Cucalorus and Working Films seek applications for the 2023 Works-in-Progress Lab


Cucalorus Film Foundation and Working Films are seeking applications for the 2023 Works-in-Progress Lab, to be held this upcoming Sept. 24-Oct. 1, 2023. Filmmakers with social justice documentary projects at various stages of production are encouraged to apply up until midnight on Friday, April 28.

The Cucalorus Works-in-Progress (WiP) Lab is an immersive experience supporting social justice documentaries with a focus on Black storytelling. Co-designed and coordinated by Working Films, participating artists receive feedback on their work-in-progress and explore audience engagement strategies through workshops, consultations, and community screenings during a collaborative residency on the Cucalorus creative campus in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. Now in its fifteenth year, the Works-in-Progress lab was launched in 2008 through a partnership between Working Films and Cucalorus and has supported an amazing list of projects that have gone on to premiere at major festivals like Sundance and Tribeca. Previous WiP Lab films have included Always in Season (Jacqueline Olive), Hazing (Byron Hurt), Mama Bears (Daresha Kyi), and American Promise by Joe Brewster & Michele Stephenson.

Selected filmmakers come to Wilmington for a weeklong residency which includes training, workshops and community engagement screenings. Experienced documentary filmmakers like Byron Hurt, Natalie Bullock Brown, Jacqueline Olive, and Lana Garland serve as mentors during the residency. In addition to one-on-one sessions with mentors, filmmakers work on creating impact campaigns, discussing fundraising strategies, and exploring festival and distribution opportunities. During residency week, filmmakers will have an opportunity to screen their work-in-progress footage with organizations and individuals who are working on the issues which their film addresses. These intimate screenings provide valuable feedback for filmmakers as they finish editing their projects and develop impact campaigns. 

All selected filmmakers receive full travel support and per diems. To find out more about the program, email Dan Brawley at Further program details can be found on the Cucalorus website and the full application can be found here