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Apply Now! HOMEGROWN: A Part Of/Apart From

Posted on August 17, 2023


Firelight Media, Black Public Media (BPM), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) invite emerging filmmakers living in the U.S. territories and Hawai'i – and their diasporic communities – who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) to submit proposals or works-in-progress for the second season of regionally-focused digital shorts series, HOMEGROWN: A Part Of/Apart From.

Eight selected filmmakers will receive $45,000 each to produce an 8-15 minute non-fiction short film. The filmmakers will work with Firelight Media, BPM, LPB, PIC, and PBS from development through distribution, and will receive mentorship by established independent filmmakers. Additionally, filmmakers will be paired with a local public media station for editorial and audience engagement support, with a focus on local expertise and communities. Selected films will be distributed through PBS Digital Studios via the flagship PBS YouTube channel with a planned release for winter 2024.


Creative Brief

Titled after a term coined by Michael Bevacqua, host of the Fanachu! podcast, our upcoming HOMEGROWN collection will focus on stories grappling with issues of sovereignty, agency, and the variety of ways communities negotiate what it means to be “a part of and apart from.”

We seek projects that disrupt mainstream narratives about the U.S. Territories and illuminate the living histories, cultures, and future visions of the regions. Projects can vary in scope/approach, and address topics including (but not limited to): 

New forms of resistance 
Land rights and reparations work
Climate change and migration
Cultural changemakers 
Community portraits and rituals 
Bureaucracy and its misuse
Healthcare & the body
Celebrations and joy 
Voting rights 
Historical inaccuracies 
Self determination
Home and identity 
Solidarity across territories 

In preparation for another election cycle, HOMEGROWN: A Part of/Apart From explores how filmmakers, culture bearers, and communities are re-defining democracy through place-based storytelling. 

Projects that address the following questions will receive priority consideration: 

What does duality look like in your community? 
In what ways does the past affect the present? 
What socio-cultural values should be retained? 
What communities would benefit from amplification? 
Are there movements/people/events that have flourished that the rest of the country should know about? 
How can difference be a propelling force?

The ideal candidates for the initiative are emerging filmmakers committed to unearthing never-before-told narratives rooted in their local community.

Eligibility Requirements:

Project must be short form non-fiction, with a duration of 8-15 minutes
Project must be in development, pre-production, or early production
Applicants must identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of color
Applicants must reside in or be a descendant of the U.S territories (Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands) and Hawai’i 
Applicants must be able to complete the project by Winter 2024
Applicants must hold artistic, budgetary, and editorial control, and must own the copyright of the proposed project
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older by the time of submission
Applicants must be willing and able to work collaboratively with Firelight Media, PIC, the National Multicultural Alliance partners, PBS, local public media staff, and mentors
Only one proposal may be submitted per applicant
Currently enrolled graduate students may apply, but you must demonstrate your ability to deliver a short film with a demanding timeline and strict PBS reporting guidelines

Projects NOT Eligible:

Applicants cannot reside in New York or L.A. 
Feature documentaries, series, or fiction projects
Projects in post-production or completed films
Projects that are student films or are related to coursework
Projects or production entities which are non-US-based, owned, or controlled
Branded content or promotional projects

Deadline: September 18, 2023 at 11:59pm PST

Learn more and apply here: bit.ly/homegrown-rfp


About Firelight Media

Firelight Media is a premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color. Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work. Firelight Media’s programs include the Documentary Lab, an 18-month fellowship that supports emerging filmmakers of color; Groundwork Regional Lab, which supports filmmakers in the American south, midwest, and U.S. Territories; and the William Greaves Funds for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities.

About Black Public Media 

Black Public Media (BPM) supports the development of visionary content creators and distributes stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future. For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org.

About Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)

Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of film and digital cultural media that is representative of Latino people or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public media entities. Providing a voice for the diverse Latino community throughout the United States, Latino Public Broadcasting is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB also produces the acclaimed PBS documentary series VOCES, exploring the rich diversity of the Latino experience. VOCES presents new and established filmmakers and brings their powerful and illuminating stories to a national audience — on TV, online and on the PBS app.

About Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)

PIC amplifies Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) voices that enriches America’s cultural landscape through the art of storytelling. PIC is the only organization in the country that does this by developing, producing, and funding films, providing professional development opportunities to emerging filmmakers, and engaging audiences through public media distribution and community engagement screenings. PIC has funded award-winning public TV programs and digital first content that reaches millions of viewers across the U.S. Recent films supported by PIC include Waterman-Duke: Ambassador of Aloha, Family Ingredients, and our signature series Pacific Heartbeat, which will be releasing its twelfth season this year.  

If you have any questions or need any accommodations, please email: weenta@firelightmedia.org.

Categories: Funding, National Multicultural Alliance, Projects