Love Nwigwe was so surprised by the news that her film had been selected for production funding, training, mentorship and distribution with TELUS STORYHIVE, she had to leave work and get her husband to re-read the acceptance email.
“This is my very first film. It was intimidating to apply, but the passion and desire to tell my story was so much, I was ready to try anything!”
It’s been 10 years since STORYHIVE first launched its program for local content creators. Each year, aspiring content creators across B.C. and Alberta are selected to work alongside incredible industry mentors, in partnership with the National Screen Institute, and watch their vision come to life. Applications for the Anniversary Documentary Edition opens today and you can learn more at storyhive.com/apply.
Your Story. Your Narrative.
Nwigwe works as a wellness consultant at a Red Deer medical clinic, where she offers counselling services to people in her community who are experiencing racism, bullying and other forms of harassment. Her short film, I Can’t Breathe, shares true stories of racial discrimination from Black people living in Canada.
“I was also surprised that STORYHIVE selected my film because, in my head, no one would want to sponsor this kind of topic.”
But STORYHIVE works endlessly to support local emerging content creators, giving underrepresented communities an opportunity to share their stories — so Nwigwe’s film was a perfect fit. Not only did she receive production funding to bring her film to life, she was matched with an experienced Black female filmmaker who mentored her through every step of the process.
“My film is so direct, and I worried about making people feel uncomfortable. But my mentor encouraged me not to sugarcoat my story, to tell it the way it is,” Nwigwe says. “She offered me guidance, but made sure the film was still in my voice.”
Nwigwe hosted a red carpet private viewing of I Can’t Breathe at a Red Deer cinema this past fall, and the project will premiere on on TELUS Optik TV in February for Black History Month. So far, the response has been excellent.
“The cinema had 180 seats, and all of them were full. People sat on the ground! Now I’m receiving requests for viewings from community groups, schools and healthcare centres. Community leaders want to share my film with their staff,” she says.
“I wanted to tell this story to highlight the dangers of racism. I wanted the victims of racism to feel heard and seen. I also wanted to create awareness, and an opportunity for self-reflection, which to me is an essential step in addressing personal and historical racism.”
Apply now to share your story
Join the STORYHIVE community and pitch any short documentary idea you’re passionate about. Consider these themes as you fine-tune your idea:
- Community: People and organizations creating meaningful change or shaking up an industry.
- Technology: Technology that is connecting communities and powering innovative programs.
- Environment: Sustainable solutions and education on protecting our planet.
- Healthcare: Providers and innovative systems improving accessibility and quality of care.
- Agriculture & Food Sustainability: Ground breaking agricultural practices and sustainability of the food we eat, grow and buy.
New and emerging content creators from all backgrounds in B.C. and Alberta are encouraged to apply to the 2023 Anniversary Documentary Edition before midnight on Feb. 28, 2023 at storyhive.com/apply.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating ten years of supporting local content creators across B.C. and Alberta, especially in regions like Red Deer,” says Shaun Cathcart, STORYHIVE’s Southern Alberta Territory Manager. “STORYHIVE is built on local storytelling and representing the people that make our communities so amazing. It is exciting to be accepting applications for our biggest edition yet with our Anniversary Documentary Edition. We hope to see many diverse stories from the people of Red Deer. If you have an idea to pitch, we encourage you to apply and share your story.”
The STORYHIVE community is dedicated to supporting emerging local creators from small communities across B.C. and Alberta.
“The time has come for us to start telling our stories ourselves. I’m excited to be a part of STORYHIVE’s first ten years helping emerging artists like me, and am looking forward to the next 10 years,” Nwigwe says.
Since 2013, STORYHIVE has been able to support a community including thousands of local content creators across B.C. and Alberta, providing over $52 million in production funding and creating a safe space for storytellers to hone their skills and bring the projects they care about to life. Celebrate 10 years of community support with STORYHIVE and apply for their Anniversary Documentary Edition.
Application intake opens January 17, 2023 at 12pm PT and 1pm MT. STORYHIVE is funding 80 short documentaries with $20,000 in production funding, training, mentorship and distribution on TELUS Optik TV.
Send in your application to storyhive.com/apply before midnight on February 28, 2023!