Firelight Media seeks documentary submissions

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.


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 Media will consider all types of long form documentary projects – historical, investigative, personal, verité, and experimental.

Firelight Media 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 (for projects in production) or a rough cut (for projects in post).


  • 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.

  • Filmmaker must be from a racially and ethnically underrepresented community.

  • 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 first or second feature length documentary).

  • Filmmaker cannot be in school or submit a student film to the lab.

  • Filmmaker must be based in the United States.


You will receive notification of your status within 12-16 weeks of submission. 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. Results will be shared September 2019.


We strongly suggest writing your application in a Word document prior to applying. Please be sure to save your document then copy & paste your responses into the online application. Under no circumstances will we accept late submissions.

Apply here.


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