Ends on

Are you interested in exploring and preserving New Orleans culture bearers practices? Want to learn about documentary filmmaking?

NOVAC is taking applications for a cohort of eight New Orleans community members to learn and produce films over the course of nine months, November 2023 to July 2024. Participants are not required to have prior filmmaking experience. APPLICATION DEADLINE is September 29th. 

The cohort of eight filmmakers will be broken down into two separate film projects and the following roles, with one role per film:

  • Two Culture Bearer / Practitioner Co-Directors
  • Two Directors
  • Two Editors
  • Two Cinematographers

All of the cohort participants will learn about their skillset in depth, with a collective emphasis on learning about general production. The two culture bearer / practitioner co-directors will be working closely with their film teams to shape the narratives. The two director cohort members will be responsible for guiding the vision of their team's project. During production, the cinematographer cohort members will be collaborating with the cinematography mentor to shoot the films. During post production, the editor cohort members will be responsible for delivering a rough cut, fine cut, and picture locked cut, working in close collaboration with the editor mentor. The NOVAC Creative Services Manager and Coordinator will be serving as the producers for both films. In addition to the production of their short films, each cohort member will be required to attend 12 of our independent filmmaker courses over the course of the nine month program. Each cohort participant will receive an $800 stipend upon the completion of the cohort. 

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR A DIRECTOR ROLE: Tell us your connection to New Orleans culture bearers, and why you want to become a director. 

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR A CULTURE BEARER CO-DIRECTOR ROLE: Pitch us the story about your cultural practice, and how sharing your practice through film would impact your work. We want you to be central to shaping your own narrative through this process, and also hone your own filmmaking skills along the way. 

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR AN EDITOR OR CINEMATOGRAPHER ROLE: Tell us about why you want to learn about either editing or cinematography, and we'll train you in that skill set from pre-production to post-production. 

Each film team will produce an 8-minute short film. Cohorts will be led and supported by mentors and have assistance from professional filmmakers. This is a hybrid program between in person and virtual meetings, participants should be able to get to New Orleans, as needed. Participants should be prepared to dedicate about 5-10 hours per week to this commitment (ranging depending on what part of the production process we are in) from November 2023 to July 2024. These weekly time commitments include: bi-monthly independent filmmaker courses with industry professionals, cohort meetings for production, and shooting / editing the film in the spring.


This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts 

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.