filmmakers will be paired with a local public media station for editorial and audience engagement support, with a focus on local expertise and communities. Selected films will be distributed through PBS Digital Studios via the flagship PBS YouTube channel with a planned release for winter 2024.
The call for proposals will open on Thursday, August 17, and the submission deadline is Monday, September 18, 2023 at 11:59pm PST.
Eligibility requirements and the application can be found here.
Homegrown (piloted in 2020 as Hindsight) is produced by Firelight Media in partnership with PBS with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The series is also presented as part of Firelight Media’s Regional Initiatives, which, along with the Groundwork Regional Lab, is designed to support filmmakers of color from underrepresented regions in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The previous season Homegrown: Future Visions, focused on the American Midwest, debuted this spring on PBS digital platforms where it has garnered over half a million views. Following its series premiere at the 2023 Cleveland International Film Festival and screenings at the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival, individual films from the series have screened at the Big Sky Film Documentary Film Festival, Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand, Freep Film Festival in Detroit, CAAMFest in San Francisco, the Doc 10 Film Festival in Chicago, Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival, and BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia, among other places.
Firelight Media is a 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. Firelight Media’s programs include the Documentary Lab, an 18-month fellowship that supports emerging filmmakers of color; Groundwork Regional Lab, which supports filmmakers in the American south, midwest, and U.S.-controlled Territories; and the William Greaves Research and Development Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities. Firelight Media also produces digital short films, including the recently announced collection HOMEGROWN: Future Visions.
PIC amplifies Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) voices that enriches America’s cultural landscape through the art of storytelling. PIC is the only organization in the country that does this by developing, producing, and funding films, providing professional development opportunities to emerging filmmakers, and engaging audiences through public media distribution and community engagement screenings. PIC has funded award-winning public TV programs and digital first content that reaches millions of viewers across the U.S. Recent films supported by PIC include Waterman-Duke: Ambassador of Aloha, Family Ingredients, and our signature series Pacific Heartbeat, which will be releasing its twelfth season this year.
Black Public Media (BPM) supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org.
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of film and digital cultural media that is representative of Latino people or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public media entities. Providing a voice for the diverse Latino community throughout the United States, Latino Public Broadcasting is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB also produces the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES, exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience. VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS app.
Between 2009 and 2022, LPB programs won over 135 awards, including three prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards as well as Emmys, Imagen Awards and the Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Director, Documentary. LPB has been the recipient of the Norman Lear Legacy Award and the NCLR Alma Award for Special Achievement – Year in Documentaries. Sandie Viquez Pedlow is executive director of LPB; Edward James Olmos is co-founder and chairman.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.
PBS Digital Studios produces original, digital programming designed to engage, enlighten, and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 30 million subscribers on YouTube, generating an average of 50 million views each month. In 10 years, it has launched over 70 original series and has accumulated over four billion lifetime views on YouTube. Series include the Webby Award-winning BE SMART and SOUND FIELD, as well as popular series such as WEATHERED, EONS, MONSTRUM and PBS SPACE TIME. For more information on PBS Digital Studios, visit PBS.org.