ADOC IMPACT FELLOWSHIP Guidelines and Overview

The A-Doc Impact Fellowship seeks social justice-oriented leaders, filmmakers, impact strategists, thinkers, doers, and believers with ideas for projects that organize within and support AAPI communities to bring about long-term, equitable social change by leveraging nonfiction film, narrative strategies, or storytelling.

A-Doc will award three (3) Impact Fellows a grant ($20,000) towards the implementation of their Impact project and a year-long fellowship program (12 months, April 2024 – April 2025), designed for the Impact Fellows to be in community with a cohort of peers, collaborators, co-conspirators, and leaders within the documentary film and social justice ecosystem. A-Doc will carefully craft the program to be tailored towards the needs of each Impact project to provide the optimal amount of support and mentorship required. Fellows are expected to complete their proposed projects by the end of the fellowship.


We will consider projects that focus on one or more of our broad goals of the Impact Fellowship supporting individuals leading projects within AAPI communities to bring about long-term, equitable social change that leverages an aspect of nonfiction film, narrative strategies, or storytelling. In our view, there are numerous, intersecting issues that have historically and continue to impact our AAPI communities—for example, working-class immigrants fighting exploitation and gentrification; combating the rise of anti-AAPI hate; campaigns to decriminalize massage therapy; undocumented folks fighting for a pathway to citizenship; as well as efforts to envision and create alternatives to our current systems and structures that negatively impact AAPI communities.

We expect applicants to make the case that their projects have the potential to contribute something valuable to the debate and discussions around AAPI movements. We are living in unprecedented times, where issues impacting the AAPI communities are exceptionally complex and involve an array of interrelated social, economic, political, and historical dynamics. As such, to the extent that it’s relevant to applicants’ proposed work, we encourage applicants to demonstrate how their projects fit within the current social and political moment, and AAPI movement and organizing work past and present. We encourage applicants to contextualize their projects, and propose how the project moves us toward a more just and equitable society for our AAPI communities.


Who is the Impact Fellowship for?
While we do not limit how any applicant identify as part of their craft and work, here are some examples of who the Impact Fellowship is for:

• Filmmakers / Impact Producers – While the Impact Fellowship is not designed to support a film’s impact campaign, it can support an individual—who can be a part of a film project—to better position their already in place or envisioned strategies for impact. There will need to be distinction that the award is not directly supporting an impact campaign or production costs, but instead is building off the impact work.

○ E.g. A filmmaker with an ongoing impact campaign who intends to use the funds to pay for the campaign costs will not be eligible.
○ E.g. A filmmaker, who is committed to impact work in film, wants to use the funds to create filmmaking workshops for AAPI youth as a way of democratizing access to the medium. This can be eligible.

• Social Justice Activists / Organizers – You are an activist / organizer working within AAPI communities that is seeking to create a new project that ensures our people are seen, heard and empowered.

○ E.g. You work at an organization that leads campaigns directly working to support AAPI communities, and you want to lead a storytelling workshop of oral traditions that shares knowledge, art, ideas and cultural materials that are received, preserved, and transmitted orally from one generation to another.

• Community Leaders – You are a leader and/or directly impacted member of an AAPI community that is working to address an issue that impacts your community.

• Policy Makers – You are working to create structural transformation for AAPI communities through policy advocacy, and you want to leverage non-fiction film or storytelling as part of your work.

Watch the recording of the Impact Fellowship Info Session HERE. Check out a compiled FAQ list HERE.

Applications Open: January 4, 2024
Info Session: January 11, 2024 at 7pm ET — Watch the recording HERE.
Applications Closes: February 15, 2024 at 11:59PM ET
A-Doc Impact Fellowship Review Period: January 11, 2024 – March 20, 2024
Award Notification: March 21, 2024
Fellowship Period: April 2024 – April 2025


The selection process will transpire through a robust panel process that includes A-Doc Impact Initiative working group members to select a shortlist. This shortlist will be reviewed by members of the A-Doc Steering Committee, whose work best reflects the eligibility section of this award. We commit to acknowledging our power and privilege and will challenge and examine our own perspectives throughout the selection process.

Ideal candidates have some experience with developing collaborative or community-based projects that involve the AAPI community and incorporate key elements of non-fiction/documentary film, narrative strategies, or storytelling. Candidates are in alignment with A-Doc values and promise to contribute to a collaborative learning environment. We value applications with diverse backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and expertise.

Eligible Impact Fellow Candidates:

  • Are at least 21 years of age
  • Are committed to working collaboratively with their cohort members
  • Are in alignment with A-Doc values
  • Demonstrate a practice or deep interest in supporting the AAPI community through film, art, and storytelling
  • Are familiar with the cultural history and issues impacting the AAPI community
  • Projects must focus and center AAPI communities and/or participants
  • Participants must be prepared for their participation in the Impact Fellowship cohort between March 2024 – March 2025 (including travel). See below for more information.
  • Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted.
  • Must be based in the U.S.

Projects NOT eligible:

  • Projects that do not focus on social issue topics relevant to the AAPI experience.
  • Projects that do not center Asian and/or Asian American communities and/or participants.
  • Projects that do not incorporate impact towards social change, either with nonfiction film, narrative strategies, or storytelling.
  • Projects that intend to use impact fellowship grant towards production costs, distribution or any related expenses towards a film or media project.


A-Doc Impact Fellowship Program
The Impact Fellowship program consists of the following components:

1. Cohort Retreat at CAAMFest (San Francisco, CA // May 9 – 19, 2024)
Through a series of formal cohort meetings and individual mentorship, the Cohort Retreat will take place at CAAMfest 2024, to focus on developing and strengthening the Fellow and their project. The Cohort Retreat is a crucial part of the program, and this will be an important dedicated time and space in which to pause your daily routine and focus on further developing your Impact project..

2. Cohort Support (virtual // April 2024 – 2025)
The Impact Fellowship will meet virtually on a monthly schedule throughout the program period, and you will meet for one (1) to two (2) hours. During the call, we will problem solve and provide support around issues and concerns.

Each Cohort Support session will focus one of the following learning outcomes and modules:

  • Topics and themes related to the Impact Speaker Series
  • How to budget for a project
  • Project management
  • Theory of Change
  • Asian diasporic identity
  • Place-based history/movement work
  • Impact happening globally
  • Fundraising
  • Partnership and strategy development
  • Self-care (within movement work)
  • Non-extractive storytelling
  • Skill-share sessions X3: Impact Fellow will be given the opportunity to share something specific to their project
  • A-Doc Storytelling Initiative

3. Individual Mentorship (virtual // April 2024 – 2025)
We will offer quarterly opportunities for one-hour meetings with A-Doc filmmakers and change-makers as well as leaders within our documentary and social justice ecosystem. Mentorship will be tailored specific to your project goals and needs. Throughout the year, the A-Doc Impact Initiative working group will also be available to provide mentorship and assistance, as needed.

4. Reports and Questionnaires (April 2024 – 2025)
You will be required to submit or fill out reports and evaluations throughout the year.

Make sure to follow us on social media at @aadocnetwork and subscribe to our newsletter at to stay updated on the latest A-Doc news.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email us at and

About the A-Doc Impact Initiative
The Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), is a member-driven network of 1,300+ Asian American storytellers and film professionals working to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans and Asian transnationals in the documentary/nonfiction field.

While the work of A-Doc has largely focused on advocacy and representation within the nonfiction media ecosystem, A-Doc members have long understood the vital role their films play in elevating Asian American history, perspectives and experiences in the public sphere. As a collective, A-Doc has a strong track record of collaborating with civic and cultural organizations, but this work has lacked strategy, coordination and sustained support. Understanding the need for greater coordination between filmmakers and organizers, A-Doc aims to elevate the network’s role within the social justice ecosystem. The network is committed to expanding the pipeline of stories about Asian Americans and ensuring those stories are informed by justice movements.

Our Impact Speaker Series acts as a prelude to the launch of the Impact Fellowship program, providing applicants with a shared understanding and analysis of how film and storytelling can support and create social change for our AAPI communities.


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