A Home For Stories.

The Concordia Fellowship

The Concordia Fellowship is a bold experiment to reshape the future of storytelling.

The Concordia Fellowship is a signature program designed to launch powerful careers for diverse filmmakers

We engineer unprecedented and strategic opportunities for individuals, and in the process, work to change the face of the film industry. The program spotlights and accelerates BIPOC + other diverse, U.S. documentary filmmakers who demonstrate undeniable talent, significant voice, and a commitment to story driven, premium nonfiction. We believe these filmmaking talents have the capacity to change what is possible. Our work is to make sure they do.

Each Fellow receives a bespoke program of creative development, career advancement, and film project incubation designed to maximize their success. Through The Concordia Fellowship, filmmakers have gone on to see critical and commercial success, often recognized for their groundbreaking projects at the industry’s most prestigious honors such as the Academy Awards and Emmy Awards, and at film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW. In addition, many of the fellows’ films, limited series, and projects have been acquired for release by major distributors including Amazon Studios, HBO, Onyx/Disney, Hulu and more.

Program Function

Each Fellow receives an individualized, three-pronged program that includes creative development, career advancement, and project incubation designed to maximize their success.

Creative Development

Creative development is a tailored and nurturing program of tools, training, resources and support to build strength at the growth edge of the Fellow’s artistic ambition.

Career Advancement

Career advancement is a customized strategy based on the Fellow’s past body of work and future trajectory. Work might include vision and goal setting, needs assessment and gap analysis, ecosystem mapping, introduction to managers / agents, publicists or producers, financial empowerment / revenue optimization strategies, and nomination for further recognition from field-wide awards and lists of distinction.

Film Project Incubation and Development

Film Project Incubation and Development includes creative and executive work with the Fellow from ideation of a new film until the project is fully developed and viable for institutional or industry support. Fellows receive financial support and creative backing for the development of exciting and exclusive nonfiction films or limited series.

Strategic Distinctions

Experience

Fellows are fearless and experienced storytellers poised for further success.

Bespoke

Every journey is different, so each fellowship is designed to support the specific advancement of each fellow.

Ambitious

We work with Fellows to target exactly what they need to accelerate their career. Fellowship targets critical career inflection points for maximum impact.

Embedded

Fellows leverage the executive, production and finance capabilities of a working studio.

Catalytic

We partner with Fellows for creative development at the earliest stages of ideation, strategy and storytelling.

Symbiotic

The benefit is mutual. Concordia Fellows help increase our knowledge capital in creative development of independent filmmakers.

Program Activities

The Fellowship hosts group programs for all Fellows and alum including labs, masterclasses, retreats, and industry meetings.

MasterClasses

MasterClasses allow Fellows to connect with veteran and visionary filmmakers and field leaders to learn first-hand from their perspective and experience in the creative industry. Through curated and moderated sessions, Invited Guests illuminate and inspire by sharing about their work extemporaneously. The most important aspect of the MasterClasses is the curiosity of the Fellows and the candor and insight of the speaker. Conversation topics and structure are up to the discretion of the speaker. MasterClasses have been led by Roger Ross Williams, Frederick Wiseman, Davis Guggenheim, Pete Nicks, Marina Zenovich, Ted Hope, Tabitha Jackson, Grace Lee, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine and many others.

Story Kitchen

Story Kitchen (Lab) is a residential 3-5 day week where Fellows participate in deeper workshop sessions focused on either the art, craft, or business of nonfiction films and series.  Creative Advisors lead sessions on creativity (directing, navigating creative relationships, visual voice). Fellows may share work for rough cut discussion and feedback. Labs allow focus on thematic strands such as “The Series” or “Hybrids & Fiction Adaptation” or “The Art of the Deal”. Advisors have included Joan Sheckel, Joan Darling, Jean Tsien, Miriam Cutler, Fernanda Rossi, Gordon Quinn and many others.

The Fellowship Retreat

The Fellowship Retreat provides Fellows with time and space to focus on renewal of their creative resources. At The Fellowship, sustainability in film field now includes the resilience and replenishment of the spirit. Special sessions such as Mental Health and Wellness in the film industry or Sacred Storytelling are designed to recognize and restore the internal tools required to do the work. Activities include immersion in our creative community, small groups and pairs, bonfire pits, nature walks, and breaking bread. The Fellowship Retreat provides a unifying journey that deepens ties to the Fellowship Program, Concordia Studio and to one another as Fellows and Filmmakers. Fellowship Retreats focus on renewal of the individual, of the work, and of the creative community.

Industry Meetings

Concordia Fellowship Industry Meetings are private, invitation only conversations where candor and collegiality characterize the conversation. These meetings allow Fellows and industry executives to gain familiarity, discuss content, consider commercial trends, ask questions and build bridges. Industry meetings are conducted by private zoom and have been held with Netflix, Hulu, HBO, A24, ONYX, NYT, Disney+ as well as with publicists, festival programmers, advertising companies, and managers/reps.

Candidate Sourcing

Concordia Fellows are sourced through a five-pronged approach including private nomination, regional scouts, experienced film reviewers, festival programmer allies, and robust staff field work. Nominators are industry leaders from prominent organizations with a field wide and forward-looking vantage point. They serve anonymously and help discover talent that aligns with Concordia’s vision.

Eligibility Criteria

The Concordia Fellows

Fellowship Project Highlights

3 Short Films

  • OMNIPRESENCE, directed by Nadia Hallgren (The New Yorker)

  • SWEETHEART DANCERS, Directed by Ben Alex Dupris, TOPIC (Showtime)

  • PAULETTE, directed by Heather Rae (Women Make Movies)

1 Tribeca Film Festival Selection

  • ALL THESE SONS, Directed by Bing Liu and Josh Altman

3 Sundance Film Festival Selections

  • TIME (2020) Directed by Garrett Bradley

  • MIJA (2022) directed by Isabel Castro

  • AFTERSHOCK (2022) directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee

1 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATION

  • TIME (2020) Directed by Garrett Bradley

Giselle Bailey

Giselle Bailey co-directed and produced The Legend Of The Underground (HBO) and is directing Seen & Heard, a limited nonfiction series with Hoorae (HBO). Giselle is a 2022 Concordia Fellow and is in development on a project that fuses fiction and documentary to champion the cultural heroes history refuses to honor. 

Storytelling shapes our culture, our beliefs and our ability to imagine the future.

Alice Gu

Alice Gu directed The Donut King, executive produced by Academy Award-winners Ridley Scott and Freida Lee Mock, (2020 SXSW Film Festival, Independent Lens), and Really Good Rejects (2022 SXSW). She received a 2022 Concordia Fellowship and is in development on a new film at the intersection of Asian culture and American pop culture.

Always remain curious.

Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya directs films that marry science and storytelling, including TikTok, Boom (2022 Sundance Film Festival), Coded Bias (2020 Sundance Film Festival, Independent Lens, Netflix), and Catching The Sun with executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio (LA Film Festival, Netflix). She received a 2022 Concordia Fellowship and is in development on a new film. 

Stories must stand for the living.

Christine Turner

Christine Turner directed Lynching Postcards: Token Of A Great Day (NAACP Image Award and 2022 Academy Award shortlist),  Betye Saar: Taking Care Of Business (Sundance Film Festival, New York Times), and Homegoings (PBS/POV, Criterion Channel). She is a 2022 Concordia Fellow. 

Visual art that transcends life and afterlife.

María Agui Carter

María Agui Carter directed the award-winning hybrid film Rebel (PBS, Amazon) about a Latina soldier and spy of the American Civil War, and wrote a magical realist script Secret Life Of La Mariposa.  Maria was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2021 and is in production on Alleged, about criminal justice and redemption.

Cinema has the power to investigate what was, question what is, and awaken what could be.

Smriti Mundhra

Smriti Mundhra directed St. Louis Superman (2020 Academy Award nominee), Shelter (2022 NAACP Image Award), and A Suitable Girl (2017 Tribeca Film Festival). She created and executive produced Indian Matchmaking, a Primetime Emmy-nominated eight-part original documentary series currently streaming on Netflix. Smriti was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2021.

Filmmaking is an earnest act.
It’s about understanding humanity and moving people.

Elizabeth Lo

Elizabeth Lo directed Stray (2020 Tribeca Film Festival, Hulu, Independent Spirit Award nominee) and Hotel 22 (The New York Times). Elizabeth makes immersive nonfiction films and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020 and is in development on a new feature documentary.

Shifting perspective through the lens.

Omar Mullick

Omar Mullick directed and filmed These Birds Walk (2013 SXSW, Oscilloscope) and directed and lensed episodes of The Vow (HBO), Nomad (CNN+) and is in production on Flight/Risk (Amazon Studios). He also produced the first indigenous Afghan film to be nominated to the Oscars in 2022. Omar was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020.

Lift the veil of culture to reveal rapturous and transformative truth.

Brent Palmer

Brent Palmer is a rising producer from Detroit, who has worked on nonfiction features and limited series with One Story Up, Concordia Studio, and Tremolo Productions. He is producing an independent feature documentary film about equal education in America, and is in development on a limited music series. Brent was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020

Black cultural movements come from artists working against all odds — the definition of creativity itself.

Jeff Unay

Jeff Unay directed The Cage Fighter (2018 IFC Films/Sundance Selects, Independent Spirit Award nominee), and the direct-to-fan feature documentary Free To Play which received 5.5 million views in its opening weekend release. Jeff was a 2017 IFP Filmmaker To Watch and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020

Documenting the human spirit.

Paula Eiselt

Paula Eiselt co-directed Aftershock, (2022 Sundance Special Jury Award: Impact for Change,  Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News for HULU and Disney+). Her previous feature 93queen (PBS/ POV, HBO Max) was released theatrically and broadcast worldwide. Paula is a 2019 Concordia Fellow. 

Unravelling strong-held assumptions.

Cynthia Hill

Cynthia Hill won Emmy and Peabody awards for her series A Chef’s Life and Somewhere South (PBS). She directed Private Violence (2014 Sundance Film Festival, HBO), Road To Race Day, and What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (HBO Max). Cynthia was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019 and is in production on a new series for HBO.

I know these folks. This is where I come from.

Jon Kasbe

Jon Kasbe shot, directed and produced When Lambs Become Lions (2018 Tribeca Film Festival, Oscilloscope) and his short film Blood Rider (Google Brand Studio) is featured on The New Yorker. Jon was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019 and is in production on a feature documentary and a nonfiction limited series.

It's not just about your characters knowing you.

Randy Redroad

Randy Redroad was an editor on The Infiltrators (2019 Sundance Film Festival) and First Circle (Showtime). He is a writer and director of fiction film and television whose debut feature, The Doe Boy (2001 Sundance Film Festival/NHK Award), garnered 15 festival awards including an IFP/Gotham nomination for outstanding directorial debut. Randy was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.

We must imagine ourselves outside the paradigm.

Dominique Ulloa

Dominique Ulloa is a nonfiction editor who worked on the four-part series We Need To Talk About Cosby (2022 Sundance Film Festival, Showtime) and on the six-part series Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime), which won a 2019 Peabody Award. She is an ACE Fellow, a Karen Schmeer Diversity in the Edit Fellow, and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.

Future generations will watch how we represent reality. We are making our own history.

Joshua Altman

Joshua Altman is producing the Untitled Wildcat Documentary (Amazon) and directing the latest season of Couples Therapy (Showtime). He executive produced the limited series Pandemic (Netflix), and co-directed All These Sons (2021 Tribeca Film Festival). Joshua was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.

Put skin in the game.

Garrett Bradley

Garrett Bradley directed Time, which won best director at the Sundance Film Festival was nominated for an Academy Award. Garrett works across narrative, documentary and experimental modes of filmmaking and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018. She lives and works in New Orleans.

In between the dialogue is where the truth is.

Isabel Castro

Isabel Castro directed Mija, about Chicanas trying to make it in the music industry (2022 Sundance Film Festival, Disney+) and the short films Crossing Over (Participant Media/Univision), and Emmy-nominated films Darlin (2019 Tribeca Film Festival, NYT OpDocs) and USA V. Scott (2020 Tribeca Film Festival, The New Yorker). Isabel was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.

Storytelling forces people to wallow in the grey.

Ben-Alex Dupris

Ben-Alex Dupris directs films about contemporary life and popular culture in Indian Country including Sweetheart Dancers (2019 Big Sky, Showtime) and an episode of In The Making, a series of shorts with Firelight Media for PBS American Masters. He has been a (2018) Concordia Fellow, a Firelight Fellow, and a Sundance Producing Fellow.

A battle dance between tradition and modernity comes to life in Indian pop culture.

Nadia Hallgren

Nadia Hallgren directed the feature documentary Becoming about Michelle Obama (Netflix), The Show (Showtime), After Maria (2019 Oscar shortlist, Netflix), and Omnipresence (The New Yorker). Hallgren is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.

Details draw us into this world.

Bing Liu

Bing Liu directed Minding The Gap (2019 Academy Award nominee, Peabody Award) and co-directed All These Sons (2021 Tribeca Film Festival). Bing is in development on fiction and nonfiction features and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.

You can embrace the fourth wall, not stay on either side.

Heather Rae

Heather Rae has produced Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah and Dude, festival darlings I Believe In Unicorns, The Dry Land and Bull, which premiered in Cannes. Rae is currently in a First Look deal with Amazon Studios and is an executive producer on the series, Outer Range starring Josh Brolin. Heather was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.

Changing the narrative, in a changing world.