**We are looking for teams of 2-3 people working on feature film projects in early development.**
Constellation Incubator, presented by Avalon: Story, will bring together up to 36 feature filmmaking teams to participate in an 8-week incubator designed to scale innovation within the independent film industry.
Together we will throw out everything we assume we know about indie filmmaking and apply design thinking to re-imagine a more equitable and sustainable ecosystem - from development, film finance, production, to marketing and distribution.
Over the program's duration, teams will work to:
- build the essential collective leadership to address the barriers/challenges of the indie filmmaking world;
- power solutions in a more conscious, intentional, and strategic way;
- illuminate blindspots to create transformative change;
- imagine and design a constellation of possibilities in the making and release of feature films
We are looking for teams that reflect the full scope of the independent filmmaking process: directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors etc. Teams can be made up of 2-3 individuals and are encouraged to apply with a feature film project (either documentary or fiction) that they plan to develop using the learnings and innovations from the incubator.
It is the specific goal of Constellation Incubator to include a diversity of voices in the selected filmmaking teams - in terms of participants’ backgrounds and identities, but also their work backgrounds, experience in and outside of filmmaking, number of years working in film, and range of thinking with respect to innovation.
It is the value statement of the Constellation Incubator that the models and innovations resulting from the incubator should be sustainable, equitable, humane, replicable, and accessible to all creatives - particularly those whose voices have traditionally been excluded from our industry.
The filmmaking teams will be selected through an application process, and invited to participate based on a series of evaluations by a panel of industry professionals and innovators.
Although a selective process, the goal of the incubator is not to anoint a new class of filmmakers, but, rather, to revolutionize the ways in which cinema can be made with teammates who are best positioned to imagine the revolution. The resulting process will be a truly democratic and collaborative gathering of individuals who - regardless of industry titles and experience - are equals on the ground floor of a new paradigm of storytelling.
Please read the "Rules & Terms" section for clarity on the submission process for this incubator.
ABENI BLOODWORTH is a writer and artist-activist. Co-Founder of Dry Powder Works (DPW). DPW is a multimedia production and distribution ecosystem designed to name and disrupt the master narrative through good storytelling. Powered by 3000 Black creatives throughout the Diaspora, the company is premised on the belief that “We are the stories we tell ourselves.” DPW’s theory of change utilizes story to socialize indigenous wisdom and inspire a re-imagination of power across social, economic, political, cultural, and ecological fault lines. She has over 25 years of experience supporting organizations through periods of growth, change, and transition-disrupting systems by linking philanthropy to narrative change and leadership to transformative impact. To date, she has raised over 150M+ dollars to support transformative change. She has lived and worked on four continents (West Africa, Eastern Europe, Central America, and North America - including the Big Island, Hawaii); served as an executive director, program officer in philanthropy, development officer, a board member, and launched two successful ventures. Architect of the Activist Playbook for Transformative Media, she is currently producing a docuseries on the intersection between housing and segregation and co-producing with Level Forward an adaptation of the Paula Giddings biography Sword Among Lions: The Ida B. Wells Story and the episodic series, Blackball, the story of the Negro Baseball League told through the rivalry of two teams. Abeni is a long-time board member and former Board Chair of the Institute for Media & Education and currently serves on the Boards of the Predistribution Initiative, Imperative 21, and the Vindicate Society Venture Capital Fund. She received her B.A. in English and Political Science from Spelman College, an M.S. in Managerial Sciences from Georgia State University, and holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. For fun, pre-pandemic, she enjoyed exploring our country’s National Parks, listening to Gregory Porter, and cooking elaborate Sunday meals for friends. Now, she finds herself dreaming of New Zealand and re-reading James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Malidoma Some, and Rumi.
ANGELA HARMON is an Emmy-nominated producer, storyteller, and creative with over two decades working in unscripted and scripted development for production companies and labs. From casting to TV/film development, Harmon has developed close to 40 TV shows for several major networks including Netflix, NBC, A&E, and HGTV. Her expertise as a chromatic creative has garnered her a catalog of production house credits curating films and finding projects for blackfilm.com, Academy Award winners, Jonathan Demme and Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule. Co-Founder of CHROMATIC BLACK PRODUCTIONS, Angela seeks to disrupt the master narrative through good storytelling. An advocate for intersectional parity and accurate representation in media, she is currently at work on two episodic series: Blackball, a story of the Negro Leagues, and the adaptation of Paula Giddings, Ida B. Wells: Sword Among Lions biography. A graduate of the Maysles Documentary Center, Harmon is certified in story development, fundraising, documentary, and film through the Filmmakers Collaborative program. When she’s not building a media ecosystem, she enjoys watching Prince videos with her free daughter and dancing.
NAOMI MCDOUGALL JONES is a storyteller and changemaker. She has written, acted in, and produced two award-winning feature films. The first, *Imagine I'm Beautiful* (2014), collected 12 awards on the film festival circuit before receiving a theatrical and digital distribution deal and is now available on AmazonPrime. Her second feature, *Bite Me* (2019), was released via a paradigm-shifting 3 month, 51 screening, 40 city Joyful Vampire Tour of America that took the country by storm, and is now available on iTunes, GooglePlay, and Amazon. She is currently at work on her third feature film, *Hammond Castle*, for which she received the honor of being the first artist in residence at the final home of Ernest Hemingway in Sun Valley, Idaho. Naomi is an advocate and thought leader for bringing gender parity to cinema. Her writing on this has appeared in The Atlantic, Ms. Magazine, and Salon.com and she gave a virally sensational TEDTalk, *What it’s Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood,* which has now been viewed over 1 million times and can be seen on TED.com. Naomi’s first book, *The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood,* received an electric response, with The Christian Science Monitor calling it, “...an outpouring of passion that will change the ways in which movies are seen,” and is now available wherever books are sold. She is a Founder of The 51 Fund, dedicated to financing films by women. Their film, *Cusp,* won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Naomi’s newest project is a scripted fiction podcast, *The Light Ahead,* which brings together more than 120 artists and next economy activists to answer the question, “What would 2030 be like if the USA had an economy that truly worked and cared for everyone?” More at www.naomimcdougalljones.com.
LIZ MANASHIL Post-graduation from USC Film School, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution expert Peter Broderick. In 2016, Liz became the manager of Sundance's groundbreaking Creative Distribution Initiative until the program's close in 2019. As a filmmaker, her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER, was called “an absolute must-watch for women everywhere” by HelloGiggles. It was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere. Her second feature, SPEED OF LIFE, was released by Giant Pictures, can be seen on Showtime, and was called, "Delightful in just about every way" by noted film critic Tim Cogshell (of NPR's FilmWeek). After a year of working in impact distribution at Picture Motion, Liz is now a freelance distribution consultant spending her time advocating for filmmakers to have healthy and productive relationships with their distribution partners. She's the co-host of hit filmmaking podcast, "Making Movies Is HARD!!!" and is currently working on features 3 and 4.
Those selected will participate in an 8-week incubator during which they will apply design thinking to innovate a constellation of possibilities for a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive ecosystem for independent film. This is a part-time commitment.
There is *no* cost to participate in the incubator if you are selected.
Those who are not selected for the incubator will receive access to the learnings gained through the incubator via our newsletter, podcast appearances, and documentation of the process.
Q: Am I applying with a finished film?
A: No, a film that is in development, in the early stages of being prepped. Ideally you'd have a script written and/or a documentary treatment ready to go. You are not submitting the script or the film when you apply. Please just submit the required application materials - answers to the essay questions + a PDF of all team bios.
Q: How long is the time commitment if accepted?
A: 2-4 hours a week throughout 8 week incubator.
Q: Does my teammate have to be a teammate for life?
A: No, you can "date" potential collaborators during the incubator and not have 100% commitment to work with them on your submitted project. Also, please note you can apply with any additional member of the crew (does not have to be "above the line")
*Applicant is applying with a project in development or pre-production. Please do not submit films that are already shot; no need to upload project file or screenplay.
*The only items submitted are answers to 4 essay questions and 1 attachment to your project: Bios for all applying teammates (PDF).
*Applicant must be 21 or older.
*Applicants must be US-based, looking to produce content in the US.
*All entries must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
*Multiple entries are accepted, provided an appropriate entry fee is submitted for each application.
*Entries that do not meet all Rules & Guidelines will be automatically disqualified and the submission fee WILL NOT be refunded.