2022 Firelight Year-in-Review: Film Premieres
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
- Leola Calzolai-Stewart, The American Diplomat, American Experience/PBS
- Isabel Castro, Mija, Disney+
- Nausheen Dadabhoy, An Act of Worship, POV/PBS
- Kevin Shaw, Let the Little Light Shine, POV/PBS
Documentary Lab Alumni Premieres
Feature-length and short films by alumni of our Documentary Lab.
- Jason DaSilva, Predicting My MS, NOVA/PBS
- Sabaah Folayan, Look at Me: XXXTENTACION, Hulu
- Byron Hurt, Hazing, Independent Lens/PBS
- Shalini Kantayya, TikTok, Boom., Independent Lens/PBS
- Ursula Liang, Jeanette Lee Vs., ESPN
- Terrance Pitts, Heaven: Can You Hear Me?, WORLD Channel/PBS
- Yoruba Richen, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, Peacock
- Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Video Visit, Field of Vision
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.
- Vee Bravo, Primera, HBO Max
Firelight Films Premieres
Films produced by Firelight Films, directed and/or executive produced by Stanley Nelson.
- Stanley Nelson (Executive Producer), After Jackie, The HISTORY Channel
- Stanley Nelson and Nicole London (Co-Directors), Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom, Maryland Public Television/PBS
- Stanley Nelson and Nicole London (Co-Directors), Becoming Frederick Douglass, Maryland Public Television/PBS
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.