ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program (Summer 2022)

Applications open from:
April 11th, 2022 - May 8th, 2022

Pre-Production Dates:
May 23rd - July 6th (break from June 25th-July 4th)

Production Dates:
July 7th, 2022 - July 10th, 2022

Post-Production Dates:
July 13th, 2022 - August 17th, 2022

⚠️ Public safety notice ⚠️

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. To be admitted, patrons ages 5+ will also be required to present either proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered within the last 48 hours.

NWFF is adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. Read more about their policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.



An initiative of Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), the ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program is now in its first year, generously supported by the Butler Family Community Foundation, with equipment support from Foundry10. The program is geared towards BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and individuals 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.


The inaugural year of the Narrative Apprenticeship Program will take a script from concept through production and post-production, to create a final finished short film that is a collaboration between mentors and apprentices. All members of the cohort will come from a community historically underrepresented or underresourced in film. Apprentices and mentors must be able to commit to the entire duration of the program.

Available roles are as follows:

APPRENTICES – Five (5) 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 May 16 and June 26; please see timeline below. (* Note: Writer / Director will also play a role during the Post-Production phase, and must be available through August 3.)

  • Producer (estimated 30 hours)
  • Writer / Director * (estimated 45 hours)
  • Cinematographer (estimated 30 hours)
  • Gaffer / Grip (estimated 24 hours)
  • Production Sound (estimated 24 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 June 29 and August 3.

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

MENTORS – Seven (7) mentor roles will mirror apprentice roles for Post-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 30 hours)
  • Cinematographer (estimated 30 hours)
  • Gaffer / Grip (estimated 24 hours)
  • Production Sound (estimated 24 hours)
  • Editor (estimated 20 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.


Film production days are expected to be long (10 hours+), and certain roles may require the lifting of heavy objects. Applicants are encouraged to share their access needs, 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.

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.

Should you anticipate that you may experience a barrier in applying, please email Education Director Derek Edamura at To help us best accommodate you, if possible, please submit your request by Monday, April 25.


NWFF requires that all participants be vaccinated. All in-person meetings will be masked, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon between participants. Each in-person film production day will adhere to standard COVID-19 safety protocols, including masking, a negative test prior to coming on-set, and a negative test on-set during the first of two film production days.


  • Monday, April 11, 2022 at 9:00am PST – Applications open for mentors and apprentices
  • Friday, April 22 at 11:00am – 10:00pm PSTInfo Session – RSVP HERE (will be recorded for later viewing)
  • Sunday, May 8 at 11:59pm PST – Application closes
  • Monday, May 9 – Finalists notified
  • Monday, May 9 – Tuesday, May 17 (Weekdays) – Conversational interviews with mentor finalists and apprentice finalists
  • Friday, May 20 – Final mentor and apprentice cohort selected and notified


General timeline for the program is shown below. Within each production phase, exact dates and times of meetings will be arranged with each cohort and mentor-apprenticeship based on availability and schedule. Mentors and apprentices can expect weekly small group check-ins as well as occasional large group meetings.

COVID-safe, socially-distanced in-person meetings will be prioritized, though there may be some flexibility for virtual meetings, as necessary. All film production prep days and film production days (June 23 to June 26) must be in-person.

  • Monday, May 23 – Wednesday, July 6
    • Pre-Production Phase (exact schedule TBD)
    • Average meetings of 2.5 hours a week
    • (Break from June 25 through July 4)
  • Thursday, July 7 & Friday, July 8
    • Film Production Prep Days
    • Average of 6-8 hour days
  • Saturday, July 9 & Sunday, July 10
    • Film Production Days (all day)
    • Average of 10-12 hour days
  • Wednesday, July 13 – Wednesday, August 17
    • Post-Production Phase (exact schedule TBD)
  • Thursday, September 15 – Sunday, September 25
    • Local Sightings Film Festival for film premiere, screening, and discussion (exact date TBD)


The Narrative Apprenticeship Program is intentionally designed for emerging BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+, gender-expansive, and artists with a disability who have extensive experience working on their own creative projects but are looking for expanded opportunities on a professional film set. The ideal candidate has a fundamental understanding of their chosen field of filmmaking and is seeking to elevate their craft into intermediate or advanced levels through hands-on work experience and mentorship.

Selected apprentices must be able to say “Yes” to the statements listed below.

  • You are a filmmaker who identifies as BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+, gender-expansive, and/or living with a disability
  • You are an intermediate-level filmmaker who aspires towards a more advanced creative practice in one or more of the stated roles (ie: Producer, Writer / Director, Cinematographer, etc.)
  • You are able to commit to the program timeline as outlined
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You can provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or **Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if selected for this Apprenticeship Program

Ineligible creators:

  • Those who do NOT identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA+, gender-expansive, and/or living with a disability;
  • Those who work professionally full-time as one of the listed roles;
  • Those who are just beginning their filmmaking journey and have not worked on projects of their own or of others;
  • Those who are unable to commit to the program timeline below, especially shoot dates;
  • Those who have already created, produced, written, or directed their own feature film

If you have any questions about roles, eligibility, or anything else, please feel free to email Education Director Derek Edamura at


All mentor and apprentice applicants will need to provide an Artist Biography, an Artist Values Statement, Work Samples. 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.

  • Artist Values Statement is how the selection panel can better understand how your values as an artist and helps connect them with your work samples.
    • Some examples you could share are: your intentions for the work that you embark on, the thematic content you address, or impacts your work has had on you, your audience, or community. What prompts you to be a creator? What internal and/or external factors does your work respond to?
    • You will have the option to submit your Artist Values Statement in video, audio, OR written format, but not both. If more than one is submitted, the selection panel will only read the written submission.
      • Video or audio have a maximum duration of 90 seconds.
      • Text can include up to 300 words.
  • Artist Biography tells the brief, personal journey of you as an artist.
    • Some details you can share are: where you are based, where you grew up (if relevant to your work), your medium(s) and work process, how you came into your medium(s), any special techniques you use, notable recognitions or community work, and/or personal milestones that have shaped your work and evolution.
    • You will have the option to submit your Artist Biography in video, audio, OR written format, but more than one. If more than one is submitted, the selection panel will only read the written submission.
      • Video or audio have a maximum duration of 45 seconds.
      • Text can include up to 150 words.
  • Narrative Questions allow you to elaborate on your filmmaking past and hopes for the future.
      • Please describe your experience with filmmaking.
      • ACTION! is specifically for intermediate-level filmmakers looking to get to a more advanced practice. How will this apprenticeship program help you reach your goals as a filmmaker, particularly in narrative filmmaking?
  • Work Samples should be relevant to the on-set role(s) applicants are applying for, if possible. Videos, images, and text documents are allowed. Each application’s work sample(s) will be evaluated for no more than 8 minutes by each member of the selection panel, so please lead with your best samples, regardless of file type.
    • Video submissions will be reviewed for a cumulative total of no more than 8 minutes.
    • A descriptive section will allow you to describe your work samples in greater detail.
  • Work Sample Descriptions are highly encouraged and provide concrete details to help the selection committee understand your work samples. Some details to include may be:
    • Project title and completion year of each sample
    • A brief sentence that introduces or sets up the work sample
    • Your role (example: “I was the writer and director of this short film.”)
  • Screenplay Sample (applicable to writer-director apprentice applicants only) is an eligibility requirement for all writer-director applicants. The individual whose script is selected will also be the writer-director apprentice, and their script will be taken from pre-production, production, and post-production process as the final project which the ACTION! Narrative Apprenticeship Program undertakes collectively. Completed scripts should be no more than 6 pages, formatted in standard screenplay format. Must be an original work of the applicant and include a logline or description.


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 underresourced 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 include:

  • Synergy between each mentor and apprentice pairing
  • Balance in levels of experience, skillsets, 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.  For more information about eligibility and other program details please view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Privacy & Security

As an applicant, your data and content will only be viewed by select members of the Northwest Film Forum team. Any content, including any script samples, will not be used or shared publicly without your consent. The cohort will be publicly announced in May, with each mentor and apprentice’s bio and photo. Applicants who are not selected will not have their information or identities disclosed publicly.


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

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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