Firelight Media was born in 2000 to address the deficit of films made by and about diverse communities, particularly people of color. Founded and led by MacArthur “genius” Fellow Stanley Nelson and award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith in Harlem, NY, the organization has gone on to produce over 25 hours of primetime programming for public television, receive every major broadcast award, and have its first theatrical release (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution).
In over fifteen years, Firelight has established a track record of producing contemporary and historical social issue documentaries as well as developing diverse storytellers and audiences. Firelight is the premier independent production company dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as a platform for education and action.
Best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and creating dynamic community engagement campaigns, Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history and in doing so has produced a number of award-winning films including Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till, A Place of Our Own, and Freedom Summer.