Firelight Media

Firelight Media Firelight Media is dedicated to supporting documentary filmmakers of color and cultivating audiences for their work. We’re #changingthestory.
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From the “Freedom Riders" to "Emmett Till" to the "American Indian Movement" to "The Black Panthers," we at Firelight are engaged in telling stories about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history. For us, media can transform passive viewers into active citizens. Through film broadcasts, community engagement campaigns, multi-platform applications and our flagship mentoring program—The Documentary Lab, Firelight Films and its non-profit sister group, Firelight Media, are dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as tools for education and action. Firelight Media was founded in 1998 as an independent non-profit production company and has been best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and its dynamic educational outreach campaigns. However, in 2008, Firelight Media expanded its work to include developing and supporting the next generation of filmmakers. Due to this expansion, Firelight productions spearheaded by Stanley Nelson are now done under a new for-profit entity called Firelight Films.

From the “Freedom Riders" to "Emmett Till" to the "American Indian Movement" to "The Black Panthers," we at Firelight are engaged in telling stories about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history. For us, media can transform passive viewers into active citizens. Through film broadcasts, community engagement campaigns, multi-platform applications and our flagship mentoring program—The Documentary Lab, Firelight Films and its non-profit sister group, Firelight Media, are dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as tools for education and action. Firelight Media was founded in 1998 as an independent non-profit production company and has been best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and its dynamic educational outreach campaigns. However, in 2008, Firelight Media expanded its work to include developing and supporting the next generation of filmmakers. Due to this expansion, Firelight productions spearheaded by Stanley Nelson are now done under a new for-profit entity called Firelight Films.

From the “Freedom Riders" to "Emmett Till" to the "American Indian Movement" to "The Black Panthers," we at Firelight are engaged in telling stories about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history. For us, media can transform passive viewers into active citizens. Through film broadcasts, community engagement campaigns, multi-platform applications and our flagship mentoring program—The Documentary Lab, Firelight Films and its non-profit sister group, Firelight Media, are dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as tools for education and action. Firelight Media was founded in 1998 as an independent non-profit production company and has been best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and its dynamic educational outreach campaigns. However, in 2008, Firelight Media expanded its work to include developing and supporting the next generation of filmmakers. Due to this expansion, Firelight productions spearheaded by Stanley Nelson are now done under a new for-profit entity called Firelight Films.

Operating as usual

👫Impact Fund Spotlight👫🏾: DUTY FREE (@dutyfreefilm)After a 75 year-old immigrant mother gets fired from her job as a hot...
09/03/2020

👫Impact Fund Spotlight👫🏾:
DUTY FREE (@dutyfreefilm)

After a 75 year-old immigrant mother gets fired from her job as a hotel housekeeper, her son takes her on a bucket-list adventure to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents a journey that uncovers the betrayals plaguing her past and the economic insecurity shaping not only her future, but that of an entire generation.

With widespread unemployment, evictions upending the lives of millions, and a generation of elders at their most vulnerable, Duty Free gives a voice to the now. We believe deeply that the film team's impact and engagement plans will meet the moment and serve communities with resources, education and hope.

Congrats to @sianpierre and the other 5 filmmaking teams who will each be awarded $25k to fuel their impact and engagement efforts via our Impact Fund!

Impact Fund Spotlight:🖥 CODED BIAS 🖥@CodedBias explores the fallout of @mitmedialab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s ( @joyfu...
08/31/2020

Impact Fund Spotlight:
🖥 CODED BIAS 🖥

@CodedBias explores the fallout of @mitmedialab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s ( @joyfulcode ) startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.

With facial recognition technology fast creeping into the technologies we use daily, we are excited about the impact this film can make.

Hats off to filmmaker @shalinikantayya and the other 5 film teams who received our inaugural #ImpactFund grant. Each team receives $25k to help achieve their impact and engagement goals.

Impact Fund Spotlight:📣✊🏾UNAPOLOGETIC ✊🏾📣"After two police killings, Black millennial organizers challenge a Chicago adm...
08/27/2020

Impact Fund Spotlight:
📣✊🏾UNAPOLOGETIC ✊🏾📣

"After two police killings, Black millennial organizers challenge a Chicago administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, UNAPOLOGETIC is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of mayor Lori Lightfoot."

There is no more crucial moment to support those fronting the Movement for Black Lives. And so we are humbled to support @ashley.oshay and her important film @unapologeticdoc through our Impact Fund. The fund provides 6 films with a $25k grant to help achieve their individual impact and engagement goals.

Head to www.unapologeticfilm.com for more on the film.

Impact Fund Spotlight:🇵🇷LANDFALL🇵🇷"While the devastation of María attracted a great deal of media coverage, the world ha...
08/25/2020

Impact Fund Spotlight:
🇵🇷LANDFALL🇵🇷

"While the devastation of María attracted a great deal of media coverage, the world has paid far less attention to the storm that preceded it: a 72-billion-dollar debt crisis crippling Puerto Rico well before the winds and waters hit. LANDFALL (@landfallfilm ) examines the kinship of these two storms—one environmental, the other economic—juxtaposing competing utopian visions of recovery. Featuring intimate encounters with Puerto Ricans as well as the newcomers flooding the island, LANDFALL reflects on a question of contemporary global relevance: when the world falls apart, who do we become?"

LANDFALL's first public screening will be held this Friday at the Queens Drive-In in collaboration with @movingimagenyc. Visit RooftopFilms.com + use code "autocinema" for 50% off! See you at the Drive-In!

We are so proud to support LANDFALL and 5 other BIPOC filmmakers through our Impact Fund. The fund provides each film with a $25K grant to help achieve its impact and engagement goals.

08/22/2020
BlackStar Film Festival

Live NOW: "Solidarity Is Not a Market Exchange" at Blackstar!

Panelists: Marcia Smith, Bhawin Suchak, Jemma Desai, Ben-Alex Dupris
Moderator: Sonya Childress

08/22/2020

Panelists: Loira Limbal, Natasha K Ngaiza, A-lan Holt, Roni Nicole Henderson-Day
Moderator: Dani McClain

08/22/2020

Panelists: Marcia Smith, Bhawin Suchak, Jemma Desai, Ben-Alex Dupris
Moderator: Sonya Childress

📣 We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the inaugural Impact Campaign Fund. The Fund is designed to address a re...
08/21/2020

📣 We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the inaugural Impact Campaign Fund. The Fund is designed to address a resource gap Firelight has noted in the nonfiction space for impact- and engagement-related projects by and for communities of color. The Fund was limited to Firelight Doc Lab and Impact Producer Lab fellows and alumni to help them launch powerful new impact and engagement projects around their nonfiction films.

🎯 The 6 projects will each receive a $25k grant. These films tap into urgent themes relating to intersectional movement building to support communities made vulnerable by extractive, biased, and unjust systems, and in the advancement of Black and Indigenous liberation.

🥁 The 2020 cohort is: Warrior Women co-directed by Christina King and Elizabeth A. Castle; Unapologetic by Ashley O’Shay; Duty Free by Sian-Pierre Regis; Landfall by Cecilia Aldorando; The First Rainbow Coalition by Ray Santisteban; Coded Bias by Shalini Kantayya. Congratulations to these filmmakers and teams!

For more info on the Impact Fund, check out our Medium post here: https://medium.com/@firelightmedia/announcing-the-inaugural-impact-campaign-fund-recipients-9c0d3659f48b

@ New York, New York

📽 It is with great pride that we introduce the recipients of the inaugural #WilliamGreavesFund. These 9 mid-career filmm...
08/21/2020

📽 It is with great pride that we introduce the recipients of the inaugural #WilliamGreavesFund. These 9 mid-career filmmakers moved us with their approach to storytelling as well as their commitment to the communities they're documenting.

🌎 Spanning the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, each filmmaker will receive up to $25K to support the research and development of their projects. To kick off this fund, we're thrilled to continue to support Firelight alumni and to welcome a new set of filmmakers into our community.

💥 The recipients of the William Greaves Fund 2020 are: Julianna Brannum, Byron Hurt, Everlane Moraes, Gisela Rosario Ramos, Medhin Tewolde Serrano, Angela Tucker, Vanuzia Bonfim Vieira, Yvonne Welbon, and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. Congratulations to this powerful inaugural cohort!

For more on the William Greaves Fund, check out our Medium post here: https://medium.com/@firelightmedia/announcing-the-inaugural-william-greaves-fund-recipients-47e71fde942a
@ New York, New York

Firelight is going 💪🏾BIG💪🏿 @blackstarfest this year! Join SO MANY #DocLabAlum this week and next for screenings of their...
08/17/2020

Firelight is going 💪🏾BIG💪🏿 @blackstarfest this year! Join SO MANY #DocLabAlum this week and next for screenings of their latest films, watch @djlaylo_ talk mothering AND filmmaking as cultural acts, and #MarciaSmith demanding inclusion NOT be a market exchange, plus so much more.

Swipe left for a list of panels and films you can attend at the festival and visit BlackstarFest.Org to register for any + all! @ New York, New York

JOIN US! This will be an amazing discussion on "Who Gets To Tell Your Story?"!✊🏾
08/06/2020
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Meet the Makers: Stanley Nelson and A'Lelia Bundles. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

JOIN US! This will be an amazing discussion on "Who Gets To Tell Your Story?"!✊🏾

Join WORLD Channel and Firelight Media for a screening of TWO DOLLARS AND A DREAM, and a thoughtful discussion with director Stanley Nelson and author A'Lelia Bundles about the real story and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America. Followed by a live Q&A. Bund...

Doc Lab Fellow 2018-2020 @nailahjefferson paints a picture of what it looked like to be surrounded by BIPOC filmmakers t...
08/04/2020

Doc Lab Fellow 2018-2020 @nailahjefferson paints a picture of what it looked like to be surrounded by BIPOC filmmakers throughout her lab experience, and how her cohort came together to question gatekeepers on representation.👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

To read her complete piece, head to medium.com/firelightmedia @ Harlem

☕A powerful message, and a calling out of the doc film industry for its complicity in extracting and exploiting our comm...
07/24/2020

☕A powerful message, and a calling out of the doc film industry for its complicity in extracting and exploiting our communities. Thanks to our 2018-2020 Doc Lab Fellow @kevinshaw23 for "going there" on our Medium blog. To read the full piece, head to FirelightMedia.TV --> Blog.🔥

🗣REAL-TALK: What should we expect - or, rather, *require* - after the call out? 🗣✊🏿You cannot miss this unstoppable pane...
07/23/2020

🗣REAL-TALK: What should we expect - or, rather, *require* - after the call out? 🗣✊🏿

You cannot miss this unstoppable panel of womxn in conversation on this and more during our next #BeyondResilience🔥 on July 31st at 2p ET.
It's called "After the Call Out -- Towards Equity, Equality, and Racial Justice." (RSVP now here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/firelight-medias-beyond-resilience-after-the-call-out-tickets-113906160392)

The recent announcement that golfing icon Tiger Woods would be the subject of a two-part HBO documentary series set in motion a heated debate in the documentary industry about equity, power, and BIPOC filmmakers' demands for structural change. Join us for a conversation with filmmakers Iyabo Boyd, Geeta Gandbhir, Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia and other members of Brown Girls Doc Mafia as they reflect on the path towards equity, equality, and racial justice in the documentary field. Moderated by Marcia Smith, President of Firelight Media.
🔥👭🏽👭🏿👭🏾🔥
Cc: Brown Girls Doc Mafia

🗣REAL-TALK: What should we expect - or, rather, *require* - after the call out? 🗣🗣🗣✊🏿You cannot miss this unstoppable pa...
07/23/2020

🗣REAL-TALK: What should we expect - or, rather, *require* - after the call out? 🗣🗣🗣✊🏿

You cannot miss this unstoppable panel of womxn in conversation on this and more during our next #BeyondResilience🔥 on July 31st at 2p ET.
It's called "After the Call Out -- Towards Equity, Equality, and Racial Justice." (RSVP at link below):

The recent announcement that golfing icon Tiger Woods would be the subject of a two-part HBO documentary series set in motion a heated debate in the documentary industry about equity, power, and BIPOC filmmakers' demands for structural change. Join us for a conversation with filmmakers Iyabo Boyd, Geeta Gandbhir, Grace Lee, Marjan Safina and other members of Brown Girls Doc Mafia as they reflect on the path towards equity, equality, and racial justice in the documentary field. Moderated by Marcia Smith, President of Firelight Media.
🔥👭🏽👭🏿👭🏾🔥
cc: Brown Girls Doc Mafia

07/22/2020

👁REQUIRED VIEWING✊🏿: Thanks to @thirteenwnet's participation in the @amarchivepub, 59 episodes of BLACK JOURNAL are now available to stream for the first time. This is a moment for the culture but also for us as an organization. The co-host and EP of BLACK JOURNAL was William Greaves, an esteemed documentary filmmaker and the namesake of our new fund for mid-career filmmakers.🎥

Here's more on BLACK JOURNAL from the @librarycongress: "Black Journal” was the first national American public affairs television program that was broadcast on the NET Network (Pre-PBS). This program was developed during the turbulent 1960’s and its mission was to cover political, economic, and cultural issues to a largely neglected African-American population. Laid out in a “60 Minutes” style, the show was comprised of short documentary films. A few months after production began in June 1968, co-host William Greaves was made executive producer. In 1970 under the direction of Greaves, the program won an Emmy for excellence in public affairs. Greaves was also a documentary filmmaker; his 1968 experimental documentary “Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One” was added to the National Film Registry in 2015.

Firelight Media
07/21/2020

Firelight Media

From Stanley Nelson's Op-Ed in the LA Times: "No American institution has perpetuated our racial hierarchy, racist attit...
07/13/2020
Op-Ed: Why we need Black filmmakers to tell the story of 2020

From Stanley Nelson's Op-Ed in the LA Times: "No American institution has perpetuated our racial hierarchy, racist attitudes, and myths that twist the truth of our history more than film and television."
Read it here: ✊🏿
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-07-12/black-filmmakers-uprising-narratives-racism

The people who have the power to tell the story of this moment of national reckoning will shape how future generations will come to understand it.

✊🏾This @nytimes piece✊🏾 by @salamishah ft. @sabaahfolayan @damondavis @ava + #StanleyNelson makes us proud to be documen...
07/01/2020
We Asked Four Documentarians: How Does Film Shape the Fight for Racial Justice?

✊🏾This @nytimes piece✊🏾 by @salamishah ft. @sabaahfolayan @damondavis @ava + #StanleyNelson makes us proud to be documentarians, proud to be Firelighters, proud to be truth-seekers, and history-tellers. It makes us proud "to get IN there" and uplift the voices that shake the world.

Keep telling our stories.

Read the full piece below:. #blacklivesmatter #ourstoriesmatter #ChangingTheStory
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/movies/ava-duvernay-stanley-nelson-whose-streets.html

Ava DuVernay, Stanley Nelson, Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis have all made movies that help explain our nation’s current efforts to face hundreds of years of inequity. Here’s what they said.

🗣FAM🗣 You have till 11:59P ET TONIGHT to apply to our 2020 Doc Lab. Promises: 📍We'll center you, your story, and your vi...
06/29/2020

🗣FAM🗣 You have till 11:59P ET TONIGHT to apply to our 2020 Doc Lab.

Promises:
📍We'll center you, your story, and your vision for your film.

📣We'll amplify your voice when the industry won't.

✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏾We'll foster community.

👸🏾🤴🏾WE'LL ROCK WITH YOU.

#LinkBelow

A kind 🥰word from our #DocLabFellow about her experience in our Lab.But let US just say we've looked up to YOU, Nailah, ...
06/25/2020

A kind 🥰word from our #DocLabFellow about her experience in our Lab.

But let US just say we've looked up to YOU, Nailah, and your work on COMMUTED. We can't wait for the world to see your stunning film.⚡️

If you want to join our Lab, deadline's on June 29th at 11:59p ET. Get all the details here: http://www.firelightmedia.tv/doc-lab-open-call

On Friday's #BeyondResilience🔥 As physical distancing continues to be the new norm, how can we still make an impact when...
06/24/2020

On Friday's #BeyondResilience🔥

As physical distancing continues to be the new norm, how can we still make an impact when apart? Sonya Childress take us through case studies of campaigns that have launched in this moment and raise key questions around audience access, care, and how to reach social justice impact goals. RSVP HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beyond-resilience-series-can-impact-go-virtual-how-tickets-110793917590

The panel, moderated by
Sonya Childress, will feature:
Vanessa Cuervo (Imp. La Fortaleza, etc)
Shalini Kantayya (Dir. Coded Bias)
Locsi Ferra (Imp. Coded Bias)
Andraea Lavant (Imp. Crip Camp)

Juneteenth ✊🏿 is an Independence Day, and the celebration is only just getting started! Watch Stanley Nelson in conversa...
06/20/2020

Juneteenth ✊🏿 is an Independence Day, and the celebration is only just getting started! Watch Stanley Nelson in conversation with @russwest44 about their new documentary, and join the national #tulsablockparty at tulsablockparty.com starting TODAY Saturday 6/20 at 6pm CT.

We are beyond proud of the community we keep, especially among our Doc Lab fellows.❤June 29th at 11:59p ET is the deadli...
06/18/2020

We are beyond proud of the community we keep, especially among our Doc Lab fellows.❤

June 29th at 11:59p ET is the deadline for our 2020 Doc Lab Open Call. We'll also be hosting a webinar on June 23rd at 1p ET if you have questions about the Lab. Find out more, and sign up, by heading to our website --> Programs ---> Doc Lab Open Call 2020.

On #BeyondResilience, we've talked a lot about shifting power into the hands of BIPOC filmmakers. This Friday, on Junete...
06/17/2020

On #BeyondResilience, we've talked a lot about shifting power into the hands of BIPOC filmmakers. This Friday, on Juneteenth, we'll get insight into just how to do it w/ a cross-sector of political, economic + racial justice minds.

THIS👏🏽IS👏🏾OUR👏🏿TIME.

RSVP via link below.

📣DOC LAB 2020 EXTENDED DEADLINE📣To honor those who have taken time to protest, organize, reflect, act, and question over...
06/15/2020

📣DOC LAB 2020 EXTENDED DEADLINE📣

To honor those who have taken time to protest, organize, reflect, act, and question over these last few weeks, we are extending the application deadline for the 2020 Doc Lab until June 29th at 11:59p ET.

We will also be hosting an info webinar to answer all questions about the lab on June 23rd from 1-2p ET.

Find out more, and sign up for our webinar via the Doc Lab 2020 page on our website (link below).

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What is the name of the song playing at the beginning of the documentary look for me in the whirlwind?
I love Firelight Media's Next Step Media Fund! Help us support emerging filmmakers of color tell their inspirational stories!
D9 story is a must......