Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab
A year-long fellowship with BlackStar for Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers in Philadelphia.
BlackStar is proud to present the 2023 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 projects by Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers through 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 2023.
This year, four directors and four producers 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. The program is open to emerging and mid-career filmmakers seeking to create short narrative, experimental or hybrid projects in any genre.
Read about our 2023 Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab fellows here.
Learn about and apply to our Lab Shadow Program here.
Candidates must live in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Projects must be filmed in the Greater Philadelphia area.
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.
Applicants must be available for Orientation Weekend, currently set for November 19-20, 2022.
The Lab does not accept films that are currently in production or post-production.
Applicants must be listed as the director of the submitted project.
Candidates must have directed and exhibited at least one short film in any genre.
Candidates should submit a short script for an original film. Our preference is for narrative, experimental and hybrid work. Adaptations are acceptable as long as applicants can demonstrate permission to use the material.
Previous Lab fellows are not eligible to participate.
◌ All applications are intended for individual producers. Applicants cannot apply with co-producers.
◌ Candidates must be credited on at least one film project in any genre, in any role.
◌ Applications should demonstrate strong leadership experience and organization skills.
◌ Applicants cannot apply to produce a specific project. Applicants have the opportunity to indicate their preferred collaborator should they apply, but ultimately the BlackStar Programs team will match producing candidates to selected projects.
September 7, 2022 – Application Opens
September 21, 2022 – Application Info Session
September 29, 2022 – Application Closes
November 11, 2022 – Notification Date
November 19-20, 2022 – Orientation Weekend (Candidates must be available for in-person programming)
The Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab will take place over the course of 12 months, beginning in late fall 2022. While we plan to gather participants in person throughout the fellowship, BlackStar will follow safety protocols of the time as recommended by the CDC. Selected fellows will receive further details about the format closer to the start of the Lab.
No, there is no application fee for the Lab.
Eligible candidates must live in the Greater Philadelphia area.
There is a limit of one submission per applicant. Applicants must choose one track.
No, you may only submit one project to the Lab.
Yes. You will be required to submit work samples which must include at least one film project. However, it is not required for producing applicants to have previous producing experience. For example, if you are credited as a Production Assistant on a work, you are welcome to include that project as your qualifying film work sample.
No. Producers will be chosen through the producing fellowship application pool by the BlackStar Programs team. If you have a producer in mind, we encourage them to apply for the fellowship.