Loira Limbal, SVP for Programs of Firelight Media, To Step Down at the End of 2021; National Search To Be Conducted
Firelight Media has announced that Loira Limbal, its Senior Vice President for Programs, will step down from her leadership role at the organization at the end of 2021. Limbal first joined Firelight Media in 2009 as office manager and has since emerged as a prominent leader in the documentary field as well as an acclaimed filmmaker in her own right. A national search will be conducted beginning in November 2021 to identify a new SVP for Programs.
During Loira’s tenure at Firelight Media, the organization has grown from a small nonprofit production company producing films by Stanley Nelson to a premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color. In addition to its flagship Documentary Lab, Firelight Media’s artist programs now include the Groundwork Regional Lab, which supports diverse, emerging documentary filmmakers living and working in under-represented regions of the U.S and U.S. territories; the William Greaves Fund, an international fund that supports mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities; the FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship which supports diverse, independent producers interested in investigative documentary filmmaking in partnership with FRONTLINE PBS; as well as a number of additional grantmaking initiatives.
Under Loira’s leadership, Firelight Media has also significantly increased its documentary short film production, providing vital filmmaking opportunities for documentary filmmakers of color — many of whom are alumni of Firelight Media’s artist programs. The organization recently launched a new regional short films initiative, HOMEGROWN: Future Visions (piloted as Hindsight), which supports emerging BIPOC filmmakers living in underrepresented regions of the U.S. and its territories, and in 2020 launched season one of the In the Making series, presented in partnership with PBS American Masters, which follows the lives and journeys of emerging BIPOC cultural artists who bring insight and originality to their artistic craft. Limbal served as Executive Producer for both series.
“Over the past twelve years, Firelight Media has become a family, a film school, and a political home, all wrapped up in one,” said Loira Limbal. “That is rare and precious. I’m grateful to Stanley, Marcia, and the entire Firelight family for all of the ways they have nurtured me as a person. My gratitude is only rivaled by the pride I feel in the work we’ve accomplished. We have served a beautiful community of BIPOC filmmakers and worked to build solidarity across our respective communities. It has been an honor to do this work. While I’m transitioning out of my current role, my hope is to always be a part of the Firelight family.”
“To say that Loira has transformed Firelight Media through her work as Senior Vice President for Programs is an understatement,” said Firelight Media Co-Founder Stanley Nelson. “From the early days of the Documentary Lab, when Loira and I sat in the office together as a team of two counting pencils, to today, when we both serve as Executive Producers for nationally-distributed documentary short films series produced by Firelight Media and directed by alumni of the Lab — it’s amazing what we’ve accomplished together in the past 12 years. We will miss her, I will miss her.”
Marcia Smith, co-founder and president of Firelight Media, added, “While Loira is ending her time as SVP for Programs, she’ll always play a key role as a member of the Firelight family. We are grateful for her vision and leadership and for her deep commitment to creating a more sustainable and equitable documentary film industry for all. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.”
Beginning in November, Firelight Media will launch a national search for a new Senior Vice President for Programs, led by Firelight Media President Marcia Smith and assisted by the search firm Koya Partners. For details about the search, please contact Chartise Clark, managing associate at Koya Partners at (866) 282–0955.
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 filmmakers in the American south, midwest, and U.S.-controlled Territories; and the William Greaves Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities. Firelight Media also produces digital short film series, including the recently released Hindsight series with Reel South and the Center for Asian American Media.