Thursday, May 19, 2022

Open Call Filmmakers: Documentary Lab

Open Call Filmmakers! There is a new opportunity with June 2020 deadlines! The Firelight Media Documentary Lab is an 18-month fellowship program that supports filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities 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.

From The Firelight Media Site:

We are looking for applicants who make artful and innovative documentary films that focus on underrepresented communities and provide new narratives about the most pressing issues of our time. Firelight will consider all types of long form documentary projects – historical, investigative, personal, vérité, and experimental.

Firelight utilizes the Core Documentary Application. As part of your submission, you will need to share a work sample no less than 10 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes. If you are submitting a longer rough cut, please indicate in your application which 10-30 mins you’d like for us to review. 

The deadline for all submissions is June 22, 2020, 11:59 PM Eastern.


  • Only the director of the film is eligible to apply and enter the program. We can accept co-directors if they meet all eligibility requirements. If you’re applying with your co-director, please indicate that in your application.
  • Filmmaker must be from a racially and ethnically underrepresented community based in the United States, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. 
  • The project must be a long-form/feature-length documentary; the lab does not accept short documentaries, series, or fiction projects of any kind.
  • Film must be a work-in-progress and in production or post-production. We do not accept films in pre-production or completed films.
  • Filmmaker must be an emerging documentary filmmaker (working on their first or second feature length documentary). 
  • Filmmaker cannot be in school or submit a student film to the lab.

Firelight accepts applications from POC filmmakers based in the United States regardless of their citizenship status. At the moment, we do not accept filmmakers who are based internationally.

You will receive a notification of the status of your application within 16 weeks. If you are among a small group of finalists who advance through a series of peer reviews, you may be asked for additional information or project updates.

Apply Now!

We strongly suggest that you first write your application in a Word document prior to applying via the Submittable portal so you have it as a back-up copy. Please be sure to save your document then copy and paste your responses into the online application via Submittable. THE DATES FOR THE 2020 DOCUMENTARY LAB OPEN CALL ARE MAY 18, 2020 – JUNE 22, 2020 AT 11:59PM EASTERN.

Link to Submittable Application

BTFC Staff
BTFC Staff
We're a staff of writers who compile the articles to promote crew members and African Americans in the entertainment business.

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