PBS Announces New Phase of Filmmaker Initiative

PBS Announces New Phase of Filmmaker Initiative to Bring Opportunities to Dynamic and Diverse Creators at Various Career Stages. Next phase of program includes details on eight new films set to debut this year.

at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, PBS revealed the first wave of content creators who will receive funding support to complete their films through the Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers. The announcement also included details on new measures as part of a larger Diverse Voices Initiative to support the careers of early and mid-career filmmakers from underrepresented communities to further diversify public media.

“At PBS, we share stories that reflect the lived experiences of our audiences,” said Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. “We are excited to make these announcements today that bring new opportunities to content creators. This focus demonstrates how PBS is supporting creators who have unique ideas that will resonate, foster dialogue, and bring new engagement across the public media system. And we continue to work closely with partners such as INDEPENDENT LENS, POV, WORLD Channel and others to spotlight these creators and their projects.”

PBS Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers

Whether in early concept stages or nearing completion, PBS will offer funding support for selected films that may be distributed across PBS platforms including PBS.org and PBS Digital Studios. 

The inaugural films include a broad array of stories from a diversity of perspectives in genres ranging from arts & culture, personal history, social justice, health, immigration, economics, environment, democracy, and civics.  The films will be released with corresponding activities.  More information about each film, creator and distribution partner will be announced soon.

BUFFALO SOLDIERS FIGHTING ON TWO FRONTS 
FILMMAKER: Dru Holley

ÉMIGRÉS (SHORT)
FILMMAKER: Betsy Tsai

MATRONAS
FILMMAKERS: Noemi Delgado & Shara Lili

ON THREE WHEELS
FILMMAKER: Cionin Lorenzo 

QUEEN CITY KINGS
FILMMAKER: Yemi Oyediran

A THOUSAND PINES
FILMMAKER: Sebastian Diaz Aguirre

UNTITLED PRISON HUNGER STRIKE
FILMMAKER: JoeBill Muñoz and Lucas Guilkey

WHEN THEY WERE HERE
FILMMAKER: Ivan MacDonald

To help reduce barriers and increase access for diverse filmmakers within the public media system, PBS today launched a robust mentorship program for early-career filmmakers. Through immersive experiences, PBS will support these filmmakers as they build relationships within the public media system and produce content for public media platforms.

This is a hybrid one-year program for up to 12 early-career filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Whether applicants have a current project underway or are starting a new one, they will be provided with professional development opportunities.

As of January 16, 2023, applicants can apply here.

Through the PBS Accelerator Fellowship, mid-career content makers are hired for a term of one-year on select PBS nationally distributed series. Applications for these opportunities are now available and can be accessed through Careers at PBS under Accelerator Fellowship Program for Diverse Voices.  

In addition to these new efforts announced today, PBS has ongoing filmmaker programs in partnership with Firelight Media and FRONTLINE from GBH. 

The PBS Ignite Mentorship for Diverse Voices and the PBS Accelerator Fellowship for Diverse Voices have been made possible, in part, through funding secured from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

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