Firelight Media’s Groundwork Regional Lab supports diverse, emerging documentary filmmakers living and working in under-represented regions of the U.S and U.S.-controlled territories. By providing an introduction to the documentary landscape and the opportunities that exist for early-career filmmakers, our goal is to help position them for national opportunities as well as to increase public television stations’ capacity to leverage the talent and content of diverse, local makers.
For the next Groundwork Regional Lab in April 2022, Firelight Media will host Groundwork Ohio in Cleveland — stay tuned for updates.
Below, learn more about Groundwork Missouri and Groundwork Wisconsin and meet the 2021 Groundwork Regional Lab participants!
Groundwork Missouri was held from Nov. 3–6, 2021 for a cohort of 15 filmmakers. Firelight Media partnered with the Nine PBS located in St. Louis and organizations including St. Louis Film Works, Continuity, and Cinema St. Louis. Nine PBS gave a presentation on past programs with local filmmakers and on their current initiatives, as well as an overview of PBS programming standards and deliverables. Jeanelle Augustin, Manager of Film Fellowships and Artist Development at NBC Universal, presented a workshop on fundraising and the Documentary Core application and curated a shorts program of films by Midwestern filmmakers. Chloë Walters-Wallace, Firelight Media’s Director of Regional Initiatives, also hosted feedback sessions with the filmmakers on their works-in-progress.
The Groundwork Missouri participants were:
Groundwork Wisconsin was held December 1–4, 2021 for a cohort of 13 filmmakers in partnership with Milwaukee PBS, Milwaukee Film, and John Ridley’s Nō Studios. The Lab included presentations by Jeanelle Augustin, Manager of Film Fellowships and Artist Development at NBC Universal, and Sabaah Folayan, director of the documentaries Whose Streets? and Look at Me: XXXTentacion and Interim Director of Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab. The Lab also welcomed filmmaker and True/False Film Fest programmer Amir George who presented a slate of films by Midwestern filmmakers.
The Groundwork Wisconsin participants were: