2022 Firelight Year-in-Review: Film Premieres

Firelight Media
4 min readDec 14, 2022

A look back at a year full of broadcast and streaming premieres by members of the #FirelightFamily.

As we approach the new year, Firelight Media and Firelight Films are proudly reflecting on an extraordinarily productive year for both organizations. Guided by our mission to support and develop nonfiction filmmakers of color and to cultivate audiences for their work, we celebrate the 18 new films produced by members of the Firelight Family that had broadcast and streaming premieres this year.

2022 was a time of continued growth, as Firelight Media expanded its existing programs supporting emerging filmmakers and added new programs to support mid-career filmmakers. Firelight Films continued to expand production on documentary films featuring people of color in front of and behind the camera with films executive produced and/or directed by our Co-Founder Stanley Nelson.

Today, we highlight broadcast and streaming premieres by members of the Firelight Family — including fellows and grantees of Firelight Media’s Artist Programs and documentary films produced by Firelight Films.

See the full list below, and return later this week to see our 2022 Year-in-Review: Artist Programs Highlights. Congratulations to all of the filmmakers!

Documentary Lab Alumni Premieres

Films Produced through Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab

Documentary Lab Alumni Premieres

Feature-length and short films by alumni of our Documentary Lab.

Impact Producer Fellowship Alumni Premieres

Films by alumni of our Impact Producer Fellowship — now folded into our Impact Campaign Fund.

  • Jin Yoo-Kim (Producer/Impact Producer), Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, POV/PBS
  • Iliana Sosa (Director), What We Leave Behind, Netflix

Spark Fund Grantee Premiere

A film by a recipient of our Spark Fund, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Firelight Films Premieres

Films produced by Firelight Films, directed and/or executive produced by Stanley Nelson.

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 Research & Development Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities, among others. Firelight Media also produces digital short film series, including a forthcoming collection of regional short films Homegrown: Future Visions (piloted as Hindsight), in partnership with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and PBS Digital Studios, and IN THE MAKING, produced in partnership with PBS American Masters.

About Firelight Films

Founded by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Firelight Films produces documentaries by and about communities of color. Firelight Films productions have garnered multiple Primetime Emmy, Peabody, IDA, and Sundance awards. Among them are the feature films Becoming Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom; Attica, which was nominated for an Academy Award; Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre; Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy; Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool; The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; The Murder of Emmett Till; and The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords. Firelight Films has also produced notable short films including “The Story of Access,” which was commissioned by Starbucks in 2017 for a mandatory anti-bias employee training program, and “Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom,” commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture for its opening night in 2015. Upcoming Firelight Films productions include Sound of the Police for ABC News Studios, and Creating the New World: The Transatlantic Slave Trade, a four-part documentary series for PBS.

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Firelight Media

Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports nonfiction filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work. We’re #changingthestory.