Firelight Media and PBS American Masters’ ‘IN THE MAKING’ Wins 5 Telly Awards

Firelight Media
3 min readMay 21, 2024


Film still from ‘Sydney G. James: How We See Us,’ part of IN THE MAKING season 2.

Firelight Media and PBS’ American Masters announced today that season two of their IN THE MAKING series has been awarded 5 Silver Telly Awards from the 45th Annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honors excellence in video and television across all screens and is judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks, and production companies.

Telly Awards for IN THE MAKING include a Silver Award for Series — Arts & Culture, and four Silver Awards for General — Documentary: Short Form for Ethan Lim: Cambodian Futures (dir. Dustin Nakao-Haider), Jonathan Thunder: Good Mythology (Dir. Sergio Rapu), Lily Gladstone: Far Out There (Dir. Brooke Pepion Swaney), and Sydney G. James: How We See Us (Dir. Juanita Anderson).

IN THE MAKING, produced by Firelight Media and American Masters, follows emerging cultural icons on their journeys to becoming masters of their artistic disciplines. What happens when an artist holds up a mirror to the world? Across nine episodes, meet creatives who are making work that explores and influences American culture today. All episodes are available to stream on YouTube.

“The caliber of the work this season truly has reflected the theme of going beyond the frame. Our industry is experimenting with new technologies like never before, crafting truly compelling stories to draw attention to some of the world’s most pressing issues,” shares Telly Awards Managing Director Amanda Needham. “The Telly Awards is uniquely positioned to meet the industry where it’s actually making work, be that on television or TikTok.”

This was a record-breaking year, with nearly 13,000 entries from across the globe and top video and television content producers. Winners were chosen by The Telly Awards Judging Council which includes Nathalie Van Sasse Van Ysselt, VP of Design and Creative Services, MSG Sphere Studios; Barry Christie, Global Creative Lead, Meta Creative Shop; Farihah Zaman, Director and member of Brown Girl Doc Mafia; Aiden Darné, VP, Global Studio Lead Shutterstock; and Malinda Wink, Executive Director, Minderoo Pictures.

The full list of the 45th Annual Telly Awards winners can be found at

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 emerging 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 the forthcoming season three of In the Making, with PBS American Masters, and a collection of regional short films, Homegrown: A Part Of/Apart From, with PBS.

About American Masters

Now in its 38th season on PBS, American Masters illuminates the lives and creative journeys of those who have left an indelible impression on our cultural landscape — through compelling, unvarnished stories. Setting the standard for documentary film profiles, the series has earned widespread critical acclaim: 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — two News & Documentary Emmys, 14 Peabodys, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, an Oscar, and many other honors. American Masters has produced an exceptional library, bringing originality and perspective to highlight our nation’s most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists, filmmakers, culinarians, scientists, athletes and more.

About The Telly Awards

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council — an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multiscreen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Partners of The Telly Awards include the Gotham Institute, NAB, Stash, NYWIFT, LAPPG, Production Hub, Green the Bid, Video Consortium, and Series Fest. New Partners include FWD- Doc, AI Film Festival, Reel Abilities Film Festival, and Film Fatales. More information can be found at the Telly Awards Press Center:



Firelight Media

Firelight Media is a nonprofit organization that supports, resources, and advocates on behalf of documentary filmmakers of color.