Non-fiction filmmakers can take their careers to the next level with the return of the IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab. The program, an initiative from Field of Vision to bolster non-fiction storytellers, invites applications from across North America with an emphasis on voices and stories that reflect LGBTQIA+ and/or QTBIPOC experiences and follow best practices for authentic storytelling. Three non-fiction projects will be selected by a jury of experts from the field.
The IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab offers each winner a production grant of $30,000 along with mentorship opportunities from industry leaders during the nine-month lab. Last year’s round let participants to develop their work with talents such as Academy Award nominated director as Bing Liu (Minding the Gap) and Emmy Award winning director Steve Maing (Crime + Punishment), along with producer and doc advocate Farihah Zaman of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and sales/distribution executive Jason Ishikawa of Cinetic Media.
“We’re elated for the new iteration of this program with Hulu and are grateful for their meaningful partnership and continued dedication to creative non-fiction filmmakers,” said IF/Then Shorts Co-Director Caitlin Mae Burke in a release. “As a queer-led program, it is especially an honor to engage with diverse voices and visions of the LGBTQIA+ experience that will come through this application. We are eager to highlight these narratives of and from the queer community in our continued commitment to spotlighting such stories.”
Eligible projects should be stand-alone short works between 10-30 minutes with an eye to meeting a September 2023 completion date. In addition to production support and mentorship, IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab provides professional development for stages of production and distribution including pre-production review, support on legal and clearances, assistance with publicity materials, and consultation for festival and distribution strategy. IF/Then has supported the creation of over 85 short docs since its inception in 2017. Last year’s included A Place on the Edge of Breath, directed by Veronica Rutledge and co-produced Ada Avery Bogetti Pérez and Francis Keahna Warrior; Slice, directed by Zaire Love and co-produced by Joyya Baines; Everybody’s Watching, directed by Omar Aldakheel; and Madulu by director/producer Akley Olton and co-producer Laura Sanz.
Full eligibility details are available on the application portal, which is open until March 21, 2023, at 11:59 PM PST or when it meets capacity, whichever is first.