Firelight Media Announces 2022 Grantees for the Impact Campaign Fund

The Fund supports impact and engagement campaigns for documentary films by filmmakers of color and their communities.

Firelight Media, the premier destination for nonfiction cinema by and about communities of color, is pleased to announce the 2022 grantees for the Impact Campaign Fund, which 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 five documentary films and docuseries selected tell complex stories about timely social and political topics, including the impact of police brutality on Black communities; the rise in anti-Muslim violence in the wake of the 2017 Muslim travel ban; and how the criminal justice system responds to survivors of abuse when they fight back.

“Firelight Media is pleased to continue our impact and advocacy work by empowering these talented and socially engaged filmmakers and impact producers with the resources they need to affect positive change through their films,” said Firelight Media Senior Vice President Leticia Peguero. “Documentaries have the power to catalyze audiences around urgent social issues, but it takes careful planning and resource development to create real change. We are confident that this year’s cohort of Impact Campaign Fund grantees has what it takes to do just that.”

Now in its third year, the Impact Campaign Fund resources audience engagement and impact campaigns led by filmmakers of color who have been previously supported by Firelight Media through one of its artist programs. 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 five projects, awarding each with grants of $25,000 and the opportunity to gain impact and engagement strategy support and advising. This year, Firelight Media will partner with Looky Looky Pictures, founded by Ani Mercedes, an alum of its Impact Producers Lab, to provide grantees with mentorship around campaign strategy and implementation.

The projects selected for the 2022 Impact Campaign Fund are:

  • A Town Called Victoria, directed and produced by Li Lu, produced by Anthony Pedone. Hours after the 2017 travel ban takes effect, a mosque in South Texas erupts in flames. Now, this quiet community must reckon with the deep rifts that drove a man to hate.
  • And So I Stayed, directed by Natalie Pattillo and Daniel A. Nelson, who will also serve as impact producers. And So I Stayed is an award-winning documentary about survivors of abuse fighting for their lives and spending years behind bars. This is the story of how the legal system gets domestic violence wrong.
  • Being Michelle, directed by Atin Mehra. Dr. Mei Kennedy, impact advisor. Being Michelle follows the journey of a deaf woman with autism who survived incarceration and abuse and now uses artwork to both depict the trauma she survived as well as heal from her past.
  • Black Mothers Love & Resist, directed by Débora Souza Silva. Wanda Johnson and Angela Williams, mothers of young Black men victimized by police brutality, come together and build a network of community-led support, mutual aid, and healing in this documentary spanning Oakland’s Fruitvale to the American South.
  • Let The Little Light Shine, directed by Kevin Shaw. Locsi Ferra, impact producer. A high-achieving elementary school near downtown Chicago is a lifeline for Black children — until gentrification threatens its closure.

The filmmakers and impact producers behind these projects will use their Impact Campaign Fund grants for activities including hosting community-centered screenings to raise awareness about the issues uncovered in their films, mobilizing viewers to become involved in local organizing efforts, and creating and distributing activation guides to turn viewers’ passionate response to films into actionable plans for change.

Major support for Firelight Media’s Impact Campaign Fund has been provided by the Perspective Fund. The Impact Campaign Fund has been supported in part by the Andrus Family Fund.

About Firelight Media

Firelight Media is a premier destination for nonfiction 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 and Development Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities. Firelight Media also produces digital short films, including the forthcoming collection HOMEGROWN: Future Visions.

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