The BDC Films Fellowship Program invites traditionally underrepresented documentary filmmakers to participate in a free year-long documentary filmmaking fellowship at the BDC.
The BDC Films Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for 2023/2024!
Applications are open until July 31st. Finalists will be notified and invited to interview in early August. The Fellowship will launch with a technical bootcamp in early September.
The BDC created the Fellowship Program to help broaden the pipeline of traditionally underrepresented Bronx documentary filmmakers into the film profession and enable them to gain employment in creative industries. We invite proposals from filmmakers who will be engaged in Bronx communities and committed to creating in-depth documentaries based on the lives of community members and/or the issues affecting them. BDC Film Fellows are expected to work to journalistic standards of accuracy and conduct.
The Program includes a $3000 stipend for the year; documentary filmmaking courses and professional development workshops; mentorship from BDC staff and visiting filmmakers; documentary film screenings and panel discussions; equipment loans and low-cost rentals; access to free meeting and workspace; and a video editing suite. BDC Films also works to strengthen BDC’s artistic community by creating a peer-to-peer support network that empowers Bronx filmmakers.
Every participant is required to complete a short documentary film that will be screened at the end of the fellowship.
CRITERIA FOR APPLICANTS
The BDC seeks Fellows who:
Identify racially, culturally or economically with a historically underrepresented population;
Are at least 18 years old;
Live and work in New York City, preferably in the Bronx;
Are able to attend all classes from September - May, with a final screening in June. Classes are one weekday evening and all day Saturday.
Commit to meeting regular deadlines throughout the year.
Have a project proposal based on a story or character(s) in the Bronx;
Have at least 2 years of film education or experience prior to entering the program;
While we do not seek applicants who are professional filmmakers, we do require strong work samples that show a commitment to the filmmaking process.
In addition to the criteria listed above, the BDC will look for candidates who would most benefit from the opportunities that the program offers and who demonstrate a strong vision, commitment to their work, artistic excellence, and potential for artistic growth.
The Fellowship is not open to those who:
• Are currently students or enrolled in any degree-granting program at the time of the fellowship;
• Are participating in a comparable development, fellowship, or residency program;
• Have written, directed, and/or produced a full-length documentary film that has screened at a national or international film festival.
This fellowship is not open to current full-time employees or Board members of the BDC.
For bios of current Fellows and those from previous years, please click here.
BDC Fellows Work
Filmed by BDC Films Fellow alumn, Harry Montas, and former BDC Films Manager Giacomo Francia. When COVID-19 arrived in the U.S., it hit New York City harder than any other metropolitan area. Its impact was anything but equal. Essential Lives probes the neglect behind the death toll in the city’s hardest-hit borough, the Bronx. In partnership with VICE News.
BDC Films Fellow alumn, Rebecca Blandon directed, produced, filmed, and edited a short documentary about a man named Glen Eden Einbinder who exists as many things at once. In this whimsical and heartwarming character study, Glen reveals his decades-old eponymous collection and shows viewers how it has brought him closer to a world he may have never known otherwise. The film was selected for DOC NYC, New Orleans Film Festival, and it semi-finalist in Flickr's Rhode Island International Film Festival.
BDC Films Advisory Board
Mirra Bank | Lyric Cabral | Beth Dembitzer | Nadia Hallgren | Idil Ibrahim | Kirsten Johnson | Sebastian Junger | Ross Kauffman | Eddie Martinez
BDC Films receives support from the Ford Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council.