Grant supporting diverse and emerging media makers through documentary co-productions comes as WORLD Channel receives Emmy® nod for its co-production of Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez’ inspirational documentary, Personal Statement
BOSTON (July 30, 2019) — WORLD Channel, the award-winning, 24/7 public media platform devoted to the best in diverse non-fiction programming, announced it is the recipient of a three-year, $600,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant is designed to enhance the co-producing capacity of WORLD Channel, supporting the work of diverse and emerging independent media makers, and is announced as the station receives an Emmy® nomination for its co-production of Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez’ Personal Statement, which aired on its series America ReFramed.
“Opening doors for multicultural non-fiction storytellers and journalists serves one of public media’s core missions: Amplifying new voices, issues and ideas,” says WORLD Channel Executive Producer Chris Hastings, who will serve as a panelist at BlackStar Film Festival’s Pitch Session on Thursday. “Today’s media consumers yearn for different perspectives, and WORLD Channel is known for being a trusted source for cross-cultural work from around the globe. We are incredibly grateful to have the support of the MacArthur Foundation as we expand the work we did on Personal Statement to include a wide range of projects and ideas to be presented to audiences on all platforms.”
Nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary, Personal Statement follows three Brooklyn teens as they become peer college counselors to steer their fellow students—and themselves—toward higher education to fill a gap of guidance professionals.
Over the next three years, WORLD Channel will look to identify new voices and viewpoints, working with diverse and emerging makers by providing editorial and distribution support, promoting and marketing their projects and collaborating on engagement campaigns across multi-platforms to generate the widest reach and impact of these productions.
Content generated and acquired as a result of this initiative will be showcased across WORLD’s broadcast and online platforms in one of WORLD Channel’s main weekly documentary series: America ReFramed, a series of independent, long-form social issue documentaries that present new and thought-provoking views of an ever-evolving America; Doc WORLD, films that shine a spotlight on stories of courage, struggle and perseverance from around the globe; and Local, USA, fascinating short films that reveal America in all its diversity and complexity.
One of the nation’s largest independent foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has a longstanding commitment to strengthening American democracy by supporting just and inclusive news and narratives that inform, engage and activate Americans to build a more equitable future. The Foundation’s Journalism and Media program seeks to strengthen and sustain an independent media ecosystem that investigates the actions of institutions, explores the implications of policies, challenges social norms, amplifies diverse perspectives and creates opportunities for individual action and public conversations on urgent contemporary issues.
“Through the Journalism and Media program, MacArthur strives to support the creation of media that enables informed decision making, and that provides opportunities for public conversations on urgent contemporary issues,” said Kathy Im, Director of Journalism and Media at the MacArthur Foundation. “The work of WORLD Channel contributes to the Foundation’s goals of supporting just and inclusive news and narratives by helping to create and distribute nonfiction multimedia by diverse creators, sharing the different perspectives that strengthen U.S. democracy. We look forward to seeing the outcome of their efforts over the coming years.”
Through 2021, WORLD Channel will work with its established network of diverse partners, including ITVS, American Documentary Inc., The National Multicultural Alliance, NALIP, Firelight Media, PBS and many others to connect with emerging filmmakers. In addition, efforts will be made to identify these filmmakers at a number of industry events such as HotDocs, IDFA, BlackStar Film Festival and a select few festivals and media markets domestically and internationally. These efforts will supplement the rolling online Open Call for submissions on the WORLD Channel website.
About WORLD Channel
WORLD Channel shares stories that humanize complex issues. WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and fact-based informational programming that helps us understand conflicts, movements and cultures that may be distinct from our own. WORLD's original content offers a national platform to makers examining issues too often ignored by mainstream media. These emerging and master filmmakers spotlight a diversity of voices, telling stories not heard elsewhere. WORLD has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and numerous national honors — including an RTNDA Kaleidoscope Award, a Media for a Just Society Award, two Lesbian & Gay Journalist Awards, a Gracie and an Asian American Journalists Award. Carried by 156 partner stations in markets representing almost 67 percent of U.S. TV households, WORLD can also be experienced via WORLDChannel.org and social media platforms. Major funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and WORLD Channel public media stations. Follow WORLD Channel on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.worldchannel.org.