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NBCU Academy’s Original Voices Accelerator Fellowship Provides Mentorship To Student Filmmakers & Critics

One of the most powerful things about Gen Z is their distinctive and determined voices — especially in creative industries. Year after year, student journalists, artists, and filmmakers make waves in the media, highlighting important, inclusive, and rising perspectives. And, with more Gen Z creatives taking the world by storm, NBCU Academy and the NBC News Studios’ Original Voices program have announced the Original Voices Accelerator: a program designed to shine a light on student filmmakers.

On Dec. 1, NBCU Academy and NBC News Studios’ Original Voices program launched the opportunity of a lifetime. The Orginal Voices Accelerator is a six-month fellowship aimed at U.S.-based student filmmakers and critics interested in documentary film, journalism, and inclusion. If accepted into the program, students will be paired with an experienced Original Voices Fellow, who will mentor them in the development of their chosen project, alongside an $8,000 grant for production and development costs.

The fellowship, in collaboration with NBCU Academy’s academic partner the University of Missouri, will also feature a series of educational workshops and events. These events will be hosted by industry experts from organizations such as Sundance Institute, Firelight Media, BlackStar Projects, IF/Then Shorts, NeXt Doc, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Third Horizon, and Exposure Labs. Fellows will also have access to extensive networking opportunities, including the Based on a True Story Conference and the True/False Festival.

How do I apply to the Original Voices Accelerator program?

Applications for the Original Voices Accelerator opened on Dec. 1, and will be closing on Dec. 15, 2023. Then, just a few weeks later, applicants should expect to hear back regarding their status. The 2024 fellowship runs from Feb. 15, 2024 through July 25, 2024, with a projected 10 recipients gaining access to the program.

To apply, students must be based in the United States, as well as be student filmmakers and/or critics. Additionally, applicants must have a passion and desire to showcase stories highlighting social issues such as women, LGBTQ+ folx, communities of color, people with disabilities, and more. To apply and to learn more about the rules, the application link can be found here.

As a former student filmmaker, I couldn’t be more pleased to see media giants like NBC take initiative in highlighting important, diverse perspectives.

julianna (she/her) is an associate editor at her campus where she oversees the wellness vertical and all things sex and relationships, wellness, mental health, astrology, and gen-z. during her undergraduate career at chapman university, julianna's work appeared in as if magazine and taylor magazine. additionally, her work as a screenwriter has been recognized and awarded at film festivals worldwide. when she's not writing burning hot takes and spilling way too much about her personal life online, you can find julianna anywhere books, beers, and bands are.