The lab, which includes residencies at Camden International Film Festival in Maine, Big Sky Documentary Festival in Montana, and Seattle International Film Festival in Washington State, provides progressive immersion into film learning. Topics range from storytelling basics and pitching, to presentation and marketing, to distribution and networking. Past cohorts have included Razelle Benally (Oglala/Diné), Alex Lazarowich (Cree), Taylor Hensel (Cherokee Nation), Justyn Ah Chong (Kanaka Maoli), Ivan & Ivy MacDonald (Blackfeet), JJ Neepin (Cree), Asia Youngman (Cree/Métis/Haudenosaunee), Shaandiin Tome (Diné), and Khalil Hudson (Tlingit).

Although the lab usually begins in February at Big Sky, the organizing team decided to postpone live events to ensure safety. “Virtual convenings and online festival events have been incredibly valuable, adaptive resources for emerging filmmakers in the wake of COVID-19, as we experienced with the 2020 lab,” said Rachel Gregg, Executive Director of Big Sky. “As we launch the next cohort, we hope to maximize opportunities for in-person industry events alongside digital convenings.”

Activities related to this lab will kick off virtually in July 2021, with in-person activities beginning at Camden in October 2021, as COVID safety protocols allow.

4th World focuses on emerging and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers. Applicants will share their journey toward connecting with their community and ancestors, with a goal of nurturing authentic, accountable storytelling rooted in lived Indigenous realities.

“We’ve witnessed so many magical moments as participants share creative ideas, technical knowledge, laughter (so much laughter), and moral support. It’s what sustains the work of a storyteller, to be in community!” said Tracy Rector of Nia Tero and founder of 4th World.

The application period is now open and will last through April 30, 2021. The cohort will be announced in June of 2021.

Online application for 4th World Indigenous Media Lab:

Contact Information
Nia Tero
Julie Keck, Consulting Producer
[email protected]


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