A new partnership between Firelight Media, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and Reel South will support short film series from six BIPOC filmmakers living in the American South.
Firelight Media, Reel South, and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) announced six filmmakers selected for the Hindsight Project, a new initiative that marks the first-time partnership between the three organizations. The Hindsight Project is focused on supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) filmmakers living in the American South and U.S. Territories. The filmmakers selected for the series will create short films for a new digital series exploring the lived experiences of communities of color in the South and in Puerto Rico that reflect the migrations and movements throughout the complicated history of these regions.
From the Coronavirus pandemic and the societal inequities it revealed, to the racial reckoning ignited by the murder of George Floyd, to the multiple environmental and socio-economic disasters in Puerto Rico and other coastal communities, the selected filmmakers’ documentaries aim to chronicle the cultural shifts, community ingenuity, and pivotal conversations defining this current moment in America.
The six filmmakers selected will work closely with Firelight Media, Reel South, and CAAM through all stages of production and will each receive financing up to $20,000 to produce a short film that seeks to disrupt mainstream narratives and illuminate the issues, communities, and identities of these regions. The filmmakers will receive production and distribution mentorship by veteran independent filmmakers. Each filmmaker will also be paired with a public media station mentor for additional editorial guidance focused on local expertise and audiences. The project also supports station partners’ engagement with local audiences around the series. Each film will premiere on Reel South’s public media platforms.
For Firelight Media, this project expands on the work of the Groundwork Regional Lab, an initiative that supports diverse, early-career documentary filmmakers living and working in under-represented regions of the U.S and its territories. By providing an introduction to the documentary landscape, Groundwork helps position them for national opportunities and increases public television stations’ capacity to leverage the talent and content of diverse, local storytellers in their own backyards. Since 2017 the Groundwork Lab has supported filmmakers across the US in Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, Nebraska, and South Florida through localized programs, priming local filmmakers to enter the landscape of documentary film. Hindsight’s long-term mission is to facilitate and support the creation of sustainable, local ecosystems for regional filmmakers of color to continue to work where they live, reducing the drain of talent from these regions, and strengthening creative networks within.
“We are so pleased to kick off the new year with the launch of the Hindsight Project, our newest Digital Shorts series,” said Chloe Walters-Wallace, Manager of Artist Programs at Firelight Media and lead for the Groundwork Regional Lab and Hindsight Project. “We’re especially excited to be doing this alongside two fantastic partners, Reel South and CAAM, who share Firelight’s mission to provide continued support for documentary filmmakers of color living and working in the American South and Puerto Rico telling urgent and local stories about their communities. In looking back at 2020, which brought forth both revealing and extraordinary narratives, we are honored to present these regions and filmmakers as the future of storytelling. As a resident of the American South, I am personally gratified to provide a platform where these underrepresented regions and stories can shine.”
Read more on Firelight Media's Medium page.