Global Media Makers


Launched in 2016, Global Media Makers is an innovative mentoring initiative for international visual storytellers.

Global Media Makers connects filmmakers with leading U.S. entertainment professionals through comprehensive filmmaker education, business training, professional networking opportunities and tailored mentorships.

The program is supported through a partnership between Film Independent and The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Over 180 U.S. Mentors from the entertainment industry have participated in the program to offer project support and networking opportunities and foster creative connections for participating international filmmakers.

Past Creative Advisors and Mentors include Len Amato (HBO), Effie Brown (Dear White People), Alix Madigan (Winter’s Bone), Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha) and Ron Yerxa (Little Miss Sunshine).

Currently, the countries involved in the program are Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Check out our Global Media Makers Blog for updates and program coverage.

Fellowship, Residency & Outreach

Up to 14 Fellows from participating countries are selected for a year-long mentoring program that begins with a six-week LA Residency.

Fellows participate in filmmaking labs focused on screenwriting, directing, creative producing and documentary filmmaking where they develop their current projects with a team of American Mentors. The program provides master classes, industry and business training, field trips, cultural engagement and access to individual Mentors for project support and networking.

Global Media Makers Fellows also participate in hands-on production during the residency that provides exposure to the latest tools and technology to make film, television and new media.

In 2017 – the second year of Global Media Makers – 16 film, television and new media makers were selected as participants from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to the LA Residency, Global Media Makers organizes in-depth workshops in the various program countries. Workshops focus on a specific area of film or television and are led by prominent filmmakers and industry leaders from the U.S.

Learn more about Fellowship & Residency.

Nominations & Eligibility

Applications to Global Media Makers will be considered by nomination only.

The year-long mentoring program begins with a six-week LA Residency which takes place from the end of September to the beginning of November.

Nominated applicants must be a citizen and/or current resident of one of the eligible countries and submit an online application about a project currently in advanced development or production that addresses an issue of local importance in the applicant’s home country.

Learn more about Nominations & Eligibility.

Global Media Makers

About Film Independent

Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

About The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us, like religion, politics, language and ethnicity, and geography. Our programs build connections that engage and empower people, and motivate them to become leaders and thinkers; to develop new skills; and to find connections that will create positive change in their communities.