Applications to open for second Native Lens Media Fellowship

Native Lens Fellows Isreal Duran (left), Laelah Kizzia (middle), Shannon Spencer (right) film an interview of Bird Red (background) for their film ‘Culture Within the Ice” as part of the 2023 Native Lens Media Fellowship program.
Photo Credit: Crystal Ashike | KSUT Tribal Radio

The Native Lens partnership is opening applications for the second Native Lens Media Fellowship on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The application process will be open until Friday, Dec. 15 with applicants being notified of their acceptance by the end of the month. The fellowship is open to all individuals who identify as Native or Indigenous in North America with the capability to travel to Durango, Colo. in February of 2024.

Accepted fellows will have the opportunity to learn filmmaking standards and practices under the guidance of Indigenous film and TV professionals, have workshops on community collaboration in nonfiction storytelling, as well as hands-on training for industry- standard practices, equipment, and software. The fellowship will have a series of virtual workshops starting in January and lasting until February where fellows will learn about preproduction practices and writing for media. In February the fellows will travel to Durango, Colo. and get hands-on practice learning how to work on a documentary set, and afterwards will be able to make a short nonfiction project that will screen at the Durango Independent Film Festival (DIFF). Travel to and from Durango will be reimbursed by the fellowship and lodging for fellows will be provided by Native Lens as well.

Besides getting hands on training in production, participation in the fellowship will give individuals the chance to learn about public media funding and distribution through Vision Maker Media. This vital information can help fellows who are seeking to enter public media as a career and will enable for opportunities through Vision Maker’s Creative Shorts grant program. Previous media experience is not required to participate in the fellowship.

For more questions contact Colleen Thurston at or Colten Ashley at or 505-860-5403.

Native Lens

Native Lens is a collaboration between Rocky Mountain PBS, KSUT, and the Colorado Health Foundation to amplify Native American voices during the pandemic. The initial concept allowed for the evolution of a program that now seeks to empower Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and First Nations people – through grassroots, first-person, narratives. This has fostered the production and distribution of dozens of stories from individuals since 2020, which continue to be submitted and finalized for publication. The success of this program, combined with the launch of the Tribal Media Center in Ignacio, has allowed Native Lens to expand its mission by offering hands-on media trainings, such as the Native Lens Fellowship, and other educational opportunities in the Four Corners and beyond.

The Fellowship Partners

KSUT is a community-supported public broadcasting organization dedicated to serving the multicultural community of the Four Corners by providing eclectic entertainment, education, in-depth news and community and public information services promoting multicultural awareness and understanding through two terrestrial signals: Four Corners Public Radio and Tribal Radio.

Four Corners Public Radio can be heard at 90.1 FM in Durango & La Plata County; 89.3 in Central Durango; 88.1 in Pagosa Springs, Farmington & Northwest New Mexico; 106.3 in Cortez, Mancos & Montezuma County; and 91.1 in Silverton.

Tribal Radio can be heard at 91.3 FM in Ignacio, Southern Ute & Jicarilla Apache tribal lands; 89.7 in Farmington, Northwest New Mexico & Navajo tribal lands; and 100.9 in Towaoc and Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands.

Listeners can also stream both KSUT signals at and

Rocky Mountain PBS is Colorado’s first public television station and is now Colorado’s only statewide television network, with stations in Denver, Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction and Durango. RMPBS serves over a million Coloradans by providing provocative and inspiring local, national, and international programming.

Vision Maker Media is a non-profit from Lincoln Nebraska that works with Native producers to develop, produce, and distribute programs through public broadcasting. In addition to helping produce content Vision Maker Media works with established Native filmmakers to help educate the next generation of Indigenous storytellers through workshops and fellowships like their collaboration with Native Lens.

The Durango Independent Film Festival began in 2006 and works to showcase a wide variety of independent films for the community – including Native American cinema and outdoor/adventure cinema. In addition to the festival, DIFF works to bring film education and appreciation to local schools with their REEL Learning School Program.

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