SFFILM, in partnership with Vulcan Productions, has launched a new support program designed for nonfiction filmmakers, adding to its slate of artist development offerings for independent storytellers from across the US. The SFFILM / Vulcan Productions Environmental Fellowship kicked off yesterday with an open call for applications for fellowships for mid-career or established filmmakers telling powerful stories about conservation and environmental issues.

The winner of the inaugural SFFILM / Vulcan Productions Environmental Fellowship will receive:

  • A $25,000 cash grant
  • Guidance from advisors with expertise in the specific environmental issue they are exploring
  • Travel to San Francisco and Seattle to participate in workshops on filmmaking and environmental activism
  • Lesson plans for educational outreach, developed by SFFILM Education staff
  • Strategic consultation from SFFILM and Vulcan Productions staff, including SFFILM and Vulcan filmmakers and policy, science and technology experts, as well as documentary mentors, who will advise the fellow artistically while providing industry support that will allow the filmmakers to successfully enter fundraising and production

SFFILM and Vulcan Productions share the belief that filmmakers tackling stories about climate change and the natural world need and deserve meaningful financial and creative support, particularly as environmental and scientific research and initiatives are being threatened. The SFFILM / Vulcan Productions Environmental Fellowship is geared towards mid-career or established documentary filmmakers from across the United States who are addressing pressing environmental issues through compelling storytelling and who are in the development or early production phase of their projects.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Vulcan Productions to ensure great documentaries are being made about such a crucial subject as the environment, which is dear to us both,” said SFFILM Director of Artist Development, Caroline von Kühn. “This fellowship adds to SFFILM’s commitment to supporting filmmakers at the early development stage and to surround them with filmmaker advisors and environmental thought leaders in the Bay Area to support such critical stories being told.”

“Stories about the environment and conservation that inform and enlighten have never been more important,” said Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions. “SFFILM is the perfect partner to support emerging filmmakers in telling these vital stories. Through the SFFILM / Vulcan Environmental Fellowship, we hope to enable greater storytelling on today’s critical environmental issues.”

In addition to receiving funding resources and consultation services from SFFILM and Vulcan Productions, fellows will benefit from an SFFILM residency, accompanying guidance from the SFFILM Mentorship Advisory Board—an established network of directors, producers, editors, managers, and legal consultants to help navigate their looming funding and producing concerns—and additional documentary mentors.

The fellowship selection process will seek out documentary features with an emphasis on powerful stories, compelling storytelling, and a focus on pressing issues of the environment or conservation. The program is open to mid-career and established documentary filmmakers across the US who are in the development or early production phase of their projects. Stories and subjects may be from any country.

The application for the SFFILM / Vulcan Productions Environmental Fellowship is now open, and will close on March 5.

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