The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Black Girls Film Camp

Grant Information
Categories Community , Arts , Education
Location United States
Cycle Year 2022
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Black Girls Film Camp
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Black girls film camp
EIN 87-2502815
Contact Information
Contact Name Dr. Jimmeka Anderson
Phone 7042810976
3540 Toringdon Way
Suite 200-130
Additional Information
Used for Black Girls Film Camp (BGFC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides a free, national, hybrid (virtual and in-person), 12-week experience where new emerging adolescent filmmakers between the ages 13 and 18, who self-identify as Black and female or gender expansive, across the United States (US), pitch a story idea, and a final ten are selected to have their short film project produced by the program. The camp provides an all-expense paid Production Retreat in partnership with USC Annenberg, in Los Angeles, California, for participants to receive hands-on production training with college professors and learn from industry experts. Funding from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will support funding the cost of the trip for five out of the ten teen directors (travel, lodging, and meals) from April 27 - 30, 2023.
Benefits Funding from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation would support the dreams of Black girls and opportunities for them to define their own existence through counternarrative formation by shifting the limited, negative, and harmful narratives that currently exist. Although Black girls make up eight percent of K–12 students nationally, they are more likely as a group to be excluded or criminalized from disciplinary practices in school, score the lowest in literacy and technology proficiency out of their gender peer group nationally, and endure higher levels of sexual violence inside and outside of school. These insufferable experiences in and outside of school have been silenced and yielded as normalcy in the unwritten lives of Black girls--Their stories deserve to be told!
Proposal Description

The Black Girls Film Camp (BGFC) would like to formally express interest in applying for a multi-year program grant with the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation. Through the work of Black Girls Film Camp in the past two years, we have educated, developed, and supported the production of 20 short films by Black girls, participated in over 15 national screenings in the US, built a national community of nearly 100 Black women and girl filmmakers, generated a following of over 15 thousand on social media, received over 10,000 views of our films through screenings and streaming, and have flown over 40 Black girls and women to Hollywood in Los Angeles (LA), California. This proposal request is for $10,000 to support the educational experience of five teen directors to attend the Black Girls Film Camp Production Retreat in LA, in partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg. We are sure that our organization is providing the type of quality programming in the arts that you seek to support and have provided more details in this letter below.

Organization Overview

Black Girls Film Camp (BGFC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides a free, national, hybrid (virtual and in-person), 12-week experience where new emerging adolescent filmmakers between the ages 13 and 18, who self-identify as Black and female or gender expansive, across the United States (US), pitch a story idea, and a final ten are selected to have their short film project produced by the program. Our organization seeks to address the lack of representation behind the screen (only 2-3% of Black women are directors/filmmakers in the industry) by equipping Black girls with the resources and support to take control of the narrative while increasing their visibility and exposing them to careers in the filmmaking industry. Over 200 self-identified adolescent, Black girls across the country applied for the 2022 camp and 10 finalists were selected to direct and develop their own short films this past year. The camp is an incubator for 10 girls across the US and each of their short films. 

What makes this program extremely unique, and why there are now over 800 teens awaiting on the interest list for applications to open in Fall 2022, is that it provides each teen filmmaker with resources and individual support to make their own short film, access to mentorship from industry filmmakers, and the opportunity to visit one of the top film schools in the US and Hollywood! Participants from our program receive free technology (cameras, ring lights, boom mics, tripods, etc.) and free in-kind software from our sponsors (final draft and adobe premiere), all to keep. Each teen filmmaker (10 total) also receives their own personal production team consisting of two exemplary self-identified Black adult women filmmakers (editor and creative coach), that are nationally selected and contracted out by the camp to help support them with the development of their film.

During the LA retreat and throughout the entire camp, Black women that are award-winning filmmakers in Hollywood and Ph.D. scholars with expertise in Black girlhood and media studies serve as speakers, mentors, and facilitate sessions. Some of the partners for the 2022 camp included the University of Southern California Annenberg, Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media, Beats By Dre, Final Draft, Tik Tok, PBS Student Reporting Labs, and Women In Film LA.

Final films created by teen filmmakers in the camp and their production teams are showcased live during an in-person and virtual premiere event over the summer. Following the camp, alumni participate in screenings and panels throughout the year at film festivals (i.e. Bentonville, Mill Valley Film Festival, etc.) and college events (i.e. Emory University, USC, etc.) in the United States to share their stories with the world, and support other aspiring young Black girl filmmakers. Since 2021, BGFC has produced and curated 20 short films that have framed dialogue in communities across the US to discuss and unpack the stories and experiences of American Black girls. 

The Process

The programming year for BGFC includes the following five phases: 

Phase 1: Recruitment (Dec – Feb) - During the recruitment phase, applications are made public on our website and interviews are held for the new cohort. In December each year, the camp opens applications. Camp leadership begins reviewing applications in January and interviews are held in February for teen directors, editors, and creative coaches. 

Phase 2: Pre-Production (Mar – April) - The new cohort is selected by March 1st. Camp starts the second week of March and runs through the second week of June. Participants receive free Final Draft software and engage in workshops to learn about story arcs, develop their script, participate in a writer's room session to get feedback, and submit their storyboards and shot list for approval. 

Phase 3: Production (April - May) - At the beginning of the production phase, participants receive an all-expense paid weekend production retreat to LA and attend workshops led by USC Annenberg and School of Cinematic Arts professors. Upon approval of storyboards and receiving camera training at USC, participants transition from writer to director and collect footage. 

Phase 4: Post-Production (May - June) - During the post-production stage, participants receive Adobe Premiere software, editing workshops. Production teams submit a first and final cut of their short films.

Phase 5: Outreach (June - Dec) - Final films created by the teen directors and their production teams are showcased at film festivals in the US throughout the year through our screening partnerships.

Program Success

The primary goal of this program is to support the education, development, film production, and distribution of
short-films directed by adolescent Black girls selected from across the United States during The Black
Girls Film Camp in Spring 2023.

By the completion of this project, each participant will:
1) Learn intermediate-level filmmaking skills and techniques.
2) Utilize their voice and vision to share their unique stories.
4) Construct a 5-6 minute short film.
5) Work collaboratively with a mini-production team.
6) Present their work to the greater community.

The success metrics for achieving these goals are the completion of the ten short films in the program and the
number of screenings, streams, and audience views of the short films.