GOLD2024

Firelight Media, Inc.

Changing the Story

New York, NY   |  http://www.firelightmedia.tv

Mission

Firelight Media, Inc.'s Documentary Lab Fellowship program and other Artists Support Work, are dedicated to developing talented emerging documentary filmmakers of color who advance underrepresented stories. The Documentary Lab moves these stories from the margins to the forefront of mainstream media through assisting the completion and distribution of their high quality, powerful films. Firelight also engages diverse nationwide audiences of color around award-winning documentary films that expose injustice, illuminate the power of community and tell a history seldom told. Firelight connects these films with concrete and innovative ways for diverse nationwide audiences to be inspired, educated, and mobilized into action.

Ruling year info

2000

President

Marcia Smith

Main address

72 Hamilton Terrace

New York, NY 10031 USA

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EIN

11-3489379

NTEE code info

Film, Video (A31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Documentary Lab Fellowship

In 2009 Firelight created the Documentary Lab Fellowship, a flagship mentorship program that seeks out and develops emerging diverse filmmakers of color. The Lab provides these filmmakers with one-on-one artistic and technical support, funds for their films, professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

More than just a workshop, the Documentary Lab is unrivaled in its representation of diverse producers, creating an exclusive network of talented unique storytellers that receive ongoing support from a project’s conception to its completion. In the last decade, the Documentary Lab grew from a mentorship program to a robust artist development initiative that has supported over 120 emerging filmmakers, and granted over $600k towards their documentary productions and distribution.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups

The Groundwork Regional Lab supports diverse, emerging documentary filmmakers living and working in under-represented regions of the U.S and U.S.-controlled territories. By providing an introduction to the documentary landscape and the opportunities that exist for early-career filmmakers, our goal is to help position them for national opportunities as well as to increase public television stations' capacity to leverage the talent and content of diverse, local makers.

Population(s) Served

The FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship supports diverse, independent producers interested in investigative documentary filmmaking and audio storytelling. The Fellowship is offered in partnership with FRONTLINE, PBS’s award-winning investigative documentary series. The FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship was created to support independent filmmakers of color interested in journalistic documentary filmmaking, and it champions the need for more diverse voices, perspectives and experiences within that field.

Population(s) Served

The William Greaves Fund resources talented, mid-career nonfiction storytellers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States, as well as filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent.

Firelight Media's William Greaves Fund supports mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States and filmmakers in Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with particular interest in those who identify as Indigenous and/or of African descent.

The Fund is dedicated to resourcing and supporting talented storytellers with grants ranging up to $40K each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. The Fund also provides grantees with limited coaching hours, as needed and based on the particular requirements of each project. The international nature of the call reflects Fire

Population(s) Served

The PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund will resource documentary productions by mid-career filmmakers from diverse communities in the United States that are intended for distribution on PBS through finishing funds or co-production funding.

PBS has committed $3.6 million over the course of three years to support mid-career nonfiction filmmakers through the PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund, which resources talented storytellers from diverse communities in the United States. The Fund is designed to address the persistent structural challenges many filmmakers face after producing their first films, so that they can remain in the field and continue to create vital stories focused on underrepresented people and topics.

Population(s) Served

The Impact Campaign Fund addresses a resource gap in the nonfiction space for impact and audience engagement-related projects by and for communities of color in the U.S. The Impact Campaign Fund supports the creation of audience engagement and impact campaigns by Firelight-supported filmmakers.

Population(s) Served

Beyond Resilience is a series of online screenings, essays, and curated conversations that explore the challenges, strategies, and experiences of creating and distributing work during periods of social transformation. From the beginning of artistic practice, documentation and cinema have been used by filmmakers, in partnership with their communities, to weather periods of deep crisis. Through colonization, genocide, mass censorship, political upheaval, recession, warfare, and disease, the work of film has been to bear witness, seek justice, survive and ultimately find strength and expression through the collective.

Our slate or programming takes a global and historical view of films created by filmmakers of color during critical periods of disaster, seeking to learn from the filmmaker, their community, and the resilience born from collective experiences.

Population(s) Served

The Spark Fund offers support to established independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Population(s) Served

Firelight Media produces documentary short film series in partnership with a variety of public media outlets and production companies. Ongoing series include 'In the Making,' in partnership with PBS American Masters, and our new collection of regional shorts, 'HOMEGROWN: Future Visions.'

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent
Indigenous peoples
People of African descent

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
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Financials

Firelight Media, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Firelight Media, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 04/08/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anne Canty

American Museum of Natural History

Tani Takagi

Anne Canty

Marcia Smith

Firelight Media, Inc.

Claire Aguilar

Rashid Shabazz

Maurine Knighton

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/8/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data