When we’re immersed in an impactful story, whether a documentary or a short film, it can seem as though the world around us is standing still while we wait for the next scene to unfold.
Now, a new partnership between TELUS STORYHIVE and the Black Screen Office (BSO), a not-for-profit organization supporting Black Canadians working in the screen industries, is offering Black filmmakers and content creators the chance to share their stories through the Black Creators Edition.
This inaugural edition, which Cameron Zinger, director of TELUS STORYHIVE, says was “created to help empower the next generation of creators,” will see a total of 20 Black filmmakers and content creators across BC and Alberta awarded production grants of $20,000.
“We want to ensure we’re creating connections and partnerships within all our serving regions and are excited about providing grants to these communities,” Zinger tells Daily Hive. “We look forward to honouring, spotlighting, and amplifying the voices, stories, and lived experiences of Black creators and their communities through this edition.”
Celebrating and amplifying Canadian-created content that’s locally reflective and relevant is at the core of STORYHIVE’s mission, explains Zinger. As part of the Black Creators Edition, successful applicants will receive customized career training, filmmaking mentorship, and distribution of their projects on select TELUS platforms.
BC- and Alberta-based Black content creators and filmmakers can submit their stories in any of the formats eligible for this edition: fiction, non-fiction, digital short, web series pilot, drama, comedy, or documentary. And when it comes to the awarding process, an esteemed committee of Black leaders from the industry as well as Black community members will be selecting the projects that receive funding.
“The BSO is thrilled to be working in partnership with TELUS STORYHIVE to create this unique opportunity for Black content to be made and seen,” says Joan Jenkinson, BSO executive director. “BSO believes there are no limits to what Black Canadians can accomplish in the screen industries and the Black Creators Edition is the perfect opportunity to showcase this talent.”
The factors that will be considered? According to STORYHIVE and the BSO, this includes but is not limited to the submitted application, the impact of the award on the creator, and the importance of the story to the creator’s community of residence.
However, it’s worth noting that the edition is open to all Black creators; applicants don’t need to have any previous experience in film production or other creative endeavours. So, if you have an idea for compelling content you’d like to share with the world, this is an opportunity worth exploring.
STORYHIVE has supported over 18,000 creators in Western Canada since 2013, awarding $11 million in funding in addition to mentorship, training, and distribution. With the arrival of the Black Creators Edition, it’s set to offer more creators the chance to develop projects that celebrate and reflect the diverse cultures, histories, and communities of BC and Alberta.
Black creators interested in bringing their stories to life are invited to pitch an original, locally reflective idea for a short documentary, a web pilot series, or a digital short for their chance to receive a production grant. Applications are being accepted online until 5 pm PST and 6 pm MT on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.
To learn more and submit your pitch, visit storyhive.com/apply.