Firelight Media x Getting Real ’22

Firelight Media is proud to be a sponsor of the International Documentary Association’s Getting Real ’22 Conference, which will take place in Los Angeles, California and online via virtual and hybrid programming.

Firelight Media is proud to be a sponsor of Getting Real, the biennial conference of the International Documentary Association. Now in its fifth edition, this hybrid gathering brings documentary filmmakers and industry professionals together in a communal space where they can build lasting relationships, encounter inspiring ideas, and host constructive conversations about the many challenges facing our growing community. The 2022 conference will take place from September 27–29 in Los Angeles, California at The Directors Guild of America and online via virtual and hybrid programming.

Firelight Media will be co-presenting two events at the conference and hosting an in-person reception in Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 28 — save the date for the reception and keep an eye out for details! Additionally, several break-out sessions and panels will feature Firelight-supported filmmakers. Read on to see the full list of Firelight Media-related happenings throughout the conference.

Virtual Together Passes and All Access Passes are now available to purchase via the conference website. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 27, 11:30am PT/2:30pm ET — Breakout: Documentary Filmmakers from the Bangladeshi Diaspora

This breakout session, organized by Rahi Hasan, an alum of Firelight Media’s Impact Producer Fellowship, is a space for documentary filmmakers from the Bangladeshi diaspora to come together to build community, learn from one another, and collectively explore a liberatory pathway to move from scarcity to abundance of creative resources. This session will center the voices of all marginalized identities within the Bangladeshi community, i.e: Indigenous, undocumented, LGBTQ+ and womxn identified documentary makers and leaders. Participants will leave with a strong network of Bangladeshi documentary filmmakers they can lean on and with whom they can build together. Learn more.

Tuesday, September 27, 3:30pm PT/6:30pm ET– Breakout: A-Doc and Latinx Convening

This Breakout session for Latinx and AAPI filmmakers is co-presented by Firelight Media, Femme Frontera, and A-Doc.

There is a long history of collective organizing among Asian Americans and Latinx* peoples. Both communities have experienced erasure — historically and in mainstream media — and both have sought to define their identities within the broader BIPOC community. A-Doc has effectively built power and cultivated community since its formation at the 2016 Getting Real conference, and there is a similar groundswell of ideas and calls for an intergenerational and intersectional docu-community among Latinx peoples. This breakout session will look to the future and the past at the internal/external challenges these communities face as we work to build collective power.

*NOTE: We welcome those who self-identify as Asian, AAPI+, Indigenous, Latinx and/or Latin American, recognizing that these are porous, evolving definitions. Learn more.

Wednesday, September 28, 3:30pm PT/6:30pm ET– Beyond Resilience: Indigenous Forms

This special edition of our Beyond Resilience series will feature an international group of Indigenous, Firelight-supported filmmakers including William Greaves Research & Development Fund grantees María Sojob (Filmmaker, Tote_Abuelo), Graciela Pereira de Souza (Filmmaker, My Blood is Red), and Documentary Lab alum Julianna Brannum (Filmmaker, LaDonna Harris: Indian 101).

In the past few years, Indigenous filmmakers from around the world have received attention for elaborating new forms of storytelling to reflect the richness and complexity of their living histories. What visual vocabularies and narrative techniques are these filmmakers employing, and what can all filmmakers learn from them about blending traditional forms of storytelling with emergent ones? In this session, we will listen to Indigenous filmmakers from across the Americas, who will share concrete examples via their films-in-progress. We will also consider the development of their practices, the particulars of Indigenous representation across geographic distances, and how Indigenous cinemas have historically challenged individualist, auteurist conceptions of filmmaking. Learn more.

Following the Beyond Resilience panel on Wednesday, September 28, Firelight Media will host an in-person reception in Los Angeles near the DGA Theater at 6:00pm PT. Save the date and stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, September 28, 3:30pm PT/6:30pm ET– Surviving the Aftermath

This panel, featuring Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum Jude Chehab, will center on documentary films that have become critical flashpoints in global debates about the ethics of consent and the safety of people who appear in documentaries. Documentaries often feature Muslims or take place in the Middle East, North Africa, or South Asia (MENASA), but aren’t often made by filmmakers who are Muslim or from the MENASA region. In the US, these dynamics are compounded by a two-decade-long “War on Terror” and state-sanctioned Islamophobia. For Muslim and MENASA filmmakers based in the US, the weight of representation as a force of narrative change can be heavy, limiting, galvanizing, and motivating, all at once. In this session, three filmmakers will discuss the dynamics surrounding their persistence in the documentary field, as well as lessons they learned from organizing together over the last year. In addition, they will consider the repercussions of criticizing and demanding change from powerful gatekeeping institutions in the documentary field. Learn more.

Thursday, September 29, 9:45am PT/12:45pm ET– Issues in Prison Documentary

This panel, featuring Firelight Media William Greaves Research & Development Fund and Spark Fund grantee Rodrigo Reyes, will feature filmmakers in conversation about documentaries that engage with the prison system. With the rise of prison abolition movements and the incorporation of their values into filmmaking about prisons, should filmmakers continue to strive to make films within prisons? These filmmakers have found ways to negotiate access with carceral institutions or to work without abiding by their rules. In this conversation, we will navigate through issues of consent, incentivization, privacy, and how long filmmakers should maintain access and relationships with their subjects after a film is finished. Learn more.

To purchase Virtual Together Passes or All Access Passes to the Getting Real ’22 conference, please visit the conference website.

About the IDA

The International Documentary Association (IDA) supports the vital work of documentary storytellers and champions a thriving and inclusive documentary culture. Learn more at



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

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Firelight Media

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