March 17, 2022

PBS Makes Multi-Million Dollar Commitment to Advance the Work of Mid-Career, Diverse Creators

At the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour today, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced a new partnership with Firelight Media, the non-profit filmmaking organization founded by Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith.

PBS is committing $3.6 million over the course of three years to support mid-career nonfiction filmmakers through Firelight Media’s William Greaves Fund, which resources talented storytellers from diverse communities in the United States. The Fund is designed to address the persistent structural challenges many filmmakers face after producing their first films, so that they can remain in the field and continue to create vital stories focused on underrepresented people and topics. Within the Greaves Fund, Firelight Media and PBS will hold a joint open call for filmmakers to submit projects for potential funding by PBS.

The fund is named in honor of William Greaves, the longtime mentor of Firelight Media's founder, Stanley Nelson. Greaves' legacy in the documentary field includes producing the seminal television newsmagazine Black Journal along with 200-plus documentaries throughout his 60-year career.

“This funding from PBS will help us expand our programs serving underrepresented documentary filmmakers and support their integration in the public media system, connecting filmmakers with stations and mentoring them at every level,” said Marcia Smith, President, Firelight Media. “We are grateful for the support from PBS to expand and diversify this pipeline of documentary filmmakers for public media.”  

“Sharing stories that reflect the full range of the American experience is core to PBS’s work, and these initiatives are another example of PBS’s commitment to amplifying diverse stories and perspectives,” said Sylvia Bugg, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “PBS is proud to partner with Firelight Media as we continue to advance the work of underrepresented makers and offer more diverse content across our platforms.”

PBS has long-standing partnerships with public media organizations such as Latino Public Broadcasting, Black Public Media, Vision Maker Media, Pacific Islanders in Communication, Center for Asian American Media, The WORLD Channel, ITVS and American Documentary. With initiatives like the funding of Firelight Media’s artist programs and the Greaves Fund, PBS will continue to expand its roster of diverse creators and program offerings.

Read more at PBS.

more articles


Join Our Mailing List

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.