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PBS Announces New Phase of Filmmaker Initiative
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PBS Announces New Phase of Filmmaker Initiative to Bring Opportunities to Dynamic and Diverse Creators at Various Career Stages 

Next phase of program includes details on eight new films set to debut this year

ARLINGTON, VA; January 16, 2023 —Today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, PBS revealed the first wave of content creators who will receive funding support to complete their films through the Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers. The announcement also included details on new measures as part of a larger Diverse Voices Initiative to support the careers of early and mid-career filmmakers from underrepresented communities to further diversify public media.

“At PBS, we share stories that reflect the lived experiences of our audiences,” said Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. “We are excited to make these announcements today that bring new opportunities to content creators. This focus demonstrates how PBS is supporting creators who have unique ideas that will resonate, foster dialogue, and bring new engagement across the public media system. And we continue to work closely with partners such as INDEPENDENT LENS, POV, WORLD Channel and others to spotlight these creators and their projects.”

PBS Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers

Whether in early concept stages or nearing completion, PBS will offer funding support for selected films that may be distributed across PBS platforms including and PBS Digital Studios. 

The inaugural films include a broad array of stories from a diversity of perspectives in genres ranging from arts & culture, personal history, social justice, health, immigration, economics, environment, democracy, and civics.  The films will be released with corresponding activities.  More information about each film, creator and distribution partner will be announced soon.



FILMMAKERS: Noemi Delgado & Shara Lili

FILMMAKER: Cionin Lorenzo 

FILMMAKER: Yemi Oyediran

FILMMAKER: Sebastian Diaz Aguirre

FILMMAKER: JoeBill Muñoz and Lucas Guilkey

FILMMAKER: Ivan MacDonald

PBS Ignite Mentorship for Diverse Voices
To help reduce barriers and increase access for diverse filmmakers within the public media system, PBS today launched a robust mentorship program for early-career filmmakers. Through immersive experiences, PBS will support these filmmakers as they build relationships within the public media system and produce content for public media platforms.

This is a hybrid one-year program for up to 12 early-career filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Whether applicants have a current project underway or are starting a new one, they will be provided with professional development opportunities.

As of January 16, 2023, applicants can apply here.


PBS Accelerator Fellowship for Diverse Voices
Through the PBS Accelerator Fellowship, mid-career content makers are hired for a term of one-year on select PBS nationally distributed series. Applications for these opportunities are now available and can be accessed through Careers at PBS under Accelerator Fellowship Program for Diverse Voices.  

In addition to these new efforts announced today, PBS has ongoing filmmaker programs in partnership with Firelight Media and FRONTLINE from GBH. 

The PBS Ignite Mentorship for Diverse Voices and the PBS Accelerator Fellowship for Diverse Voices have been made possible, in part, through funding secured from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.


About PBS 
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math, and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV — including a 24/7 channel — online at, via an array of mobile apps, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.orgone of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter


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