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Filmmakers in Residence

**NOTICE. The WGBH Lab is currently not taking submissions for The Filmmaker in Residence Program. The program is currently in hiatus. If you have questions, please feel free to e-mail us***

Our Resources. Your Movie.

Filmmakers in Residence (or "FIR") is the WGBH Lab's marquee program. Every year, the Lab hosts a small number of filmmakers and innovators from related industries such as commercial television, feature films, advertising, web or animation as they work on the production or post-production of their independently funded project. In addition to in-kind support, filmmakers are connected with some of WGBH's most talented and innovative media producers. The program is open to both up-and-coming filmmakers and veteran independents.

Filmmakers in Residence resources include:

  • A workspace dedicated to independent filmmakers at WGBH's Boston home
  • Access to an editing room and screening facilities
  • Professional development opportunities in the form of screenings and workshops with WGBH staff
  • A modest stipend

Application Details

Click the links below to find out more about the program and how to apply to be a WGBH Filmmaker in Residence.

How to Apply
Residency and Legal Agreements
Submit an Application

Production still from Production still from "Romeo"

Guidelines   [ back to top ]

We will review all applications and select up to three applicants for each term of the program. Their decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Evaluation criteria may include, but are not limited to, whether the project:

  • explores new genres, inventive approaches to content, and/or alternative narrative voices
  • reflects a cost-effective production model
  • is appropriate for broadcast on public television, broadband, and mobile media

Eligibility   [ back to top ]

While the resources of the Filmmakers in Residence program are best suited for projects in production or post-production, we will consider applications for projects that are still in the initial phases of research and development.

The successful applicant has a body of creative work and a proven commitment to innovation. Employees of WGBH are not eligible to enter. All application materials submitted become the property of WGBH and will not be acknowledged or returned.

If you are selected for the program, you must:

  • certify that the completed work is original, and no other person or entity holds rights to the work
  • certify that the completed work has had no prior cable, network or public television broadcast in the US
  • comply with all independent contractor criteria of WGBH including completing all independent contractor status verification paperwork required by WGBH (e.g. Taxpayer I.D. Number for Business). Failure to do so will disqualify you from participating in the program
  • not become an employee of, or provide other services to WGBH during your residency
  • obtain a fiscal agent if WGBH deems it necessary
  • complete, sign and return the Filmmakers in Residence Agreement

How to Apply   [ back to top ]

Aron Working (FIR Page)Aron Gaudet works on The Way We Get ByRegister as a user on the WGBH Lab website. You can use this username and password to access and comment on footage, and post your work to the site.

Complete and submit the online application that includes contact information, project synopsis, detailed proposal (including funding plans), a current bio, sample reel, and Submission Release Form.

(A PDF version of the submission release form is also available.)

Request a letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your work. They may attach it to the recommendation form provided. Please ask your recommender to mail us one copy of the form to the address below.

If you cannot provide direct link to your sample reel in the online application, you may mail one copy on DV, DVD, CD or VHS to the address below. Please label all media with your name and the title of your project. (See the Resources section for help on how to upload video to the web.)

Mail to:
WGBH Educational Foundation
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
Attention: WGBH Lab/Filmmakers in Residence

Applicants will not be notified if incomplete applications are submitted. Please submit only the requested items. All entry materials become the property of WGBH and will not be returned or acknowledged. WGBH is not responsible for entries that are lost, damaged, mutilated or misdirected. By submitting an application, you represent and warrant that you have all necessary rights to the material submitted.

Each applicant may submit only one application per program term. If you’re working with one or more people on your project, each member of the group must submit an application.

For help with how to write a proposal, see the proposal-writing guidelines on these pages:

Residency and Legal Agreements   [ back to top ]

Up to three applicants will be selected into the Filmmaker in Residence program. The Filmmaker in Residence is provided with office space and access to editing facilities and receives administrative support, including a computer, phone, and access to meeting and screening facilities. WGBH staff are available to provide editorial guidance and support. The Filmmaker in Residence also receives a small honorarium. The honorarium is made possible by the generous support of the LEF Foundation.

LEF logo

The Filmmaker in Residence grants WGBH a right of first refusal on finished programs and/or program concepts for local or national broadcast or development. The Filmmaker in Residence will curate or participate in screenings and portfolio sessions with WGBH colleagues. In exchange, in the event that the Filmmaker in Residence decides to grant or assign co-production, television, home video, audiovisual and/or any other distribution rights in the program or program concept, WGBH shall have an exclusive right of first negotiation to acquire such right(s) in the program, as follows:
The Filmmaker in Residence agrees not to engage in negotiations with any third party for any co-production, television, home video, audiovisual and/or other distribution rights in the United States, before engaging in exclusive good faith negotiations with WGBH for a period of ninety (90) calendar days to acquire such additional rights in the program. If no agreement is reached between the Filmmaker and WGBH within such ninety (90) calendar day period, then the Filmmaker will have the right to enter into negotiations with any third party for such rights; provided, however, that the Filmmaker will be obligated to provide WGBH credit on the program as set forth below.
In addition, all versions of the program and all advertising, promotional, print and web materials related to the program will carry an approved WGBH credit.

Submit an Application   [ back to top ]