Producer Newsletter Vol. 10 Issue 1
A list of opportunities for filmmakers to help increase the diversity of the media landscape.
Interested in the National Election? 
Got a Great Production Idea?

We're accepting proposals for projects related to the upcoming national election.
Accepted proposals can receive up to $20,000 for production. Submit by Feb. 8. 

Vision Maker Media will consider funding proposals at any production stage--documentary, animation and other innovative storytelling approaches. You may submit more than one proposal. We'll announce in March if your proposal is accepted.

Precisely follow the instructions for election-related film projects. Proposals must:
  • Relate to the upcoming election; 
  • Be suitable for a public audience;
  • Provide deeper understanding of upcoming election as related to Native American issues;
  • Have the potential for streaming or broadcast on PBS. 
Projects should be accessible to a broad audience, have the potential for a national broadcast and be used for effective outreach/community engagement activities to reach audiences beyond a Public Television broadcast. Projects or series episodes under five (5) minutes each are preferred.

At Vision Maker Media we empower Native People to tell stories. Please note: Application guidelines for this call differ from guidelines for the Vision Maker Media Public Media Content Fund.

Download details for proposal instructions, including timeline and budget. Complete your applicationQuestions? Contact Georgiana Lee: glee@netad.unl.edu.
ITVS Open Call: Deadline Feb 5

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) seeks applications for the Open Call funding initiative. The process for applying to Open Call has changed. Before you apply, make sure you are eligible by checking their website

Open Call provides completion funds for single nonfiction public television programs on any subject, and from any viewpoint. Projects must have begun production as evidenced by a work-in-progress video. Open Call funding is only available to independent producers who are citizens or legal residents of the U.S. and its external territories. Carefully review the full eligibility criteria before beginning an application.

Open Call accepts:
  • Single programs of standard broadcast length (half-hour or one-hour). In rare cases, when a filmmaker's skills, subject, and story structure warrant it, ITVS will consider programs at feature lengths;
  • Works-in-progress (for nonfiction submissions), i.e. projects that have already begun production;
  • Programs that can be completed within one year of contract.

Open Call does not accept:

  • Proposals for completed projects seeking distribution;
  • Series proposals or fictional dramas;
  • Projects intended solely for theatrical release.
The deadline for the first round is Feb. 5. Applicants may apply with only one project per call. The entire proposal review process takes 12 to 15 weeks. Only one to three percent of Open Call applicants will receive funding. Open Call is not a grant; ITVS provides a co-production investment in the program. More

Six Indigenous Filmmakers
Premiere Films at Sundance

Six Indigenous-made films premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival this month. These films competed against a pool of 12,793 submissions, to be selected among the 122 feature films and 72 short films playing at the Festival.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople / New Zealand, Director: Taika Waititi (Te Whanau a Apanui)
A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

The Land / USA, Producer: Blake Pickens (Chickasaw Nation)
The brotherhood of four friends is tested when they try to escape the shackles of Cleveland by becoming drug dealers for a summer.

Tallulah / USA, Producer: Heather Rae (Cherokee)
The story of a rootless young woman, who takes a toddler from her wealthy, negligent mother and passes the baby off as her own in an effort to protect her. This decision connects and transforms the lives of three very different women.

Jaaji Approx. / USA, Director: Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga)
Against landscapes that the artist and his father traversed, audio of the father in the Ho-Chunk language is transcribed using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which tapers off, narrowing the distance between recorder and recordings, new and traditional, memory and song.

The Grandfather Drum / Canada, Director: Michelle Derosier (Anishinaabe)
As the balance of the world turns upside down for the Anishinabek people, the elder Naamowin builds a healing drum to save his grandson and his people.

Mobilize / Canada, Director: Caroline Monnet (Algonquin) 
Guided expertly by those who live on the land and are driven by the pulse of the natural world, this story takes us on an exhilarating journey from the far north to the urban south.

In addition to these filmmakers and films making up the Native Forum at the Sundance Film Festival, the program also hosted 11 Native Fellows as a part of the year-round, ongoing support of individual artists. Participating in different tracks while at the Festival, the filmmakers are supported on their individual projects and in their filmmaking careers. More

European Film Market - Feb. 11-19
Vision Maker Media Directors to Attend
Top International Film Market in Berlin

Executive Director Shirley Sneve and the Director of the film Kivalina, Gina Abatemarco, will attend the European Film Market (EFM). Kivalina will be screened at the market. The full schedule will be released Feb. 5. Kivalina is an observational portrait of an Inupiaq Eskimo people trapped on a disappearing island in Arctic Alaska. Told with intimate access and cinematic imagery, the film explores the community's plight to survive in a landscape and a system that is failing them.

Sneve will represent the U.S. at the NATIVe--Indigenous Cinema, Stand No. G6 at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Other partners include the Canada Council for the Arts, Berlinale NATIVe, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the International Sámi Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, Indigenous Film Initiatives, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, Greenland Film Makers and the Māoriland Film Festival.

Every year more than 3,800 media representatives from more than 80 countries converge on the Berlin International Film Festival, making the Berlinale one of the biggest media events in the film industry's calendar. The EFM is the business center of the Festival and one of the top international film markets in the world. Attended by more than 8,300 international industry professionals including almost 1,500 buyers and more than 480 exhibitors, the EFM is where the film world looks for business news during the Berlinale.
Extremely Shorts & Extremely Young
Aurora Picture Show Opens Submissions

Aurora Picture Show is currently accepting submissions from filmmakers for two festivals--Extremely Shorts and Extremely Young. 

Extremely Young Film Festival - Ages 7-17
This festival was born out of the spirit of Aurora Picture Show's Extremely Shorts Film Festival, which features film and video under three minutes long. Extremely Young Film Festival puts the spotlight on films under three minutes long from makers under 17 years old.

Extremely Shorts Film Festival
The short format of the festival encourages innovative approaches to movie-making in a range of genres including narrative, art, experimental, documentary and animation. More
Southern California Area
Native Oral Historian & Oral History Videographer Needed

Boarding School Stories, a Vision Maker Media funded new media project, has created a growing archive of boarding school survivor and alumni testimonies and a one-of-a-kind interactive curriculum for high school teachers to educate their students about this crucial but often ignored episode from American history. A team consisting of a Native oral historian and a Native videographer will collect visual testimonies from Boarding School survivors living in California's Bay Area.

During phase one of the project, already completed, we collected interviews from Native boarding school survivors living in Southern California. During phase two, supported by Cal Humanities, we will collect interviews with survivors living in Northern California. More
Deadline:  March 18
Native American Multimedia Internships Available

Know a student looking for an internship? Vision Maker Media is pleased to offer Public Media Internships to undergraduate or graduate students. With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the purpose of the paid internships is to increase the opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native youth in Public Broadcasting.

Interns can be located at Vision Maker Media's offices at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska, or at a Public Television station in the United States. Vision Maker Media will contact Public Television stations that are requested by interns to determine placement options.

  1. Multimedia and/or transmedia experience in journalism, writing, video, audio, editing, public relations/marketing and/or websites. 
  2. Experience with social networking sites--Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, etc.
  3. Be enrolled in a journalism, communications, or Native studies graduate or undergraduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 
  4. Eligible applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents of the United States. Apply -- For assistance: 402-472-3522 or visionmaker@unl.edu 
Job Opportunities and Fellowships
Please see our website for a complete listing of job opportunities and fellowships.

United States - Iowa

United States - Minnesota

Editorial & Content Director
United States - Minnesota

Managing Producer
United States - Minnesota

Executive Director
United States - North Carolina

Oral Historian
United States - California

United States - California
Film Festival Opportunities
Please see our website for a complete listing of film festival opportunities.

Deadline Feb. 1
United States

Wairoa Maori Film Festival
Deadline Feb. 6
New Zealand
Sonoma International Film Festival
Deadline Feb. 2
United States
Telluride Mountain Film Festival 2016
Final Deadline Feb. 8
United States
Regular Submission Feb. 5
United States
Montreal First Peoples Festival
Deadline March 18


Training and Other Opportunities
Please see our website for a complete listing of training and other opportunities.
Funding Opportunities
Please see our website for a complete listing of funding opportunities.
United States

Election Coverage Proposals
United States
United States