ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program (Summer 2023)

2023 Application Timeline

  • Monday, April 17 at 9:00am PST | Applications open for mentors and apprentices APPLY HERE >

  • Friday, April 28 at 10am | Info Session (will be recorded for later viewing) WATCH RECORDING HERE >

  • Sunday, May 7 at 11:59pm PST | Application closes for apprentices

  • Sunday, May 14 at 11:59pm PST | Application closes for mentors

  • Monday, May 22 | Apprentice finalists notified

  • Monday, May 29 – Friday, June 2 (Weekdays) | Interviews with mentor finalists and apprentice finalists

  • Friday, June 2 – Friday, June 9 | Final mentor and apprentice cohort selected and notified

⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

About the ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program

An initiative of Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), the ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program is now in its second year, generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and with equipment support from Foundry10. The program is geared towards individuals who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or living with a disability, for whom on-set experience on narrative film sets has historically been difficult to access at intermediate and professional levels.

ACTION! is modeled after NWFF’s RGPro Apprenticeship Program, which pays mentors and apprentices to create productions together on feminist film sets, with the apprentices leading the creative vision.

Summer 2023 Program Overview

The Second Annual Narrative Apprenticeship Program will take a script from concept through production and post-production, to create a final finished film that is a collaboration between mentors and apprentices. Apprentices and mentors must be able to commit to the entire duration of the program, especially on the in-person film shoot days.

Available roles are as follows:


Seven (7) apprentice roles will be available during the Pre-Production and Production stages and will be compensated at a rate of $25 / hour. Must be available between June 12 and July 9; please see timeline below. (* Note: Writer / Director will also play a role during the Post-Production phase)

  • Producer (estimated 35 hours)
  • Writer / Director * (estimated 55 hours)
  • Cinematographer (estimated 35 hours)
  • 1st AC (estimated 35 hours)
  • Gaffer / Grip (estimated 30 hours)
  • Production Sound (estimated 30 hours)
  • Production Designer (estimated 30 hours)

Three (3) apprentice roles will be available for Post-Production stages, and will be compensated at a rate of $25 / hour. Must be available between July 12 and August 30.

  • Editor (estimated 40 hours)
  • Sound Editor (estimated 20 hours)
  • Color (estimated 20 hours)


Nine (9) mentor roles will mirror apprentice roles for Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production, with similar hours. Mentors will be compensated at a rate of $50 / hour. (* Note: Writer / Director mentor role has been filled.)

  • Producer (estimated 35 hours)
  • Cinematographer (estimated 35 hours)
  • 1st AC (estimated 35 hours)
  • Gaffer / Grip (estimated 30 hours)
  • Production Sound (estimated 30 hours)
  • Production Designer (estimated 30 hours)
  • Editor (estimated 40 hours)
  • Sound Editor (estimated 20 hours)
  • Color (estimated 20 hours)

Artists, mentors, and apprentices who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color), living with a disability, femme, gender non-conforming, LGBTQ+, undocumented, and/or live in unincorporated King County are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Timeline

Within each phase, exact dates and times of meetings will be arranged with cohort members based on availability. Mentors and apprentices can expect weekly small group check-ins as well as occasional large group meetings, virtual or in-person. All film production prep days and film production days (July 7 to July 9) must be in-person.

  • Monday, June 12 – Thursday, July 6 – Pre-Production Phase
  • Friday, July 7 – Film Production Prep
  • Saturday, July 8 & Sunday, July 9 – Film Production Days
  • Wednesday, July 12 – Wednesday, August 30 – Post-Production Phase
  • Thursday, September 14 – Sunday, September 24 – Local festival film premiere, screening, and discussion

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on each individual’s:

  • Eligibility within the above stated parameters;
  • Conversational interview with Northwest Film Forum team
  • Positionality and intersectionality of historically underrepresented, underserved, and under-resourced identities;
  • Intermediate level of experience within film and previous work samples;
  • Artist’s demonstrated commitment to build their creative practice;
  • Likelihood that the apprenticeship opportunity will present a significant career development opportunity, particularly around narrative filmmaking

In addition to each individual, mentors and apprentices will also be selected based on perceived synergy between the cohort as a whole, to create the most empowering and supportive filmmaking experience possible. Factors which will be considered includeSynergy between each mentor and apprentice pairing

  • Balance in levels of experience, skill sets, creative interests, and working styles
  • Alignment in shared vision of filmmaking ethos

Selection Panel

Applications will be reviewed by the mentorship team using the above selection criteria, with priority considerations given to artists who have historically been undervalued and underrepresented in the mainstream film industry.


Reach out to Education Director Netsanet Tjirongo at for feedback requests, eligibility, or any questions you have about applying.

Please read our FAQ here.

Please view the Application Guide for tips and best practices.

Application Materials

All mentor and apprentice applicants will need to provide an Artist Biography, an Artist Values Statement, Work Samples, and answer two Narrative Questions. Apprentices who are applying for the writer-director role will be required to submit an additional Screenplay Sample for consideration for the final project.

Please view the Application Guide for tips and best practices.



Film production days are expected to be long (10 hours+), and certain roles may require the lifting of heavy objects. However, applicants who identify as living as living with a disability are encouraged to apply. If you would like to request accessibility services because you have concerns about being on-set, the application contains an “Access Needs” section where you can provide more details, including any requests or questions, so that the apprenticeship program can try to accommodate a diverse cohort.

Exact schedules will be determined between mentors and apprentices. Some roles may meet virtually, though production prep days and production days will require being in-person, on-set, during a specific schedule.

Should you anticipate that you may experience a barrier in applying, please email Education Director Netsanet Tjirongo at This will in no way affect your chances of being selected.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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