Inaugural Native American Unscripted Workshop

Inaugural Native American Unscripted Workshop

The Native American Media Alliance is launching a new initiative centered on supporting and spotlighting Native American documentary filmmakers. With support from Comcast NBCUniversal, A+E Networks, CNN, Turner Sports, YAHOO and the Cherokee Nation Film Office, the organization is introducing the Native American Unscripted Workshop for emerging and seasoned indigenous documentary filmmakers seeking to explore outlets for their current and upcoming projects.

“This initiative represents a great opportunity for Native American documentarians and offers genuine outlets to grow their careers.” Stated Ian Skorodin, Director of Strategy for the Native American Media Alliance. “Our numerous writer programs have had incredible success and this new endeavor will provide the same opportunities for our filmmakers.”

Created to provide new opportunities for Native American documentarians, the Native American Unscripted Workshop is a virtual week-long creative lab that provides access to creative executives, experienced producers and veteran documentary filmmakers. In its inaugural year, the Native American Unscripted Workshop will accept approximately 10 Native American filmmakers to participate in the inaugural program taking place in late October, 2021. The Early Deadline to apply is August 31st, 2021 (Regular Deadline is September 7th and the Final Deadline is September 14th).

The Native American Unscripted Workshop is designed to encourage Native American filmmakers to expand on their current opportunities. The workshop culminates in a pitch panel that will have each fellow present their latest project. As part of the WarnerMedia News and Sports participation, members of the CNN Original Series and Films team will lead a workshop and Turner Sports senior executive will participate in the pitching panel along with a CNN unscripted executive.

Application is available below.


About the Program

The week-long curriculum will have daily creative discussions with experienced producers, creative executives and veteran filmmakers. These meetings will provide additional insight into professional development, exploring career opportunities and developing a project for pitching.

The workshop will culminate with each participant pitching before a panel of unscripted creative executives. This final component will have each participant receive feedback and guidance on their current unscripted or documentary project. Each workshop participant will have the opportunity to discuss creative development, enhance their respective materials and improve their project sample. The goal of the pitch panel is to provide Native American filmmakers with additional opportunities and exposure.


Application Process

How it Works:

If accepted into the workshop you must be willing to make a commitment to a multi-day program that will entail day and evening commitments.

Who Should Apply:

The Native American Unscripted Workshop is for emerging and seasoned indigenous filmmakers who have a vested interest in advancing their careers in the unscripted and documentary field. The Native American Unscripted Workshop is for indigenous filmmakers who have an unscripted or documentary film (short or feature), documentary or unscripted series script, documentary or unscripted treatment or a bible for an unscripted television series. Each selected participant must be capable of developing their materials according to the guidance provided in the workshop and offer their material as a salable property.

When to Apply:

The submission period for the Inaugural Native American Unscripted Workshop is now open.

How to Apply:

The online application form is below. Please include a completed application form, a completed release form, biography, resume, statement of interest and submit one sample of the following:

  1. 1) Documentary or unscripted film (short or feature)
  2. 2) Documentary or unscripted series script
  3. 3) Documentary or unscripted series treatment or series bible
  4. 4) Documentary or unscripted feature film treatment
  5. 4) Concept materials for a documentary or unscripted series.
  6. Please note that filmmaker teams are eligible. You must be 18 or over to apply. All submitted materials must be original and all rights must be wholly owned by the applicant.

Application Deadline: 

Early Deadline is August 31st, 2021 11:59pm PST  $45

Regular Deadline is September 7th, 2021 11:59pm PST  $55

Final Deadline September 14th, 2021 11:59pm PST  $65

Please download release form here.