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Kendi King Acquires NBCU Original Creators Voices Fellowship

May 2024

NBCU Academy

Spelman documentary filmmaking student Kendi King, C’2024, earned a coveted spot in the National Broadcasting Company Universal (NBCU) Original Creators Voices Accelerator Fellowship.

Original Voices is an artist development and inclusion initiative for independent documentary filmmakers presented by NBCU Academy in partnership with NBC News Studios. The Original Voices Accelerator is a national open call for diverse U.S.-based student filmmakers and film critics interested in documentary film, journalism and inclusion in a new six-month fellowship.

Kendi King “As part of the fellowship, I have to complete a documentary short film proposed when applying, so that's my ultimate deliverable. [What] I hope to gain from the program is the opportunity to work with industry mentors who can help guide me through my transition from student to full-time filmmaker. I also hope to take advantage of the many excursions the fellowship offers including film festivals, screenings, and access to NBCU facilities and partner facilities,” said King.

Original Voices Accelerator Fellows (“Accelerator Fellows”) are matched with an Original Voices Fellow as their Artist Mentor for the duration of the Accelerator Program. Accelerator Fellows will receive an $8,000 grant to support the development and production of their creative projects and assist with the costs of traveling to and attending the in-person portions of one of the documentary industry's well regarded True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri.

In Her Own Words

Large Blue Quote LeftSpelman has given me my storytelling foundation. Through the Documentary Film major, and by engaging with material across my course load, I've been equipped with the vital creative tools to tell undocumented stories from underrepresented communities. My film professors Julie Dash and Anjanette Levert are the reason why I applied to this fellowship, along with the majority of opportunities I credit with advancing my film career. As working filmmakers, they are tapped in with all of the most coveted emerging filmmaker festivals and programs.

The main piece of advice I can give to the freshman and sophomore filmmakers I work with through the club Spelman Film Fusion is to apply to any and every opportunity that even closely aligns with your interests, as you never know which programs can change the course of your career for the better. I'd also say that it pays off to show up as your authentic self at all times, because it makes it easier to find the people and places that will actually help you grow as a creative.”

More About the Original Voices Accelerator

Brought by NBCU Academy, the Accelerator Program kicks off with an immersive day of workshops and in-depth conversations with leading artists and industry experts at the forefront of inclusion and innovation. Afterward, fellows will attend the Based on a True Story Conference (BOATS) hosted by the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri, an NBCU Academy Academic Partner, on the intersections of documentary film and journalism, followed by three days full of viewing and reviewing the best new creative nonfiction films at True/False Film Fest.

The Original Voices Accelerator is a pipeline to launch the generation of diverse creatives behind the camera and in the bylines with an annual convergence at the nation’s oldest journalism school and leading independent documentary film festival, introducing them to bold ideas, films, and leaders.