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We are pleased to launch our inaugural filmmaker fellowship program.


First Outdoor Company presents the Blk Out Filmmaker Fellowship. This Fellowship is designed to encourage the development of more stories about Black outdoor adventurers and support emerging adventure storytellers of color.

This is a 9-month production fellowship beginning January 1, 2024 - October 1, 2024 to support the development of a short creative work (between 10-40 minutes). This could be a narrative or documentary film project. No audio projects please!

Here is some additional information:

  • You are the owner of your film and content

  • 1st Outdoor Company will be listed as an Executive Producer for the film

  • The film’s first public screening will be at the Blk Out Fest

  • The trailer for the film may be featured on 1st Outdoor Company & fiscal sponsor social channels

  • If the project is not complete, a trailer will be screened at the Blk Out Fest



  • 18 or older based in the U.S.

  • Must be the writer, producer or director

  • Must identify as Black, African American or creative from the African diaspora

  • Non-Black filmmakers may apply but film must either feature Black stories and must feature  African-American/Black essential crewmembers

  • Fellowship film project must screen at future Blk Out Fest


  • Applications open June 1

  • Applications close August 1

  • Selected finalists are notified September 1

  • The 9-month fellowship runs from January - September 2024.

  • Completed project submitted and due end of September and must include subtitles.


  • Financial reward to support production development

  • Monthly virtual mentorship sessions with First Outdoor Company mentors

  • Application fees paid for (1) adventure film festival submission


Selected applicants will have 5 minutes to pitch their proposed project during the fellowship dinner at the Blk Out Fest November 4th, 2023 in Chattanooga, TN. Pitches can be in-person or pre-recorded and can include a video, presentation or verbal details regarding the project you want to produce for the fellowship.


There will be 5 minutes to take questions from festival attendees. Following the pitch, there will be table discussions by festival attendees. After all pitches are complete, festival attendees will then vote. The three with the most votes will be finalists for the fellowship. The fellow will be chosen by the Blk Out selection committee based on originality, feasibility of project and production experience.

If you have questions or need more information, please email us.

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