Founded by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Firelight Films produces documentary films and develops strategies, partnerships, and materials to reach and engage diverse audiences.
Firelight Films productions have garnered multiple Primetime Emmy, Peabody, IDA, and Sundance awards. Among them, the feature films Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre for the History Channel; Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy for Netflix; Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool; The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; and Freedom Riders. Upcoming Firelight Films productions include Attica, about the 1971 prison rebellion in upstate New York, for Showtime; and Creating the New World: The Transatlantic Slave Trade, a four-part documentary series for PBS.
We are committed to reach and engage diverse audiences around the world through documentary films.
Firelight Films is a premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color.
Critically-acclaimed filmmakers and creators.
Stanley Nelson is among the premier documentary filmmakers working today. His feature-length films combine compelling narratives with rich and deeply researched historical detail, shining new light on both familiar and under-explored aspects of the American past.
Marcia Smith is president and co-founder of Firelight Media, which produces documentary films, provides artistic and financial support to emerging filmmakers of color, and builds impact campaigns to connect documentaries to audiences and social justice advocates.
Rafiah Vitalis is Firelight’s Director of Finance and Operations. Rafiah has decades-long experience as a finance and nonprofit professional, deeply committed to work that creates transformative change in underserved and historically oppressed communities.
Justin Sherwood recently joined Firelight as Communications Director. He previously served as the Senior Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives at The New School (Schools of Public Engagement), where he also directed the college’s public program series, managed external partnerships, and was a part-time faculty member in the Creative Writing Program.
Patricia Marte is an Afro-Latinx Hip-Hop Artist, writer, and community engagement specialist. Raised in the South Bronx and based in Washington Heights, Patty is a graduate of Hunter College, where she received her B.A. in Creative Writing.