The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Artist Call- Filmmaker Challenge

For Central Valley artists

The Resident Filmmaker Challenge is a collaborative effort between the region’s best filmmakers and Modesto‘s non-profit organizations in developing short documentary videos that present unique perspectives into the community’s most pressing concerns.

The two and a half week challenge is an intense filmmaking experience. The Building Imagination Center acts as a facilitator, bringing together project teams (filmmaker, film crew, and a community group) and mentoring a process that helps filmmakers and partner organizations to advance social issues through documentary stories.

The residency includes a series of workshops — presentations, examples, demonstrations, and focused production and post-production sessions where project teams realize their video project. The team develops a video that is screened at the Modesto Third Thursday Art Walk. Additionally, filmmakers will receive $1,250 for expenses for their proposed project, services of a six person film crew from CSU Stanislaus’s Video & Time Based Media program, use of two Sony FS100 camcorders, and unlimited access to a state-of-the-art post-production editing suite.

Project Requirements

Any video project proposal related to contemporary local issues may be submitted. Innovation is encouraged, but it does not need to be technical; the filmmaker may have an idea to use existing technologies and tried-and-true practices in a new way to inspire and move their audiences.

There is no requirement for length or percent completion. The project should have a solid foundation and a clear sense of direction. Projects can have basic pre-production work begun through collaboration with their nonprofit partner before their month of residency begins.

Selection Criteria

Ten filmmakers will be selected for residencies. Five filmmakers must be regional video artists and five must be California State University alumni. California geographic boundaries include Sacramento, Fresno, and all of California in between.

Filmmakers currently employed by CSU: The Building Imagination Center is funded by a grant from ArtPlace, and is managed by CSU Stanislaus. Consideration for selection for current CSU Stanislaus and/or CSU employees is subject to the limitations and/or restrictions of the CSU Additional Employment Policy (PDF). Eligibility for selection will be reviewed prior to an offer being made

Filmmakers will be selected based on their ability to produce documentary films that can catalyze action around contemporary regional issues.

Additional selection criteria include:

Strength of the story and overall project strategy
Strength of previous work and media examples
Amount of previous collaboration experience
Alignment of media project’s subject matter and partner organization’s social issue(s)
Potential for projects to significantly broaden and/or engage audiences.

Filmmaker Requirements

Filmmakers are expected to fully participate in the residency program in Modesto. The time commitment is minimally a few hours leading up to the residency, and highly focused production and post-production days during the two and a half weeks of the residency.

Filmmakers who prepare in advance by solidifying their community partnerships, developing their initial ideas, and gathering assets and resources that will help bring their ideas to fruition at the residency — and who just as importantly, bring open minds to explore new ideas — will benefit most from the process.

Filmmakers and community group representatives will participate in a one-hour meeting with Jessica Gomula, Center Director, to plan the most successful experience during the residency. Filmmakers will make a short presentation of their planned project at CSU Stanislaus, where they will also meet with their film crew to discuss specific details for their project. Filmmakers will work with their film crew to develop a production and post-production schedule to execute during the two and a half weeks, completing their project for screening at the Modesto Third Thursday Art Walk reception of the same month.

Filmmakers who are currently working with a community group must include a letter of support and commitment from the partner organization. If filmmakers are not working with a community group, they have the option of being paired with one of our nonprofit associate organizations, however it is highly recommended that the filmmaker have a clear idea of a group that they would like to work with, and that they reach out to them beforehand.

Filmmakers should research potential organizations online to get a sense of their mission, programs, goals, staff, and capacities. If an organization has several existing communications mechanisms (website, newsletter, social media, magazine, blog, mobile, events, annual conference, etc.) they are more likely to make a good partner, and to have the capacity to generate mutual benefit from the project and outreach campaign. Blogs, articles, and op-eds are also a great way to identify representatives from organizations that care about the issues the documentary addresses.

Filmmakers will receive numerous opportunities to showcase and discuss their work, including serving as a guest blogger for the Resident Filmmaker Challenge website and Modesto Art Museum newsletter, where they can highlight their project and discuss their creative process. Finished films will be included in the online Video Showcase, as well as at various community events.

Community Partnering Requirements

Organizations that participate in the Challenge will benefit immensely from the professional development opportunity, the training they will receive, and the increased capacity to create and utilize media projects in order to engage audiences around their organizational missions and social change goals. Partnerships that form at an early stage can result in an increased capacity to fundraise to implement the outreach strategies and campaigns. Both the filmmaker and organization can, by working together at the residency, amplify their reach.

During the application process, community partners should submit a letter of support for the filmmaker’s documentary, identifying the group’s mission and interest in the filmmaker’s project. A representative from the community group must also commit to attend at least the orientation meeting and the screening of the project, but we prefer that the representative commit to attend the entire program.

Deadline: 11-30-2013
Building Imagination Center
Modesto, CA

Contact: Jessica Gomula
Phone: 209.524.7451

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