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List of California Documentary Project NextGen Grants


BAYCAT’s Zoom In Series: Your New Storytellers Are Here!  

Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology, San Francisco, CA
Project Director: Nisa Sanders
BAYCAT (Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts & Technology (BAYCAT)’s Youth Academy will provide free hands-on digital media training to young storytellers from low-income Bay Area communities of color, empowering them to discover and activate their own creative voices and narratives. Youth work in cohorts to produce themed episodes of their award-winning media series Zoom In, which explores critical social justice issues and responds to local current events from the perspective of youth themselves. The project serves as an opportunity to not only celebrate diverse youth storytellers and build social justice awareness around the issues they face, but also to shine light on the solutions that youth propose. $15,000

Get Lit Globe

Get Lit Words Ignite, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Samuel Curtis
Literary Riot Media, Get Lit’s youth media program for students ages 13 to 18, will produce Get Lit Globe, a documentary and interview web series hosted by acclaimed Los Angeles poet, Maia Mayor. Maia will speak with well-known poets, authors, and thinkers covering issues that connect all writers around the globe, explore the diverse neighborhoods of LA seen through the lens of a poet, and create an intimate, real-world portrait of the city and its youth culture. $15,000 

Kayamanan Ng Lahi’s (KNL’s) Media PAMANA Project 

Visual Communications, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Giselle Tongi
KNL’s Media PAMANA Project will train youth participants (called Pamana/ Jr. Sayawit) of Kayamanan ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts group in media production skills to create short videos that explore their immigrant identity through the cultural traditions and customs of Philippine folk arts. Through documenting the stories of their immigrant families, culture, and community, media becomes the vehicle for self-expression and self-identification. $15,000

Radio Pulso

USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism/Boyle Heights Beat, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Michelle Levander
Radio Pulso is a community radio program and podcast hosted and reported by youth reporters that covers topics relevant to the low-income, largely immigrant Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. With community input, youth reporters choose the subject matter for each podcast and research and write and produce the shows with mentoring from professional journalists. Radio Pulso is a project of Boyle Heights Beat, a youth development program and bilingual news source that has been providing “noticias por y para la comunidad” or “news for and by the community” since 2010. $14,298

#TimesUp, Now What?

Reel Stories – A Film Program for Girls, Oakland, CA
Project Director: Esther Pearl
Through found footage, interviews, and conversations, Reel Stories teen-aged female and gender non-binary filmmakers will develop and produce a short film on their perspectives in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp. The film will create a platform for these young filmmakers to develop their voices and documentary storytelling skills, as well to become leaders and advocates for a more equitable future. $14,050


California Dreamers

Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Lisa Marr
Echo Park Film Center’s Summer Youth Class will focus on untold stories of Los Angeles’ undocumented population and create short documentary films that examine, explore and celebrate the lives of some of the state’s 2.5 million undocumented individuals. Participants between the ages of 12 and 18—including youth who are themselves undocumented—will learn about the current state and history of migrants through film, guest speakers and the surrounding community. $12,500

First Vote Project

Venice Arts, Venice, CA
Project Director: Issa Sharp
First Vote engages filmmakers ages 15 to 18 to produce a series of short films that use storytelling to explore issues important to young people who will be first time voters in 2020. In collaboration with a humanities advisor, participants will explore how their interests and concerns relate to the larger social, cultural and political landscape. $15,000

Influences & Influencers: San Francisco Youth Map Their Media

KALW San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, CA
Project Director: Ben Trefny
San Francisco Bay Area public radio station KALW will offer a two-phase podcasting project built on the station’s current training program in San Francisco Unified School District classrooms and its summer high school internship. Through youth-led research, workshops, and the creation of a six-part podcast series, the project will explore issues of media literacy and media’s influence on young Californians and their communities. $14,745

Nuevas Novelas Filmmaking Bootcamp

Justice for my Sister, A Project of Community Partners, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Kimberly Bautista
Justice for my Sister Collective will provide video production training for 18 young women of color and non-binary youth through an innovative and integrative creative training process. Participants will gain media literacy skills, hands-on experience with film industry professionals and storytelling skills as they produce short documentary films created by the youth themselves. $15,000

Speak City Heights Youth Voices

Media Arts Center San Diego, San Diego, CA
Project Director: Larry DaSilveira
Youth Voices is a 12-month initiative intended to amplify the voices of immigrant and refugee teens living in San Diego’s most diverse neighborhood, City Heights. The project will engage 60 students at two area Title 1 high schools, and work with professional media artists, a humanities advisor and project director to produce short documentary films about pertinent City Heights issues. $15,000

UCR Arts—Off the Block—Birth to Innovation

Regents of the University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA
Project Director: Nikolay Maslov
Off the Block is an award-winning, free media literacy and documentary production workshop designed to provide local high school students with an intensive summer learning experience. The workshop exposes emerging filmmakers to the history of film and documentary and equips them with artistic concepts and technical skills to complete their own documentary short. $15,000

The Oakland Public Education Fund / Youth Beat, Oakland, CA
Project Director: Jake Schoneker
Youth Beat will work with a team of ten advanced filmmaking students to produce a short documentary film that explores the rapidly changing face of Oakland and what this change means for youth in the city. The resulting film will be broadcast on education access station KDOL-TV and featured in a community screening and discussion event. $15,000