Firelight Media Announces Open Call for the William Greaves Research & Development Fund

The Fund supports mid-career documentary filmmakers from across the U.S. and Latin America.

Firelight Media
3 min readMay 2, 2023

Firelight Media, the premier destination for nonfiction cinema by and about communities of color, has announced the open call for its William Greaves Research & Development Fund for mid-career filmmakers of color.

The William Greaves Research & Development Fund, now in its fourth year, is targeted toward filmmakers based in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent. The Research & Development Fund will comprise grants ranging up to $40,000 each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. Once granted, the funds may be used for research and to develop film treatments, presentation decks, sizzle reels, and other materials necessary for fundraising. The Research & Development Fund, which is supported by institutions including the Perspective Fund, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, will also include a basic care stipend that can be put toward any essential need grantees have, from healthcare and childcare costs to any other necessary resources which Firelight Media sees as fundamental to producing creative work.

“We are thrilled to continue our support for mid-career filmmakers from the U.S. and Latin America with the fourth year of our William Greaves Research & Development Fund,” said Leticia Peguero, Senior Vice President of Firelight Media. “This program provides crucial and all-too-rare unrestricted funding for filmmakers — especially those of African and/or Indigenous descent — to take imaginative risks in service of their creative visions.”

The William Greaves Research & Development Fund and the PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund, which was established in 2022, are designed to address the persistent structural challenges many filmmakers of color face after producing their first films so that they can remain in the field. The Funds are named in honor of William Greaves, the longtime mentor of Firelight Media’s Co-Founder Stanley Nelson. Greaves’ legacy in the documentary field includes producing the groundbreaking television newsmagazine Black Journal along with 200-plus documentaries throughout his 60-year career. With this year’s fund, Firelight Media would like to make special acknowledgement of the late Louise Archambault Greaves, lifelong partner of William Greaves, who passed away in March. Louise was a champion of both William Greaves’ legacy and the work of Firelight Media.

The application for the William Greaves Research & Development Fund is open from May 2 to June 6, 2023 and available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Access the application here.

For information about the William Greaves Research & Development Fund, click here. Please send questions to:

Firelight Media will announce the next open call for its PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund in the coming weeks.

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.-controlled 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.



Firelight Media

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