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Full Spectrum Features Launches Inaugural Community Storytellers Grant

Last updated: August 17, 2021

Full Spectrum Features (FSF) announces the call for applications for their inaugural Community Storytellers program. Designed to support Chicago-based storytellers of various art forms, Community Storytellers will equip artists with the tools to produce a film that reflects and impacts their community. Full Spectrum Features will select 3 artist-led stories to produce into scripted short films that showcase community resilience and rebuilding.

Supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), FSF will allocate up to $30K worth of cash and in-kind support per project. Selected applicants to undergo their development and production process, including selecting the filmmaking team, finalizing the script, and shooting the film. Following the film’s completion, FSF will collaborate in designing a tailored impact campaign to reach audiences and exhibit their finished work. At the conclusion of the program, the filmmaker will retain all rights to their film.

Here Is Everything You Need to Know

Applicants do not have to be filmmakers to apply – FSF encourages applications from storytellers of all disciplines. Chicago has a rich tradition of storytelling through different forms, from spoken word poetry to theater. This program seeks to uplift such storytellers and equip them with the tools to transform their vision into a film that reflects their Chicago, or one they envision for the future.

The application window will be open from August 2 to September 13, 2021 and is currently accepting applications from Chicago and Cook County artists. Proposals will require 1) a description of the proposed story and how it will translate to film, 2) what Chicago-based community the applicant is representing through the story and why, and 3) how the applicant approaches creative collaboration with teams.

Stories that Showcase Joy, Healing, and Peace

Storytelling has the power to shape perceptions about entire communities, identities, and ideas. Too often, stories about underrepresented communities only center on their trauma, suffering, and pain. FSF wants to spotlight stories that showcase joy, healing, and peace as acts of resistance. Whether about Chicago’s queer community, a cycling group, or the block the storyteller grew up on, Full Spectrum Features is seeking applicants that have a strong connection to the community or neighborhood where the story takes place.

Those interested can find complete information (grant guidelines, eligibility, and FAQ) and the application portal at this link.

Local artists with varying levels of experience are welcome to apply, including both accomplished as well as emerging artists. The story proposal must be a new, original work. It can be fictional or based on a true story, however, all stories will be produced into scripted films; documentary works are not eligible. All genres are eligible, but FSF encourages stories concerning social justice and/or representing points of view of those historically marginalized by mainstream media due to their sexual orientation, race, class, religion, ability, immigration, or another minority status. Female, trans, gender non-conforming, and BIPOC artists are especially encouraged to apply.

You’re Invited to the Information Sessions

Full Spectrum Features will be announcing Community Storytellers information sessions shortly; sign up for their newsletter to receive notification. Prospective applicants may also attend their virtual Office Hours to inquire about the application, held twice weekly on Mondays (11AM – 12PM CST) and Fridays (3-4PM CST). No appointment required.

For more information about how to apply, visit fullspectrumfeatures.com/community-storytellers.

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