FRONTLINE, the award-winning PBS investigative documentary series housed at GBH in Boston, and Firelight Media, the premier destination for nonfiction cinema by and about communities of color, have named Kevin Shaw and Débora Souza Silva as the 2023 recipients of the FRONTLINE/Firelight Investigative Journalism Fellowship.
This fellowship was created to support independent filmmakers of color interested in journalistic documentary filmmaking, and it champions the need for more diverse voices, perspectives and experiences within that field. In its fifth year, the program will continue to include funding for the research and development of nonfiction short films that shine a light on underreported issues in the United States.
During their fellowship, Shaw and Silva will each receive a three-month research grant and will be provided with reporting and editorial support as they develop investigative story ideas. FRONTLINE and Firelight Media will then provide funding for each fellow to produce a short film. After a festival run, each filmmaker’s documentary short will be distributed on FRONTLINE’s streaming platforms.
The 2022 FRONTLINE/Firelight Media fellows were Ursula Liang and Cristina Ibarra. Liang’s upcoming documentary, Two Strikes, is about the U.S. criminal justice system. Ibarra’s upcoming documentary, Whistleblower, is about U.S. immigration policy.
Other past fellows have included Jacqueline Olive, PJ Raval, Andrés Caballero, Assia Boundaoui, Juliana Schwartz Preston, and Roopa Gogineni.
“Over the past five years, our FRONTLINE/Firelight fellows have produced documentaries that pull back the curtain on critical issues impacting underserved communities across the country,” says FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath. “We are delighted to continue our fellowship with Firelight Media in its third year, and we are looking forward to working with Kevin and Débora, two incredibly talented filmmakers who have already made an impact with their past work with public media, and will continue to do so throughout their fellowship.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin and Débora as FRONTLINE/Firelight fellows, both of whom are alumni of our Documentary Lab and grantees of our Impact Campaign Fund,” said Leticia Peguero, Senior Vice President of Firelight Media. “We are equally excited to continue our collaboration with FRONTLINE, which provides filmmakers with the support and mentorship they need to craft investigative documentaries with journalistic rigor.”