NAPT Announces 2012 Open Call for Media Makers

Posted on January 4, 2012

Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT) announced a March 16 deadline for proposals from media makers. With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the NAPT Public Media Content Fund will award support to video projects with significant Native involvement — particularly projects that profile Native American leaders, activists, and artists — and help bring the projects to national broadcast on public television. Submitted proposals must be postmarked by March 16, 2012.

"The purpose of the Content Fund is to increase the diversity of voices in public media," said NAPT Executive Director Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux). "There are very few avenues open to documentary filmmakers, and NAPT believes that our organization has a great responsibility to support the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media. NAPT also believes that support from NAPT can help open other doors for various forms of other funding." 

Projects in any phase of production are eligible to apply for funding with NAPT. Awards for research and development range from $5,000 to $20,000, awards for production or completion can be up to $100,000, and New Media awards range from $5,000 to $20,000. NAPT does not fully fund programs, and awardees are required to seek additional funding from other sources. 

Projects funded through NAPT will be considered for additional distribution opportunities, such as educational and home DVD distribution through VisionMaker; theatrical; non-theatrical; television (free, pay syndicated, and video-on-demand); multimedia; and Internet broadcasting (including podcasting and streaming).

"First and foremost, NAPT is looking for compelling Native stories. Priority will be given to projects intended for the series Native Word: Stories Past & Present," commented NAPT Assistant Director Georgiana Lee (Navajo). "Second, NAPT would like to see programs that accurately illuminate aspects of contemporary Tribal cultures or peoples. 

The primary audience is PBS viewers, so NAPT wants stories that transcend Native culture." New this year, NAPT is also requesting stories for the upcoming public television series Growing Native. This seven-part series will focus on reclaiming traditional knowledge and food ways to address critical issues of health and wellness, the environment and human rights. 

Episodes will focus on seven geographic regions, including the Northwest, Southwest, Southern Plains/Oklahoma, Northeast, Southeast, Northern Plains/Canada, and Alaska. Segments intended for Growing Native will be five to fifteen-minutes in length, and will also be part of rich, web-based interactive media. A five-person panel of public television professionals, independent producers, and Native history and resource experts will review submissions and recommend proposals for funding. Additionally, NAPT assists producers with fundraising, navigating the public television system for national broadcast and marketing efforts. 

Find NAPT Public Media Content Fund guidelines and application materials here.

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