NEW YORK – Dec. 6, 2018 – Firelight Media announced today their newest cohort of Fellows selected to the Firelight Documentary Lab, the organization’s flagship mentoring program. The group of twelve filmmakers are culturally diverse, with impressive backgrounds ranging from public and commercial media to investigative journalism and digital production. The projects they bring to the fellowship tell stories of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico, domestic violence, federalization of the war on drugs, Indigenous identity, KKK hostilities against Vietnamese refugees, and the mothers left in the wake of police brutality.
“We are honored to support the work of this new Doc Lab cohort because we believe they collectively embody the future of nonfiction — which is inclusive, centers those who have traditionally been on the margins, and pushes the boundaries of the documentary form,” says Vice President and Documentary Lab Director, Loira Limbal.
Over the last decade, the Lab has served seventy-three filmmakers, including award-winning Sabaah Jordan and Damon Davis (Whose Streets), Assia Boundaoui (The Feeling of Being Watched), Dawn Porter (Trapped), Jason Da Silva (When I Walk), and Lyric Cabral ((T)ERROR). Lab fellows have won every major industry award including Peabody, Emmys, Ridenhour, IDA Awards, and have premiered at major festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.
Firelight co-founders Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith launched the Documentary Lab in 2009 as an 18-month fellowship program to support filmmakers working on their first or second feature length documentary film. The Lab provides filmmakers with customized mentorship from prominent leaders in the documentary world, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities. In addition, Firelight has provided over $650,000 in grants to 40 documentary projects through their Next Step Fund since 2003.
The 2018-2020 Documentary Lab fellows are:
About the Documentary Lab
The Documentary Lab is a mentorship program that seeks out and develops emerging diverse filmmakers. The Lab provides filmmakers with one-on-one support, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities. More than just a workshop, the Documentary Lab is unrivaled in its representation of diverse filmmakers, creating an exclusive network of talented unique storytellers that receive ongoing support from a project’s conception to its completion.
About Firelight Media
Firelight Media was born in 2000 to address the deficit of films made by and about diverse communities, particularly people of color. Founded and led by MacArthur “genius” Fellow Stanley Nelson and award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith in Harlem, NY, the organization has gone on to produce over 25 hours of primetime programming for public television, receive every major broadcast award, and have its first theatrical release (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution).
Through our Documentary Lab and Impact Producer Fellowship, Firelight is dedicated to developing talented documentary filmmakers that advance underrepresented stories, moving them from the margins to the forefront of mainstream media through high quality, powerful productions.