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Yeti, the renowned global outdoor brand, is stepping up to empower emerging documentary filmmakers with the launch of the Pretty Wild Fellowship. This generous initiative offers a substantial $200,000 grant to support four talented directors in creating short documentaries that provide fresh and captivating perspectives on the great outdoors, its splendor, vulnerability, and the remarkable stories of the people who call it home.
Developed in collaboration with Little Monster Films, the production company founded by Academy Award winners Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and the Points North Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the next generation of nonfiction storytellers, the Pretty Wild Fellowship promises to be a game-changer for budding documentarians.
The selected fellows will embark on a 10-month journey filled with mentorship, creative guidance, and financial support. Each filmmaker will receive an unrestricted grant of $50,000 to aid in the production of their documentaries. Vasarhelyi and Chin, celebrated figures in the world of documentary filmmaking, will serve as mentors for the inaugural group of grant recipients, providing invaluable insights and guidance.
Yeti, known for its commitment to showcasing captivating outdoor stories, has already produced over 75 films through Yeti Presents since its launch in 2015. Their latest offering, “All That Is Sacred,” made its debut at the Telluride Film Festival, further cementing their dedication to storytelling that explores the beauty and challenges of the natural world.
Paulie Dery, Yeti’s Chief Marketing Officer, expressed the brand’s excitement about the Pretty Wild Fellowship, stating, “Through the Pretty Wild fellowship, we can highlight new perspectives and support underrepresented, up-and-coming documentary filmmakers through mentorship and peer support.” This initiative reflects Yeti’s dedication to nurturing fresh talent and encouraging unique voices in the documentary filmmaking landscape.
The Pretty Wild Fellowship is a flexible program that aims to support both established and emerging filmmakers. It welcomes a diverse range of creative approaches and styles, making it an inclusive platform for documentary storytellers. Once the four filmmaking teams are selected, they will not only receive substantial grant funding but will also benefit from ongoing mentorship by industry experts. Additionally, the fellowship includes two creative retreats—one in Texas in March and the other tied to Maine’s prestigious Camden International Film Festival. The latter retreat offers participation in the Points North 1:1 program and a special work-in-progress screening session.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the visionary minds behind Little Monster Films, expressed their enthusiasm for the Pretty Wild Fellowship: “This fellowship will help emerging filmmakers in two fields—the outdoors and film—that we care so deeply about and have made beloved communities within. We look forward to seeing what projects are brought to the table and how we can help them along the way.”
Ben Fowlie, the Executive and Artistic Director of Points North and the founder of CIFF, added his excitement about the partnership: “We are thrilled to further our mission of providing support to diverse filmmakers from across the globe by partnering with Yeti to launch the Pretty Wild fellowship and contributing to the development of short films that illuminate our vital connection to the outdoors.”
Applications for the inaugural Pretty Wild Fellowship are set to open on September 26 and will remain open until November 20. This remarkable initiative promises to provide a transformative experience for emerging documentary filmmakers, offering them the resources, guidance, and mentorship needed to bring their unique outdoor stories to life.