Firelight Media is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients for the Impact Campaign Fund. The Impact Campaign Fund is designed to address a resource gap in the nonfiction space for impact and audience engagement-related projects by and for communities of color in the U.S.
Firelight Media’s Impact Campaign Fund supports the creation of audience engagement and impact campaigns associated with films made by current or former Firelight fellows. Firelight Media sought out applications for projects that are socially relevant, address or engage underrepresented issues or communities, and are accountable to the impacted communities their films represent. Firelight Media selected six fellows’ projects, awarding each with a $25,000 grant. Recipients will use the grants to build engagement campaigns to cultivate and captivate wide diverse local, regional, and national audiences.
Commenting on the creation of the Fund, Loira Limbal, SVP of Programs at Firelight Media, said, “The Impact Campaign Fund is the latest endeavor by Firelight Media to meet the needs that we continue to see in the nonfiction space, and we’re thrilled to introduce these inaugural recipients at such a critical moment for documenting stories.”
“We’ve consistently seen filmmakers of color struggle to get the resources they need to get their films out in front of the desired audiences on their own terms, which the Impact Campaign Fund intends to address. Storytellers making films that have potential to shift public narratives need support to make that happen.“
The projects selected for the Inaugural Impact Campaign Fund are:
Landfall by Cecilia Aldarondo
Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall examines a ruined world at the brink of transformation, spinning a cautionary tale for our times.
Warrior Women by Christina King and Elizabeth A. Castle
Warrior Women, co-directed by Christina D. King and Elizabeth (Beth) A. Castle, is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for Native rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The film unveils not only a female perspective of history but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness.
Coded Bias by Shalini Kantayya
Coded Bias explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces and women accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.
Unapologetic by Ashley O’Shay
After two Black Chicagoans are killed, millennial organizers challenge an administration complicit in state violence against its residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Duty Free by Sian-Pierre Regis
After a 75 year-old immigrant mother gets fired from her job as a hotel housekeeper, her son takes her on a bucket-list adventure to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents a journey that uncovers the betrayals plaguing her past and the economic insecurity shaping not only her future, but that of an entire generation.
The First Rainbow Coalition by Ray Santisteban
Formed in 1969, Chicago’s original Rainbow Coalition worked to unite African Americans, Southern Whites, and Latinos to collectively confront police brutality and substandard housing in one of the most segregated cities in America. What began as a drive to achieve a voice for poor communities, quickly became a formidable political movement whose legacy can be seen in grassroots movements today.
The Impact Campaign Fund upholds Firelight Media’s mission to support BIPOC filmmakers throughout different stages of their careers, along with the Documentary Lab, the organization’s flagship mentorship program focused on developing early career filmmakers.
Major support for the Impact Campaign Fund has been provided by the Perspective Fund. The Impact Campaign Fund has been supported in part by the Andrus Family Fund.