Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab

A year-long fellowship with BlackStar for Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers in Philadelphia.


About

BlackStar is proud to present the inaugural Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab, an opportunity designed to uplift emerging and mid-career artists in the Greater Philadelphia area. BlackStar’s Filmmaker Lab will support four Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers by making equipment, space, crew, mentorship, funding and critical feedback available over the course of a 12-month program. BlackStar will act as an executive producer on the short films created during the Lab and premiere the films at BlackStar Film Festival in 2022.

Four filmmakers will be selected to receive year-round mentorship as part of the lab, including feedback on works-in-progress, and advice on working with below-the-line crew. Shortlisted candidates who do not make the fellowship will receive 1-on-1 consultation from industry representatives. The program is open to emerging and mid-career filmmakers seeking to create short format projects in any genre. 

The application for the 2021 Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab can be accessed here from August 9, 2021 to September 13, 2021.

The BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is a partnership with Comcast with additional support from All Ages Productions, Independence Public Media Foundation, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and Wyncote Foundation.

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Key Dates:


Eligibility


  • Applicants must be listed as the director of the submitted project. Applicants may apply with up to 2 co-directors.
  • Candidates must have directed and exhibited at least one short film in any genre. Our preference is for narrative, experimental and hybrid work.
  • Candidates should submit a treatment or short script for an original film. 
  • Candidates must live in the Greater Philadelphia area. 
  • Projects must be filmed in the Greater Philadelphia area.
  • The Lab does not accept films that are currently in production or post-production.
  • The Lab is not open to students currently pursuing an art or film degree, organizations, or corporations.
  • Candidates should identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous or as a Person of Color (BIPOC).
  • The Lab is open to adults at least 18 years of age.


FAQ


  • I don’t live in the Philadelphia area. Can I still apply?
  • Do you accept feature films?
  • Can I apply as part of a collective?
  • When and where does this take place?
  • Can my project go into production before attending the Lab?
  • Can I submit multiple projects?
  • I am not the writer on this project. Am I still eligible to apply?
  • How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?
  • If I am not selected for the Lab, can I receive feedback on my submission?
  • Is there a cost associated with the application?
I don’t live in the Philadelphia area. Can I still apply?

Eligible candidates must live in the Greater Philadelphia area. 

Do you accept feature films?

No, only short films are eligible.

Can I apply as part of a collective?

Yes, sort of. The Lab is open to projects helmed by up to 3 co-directors. Please select one director to apply as the Lead Applicant.

When and where does this take place?

The Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab will take place over the course of 12 months, beginning in late fall 2021. While we hope to gather fellows in person, we will follow safety protocols of the time. Selected fellows will receive further details about the format closer to the start of the Lab.

Can my project go into production before attending the Lab?

Unfortunately, no. We consider the timing of your fellowship to be a crucial component for selection. The Lab is designed, in part, to bring your project from script to screen. 

Can I submit multiple projects?

No, you may only submit one project to the Lab.

I am not the writer on this project. Am I still eligible to apply?

Candidates should submit an original script or treatment in order to apply for the Lab. If the lead applicant is not the writer, you will need to submit a letter from the writer acknowledging their approval and full participation, and acknowledging the submission of your project to the fellowship. A template of the letter can be found here.

How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?

All applicants will be notified via email no later than October 22, 2021. 

We will use the contact info you provide in your application to correspond with you. Please make sure lab@blackstarfest.org is cleared in your spam filter!

If I am not selected for the Lab, can I receive feedback on my submission?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions and capacity of our staff, we are not able to offer feedback on individual applications.

Is there a cost associated with the application?

No, there is no application fee for the Lab. 



Info Session

Learn more about the program and application process in this info session recorded September 3, 2021.

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