In 2021, we partnered with National Geographic Documentary Films, known for showcasing timely, provocative, and impactful stories, and Visible [mobile] for our Spotlight Your Town Initiative to support an inclusive group of unscripted storytellers creating authentic, community-driven stories that embody the breadth and diversity of the people and places they represent.
AND THE WINNER IS…
The Spotlight Your Town Winner is We Beg Your Pardon, America, created by A.K. Sandhu, a docuseries that tackles America’s version of history about the Black Panther Party through poetic interrogation by womxn Panthers. A.K. Sandhu will receive a $20,000 grant to be applied to her production, an opportunity to pitch to National Geographic Documentary Films, and unscripted teams in one-on-one curated meetings, as well as receive a six-month mentorship with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, City So Real).
“I am thrilled for A.K. and excited to work with her as she brings We Beg Your Pardon, America to fruition,” said Steve. “It’s a vitally important series that will tell us about the essential – and too easily forgotten – contributions of these amazing women activists and revolutionaries in Oakland. And A.K.’s passion and determination is inspiring.”Steve James, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker
A.K. Sandhu is the founder of Re–Present Partners, a womxn and BIPOC-owned, Oakland-based production company that embraces the expansion of how underrepresented communities are depicted in media. California Arts Council has awarded A.K. the 2021 Emerging Artist Award. She is currently a fellow in DOC NYC/VC’s 2021-2022 Storytelling Incubator, a global mentorship initiative, and was selected as part of the inaugural cohort for Represent Media’s Re-Take Oakland 2019-2021 film fellowship for emerging BIPOC filmmakers. A.K. has earned degrees from Columbia University and U.C. Berkeley and is an active member of A-Doc, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, CineFemme, and Collective of Documentary Women Cinematographers.
“I am honored to be in the company of such talented creators and thrilled to be chosen as the winner. To have my work be elevated at such a crucial juncture in my career feels incredibly special. I look forward to learning from my mentor, Steve James, and maximizing this opportunity to share important and untold stories of amazing people who remind us that each of us has the power to create positive change in our communities. Much gratitude to everyone at SeriesFest for creating this wonderful initiative.”A.K. Sandhu
Additionally, SeriesFest will award a $10,000 grant sponsored by Visible [mobile] to the Oakland Theater Project.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with the talented A.K. Sandhu and our longtime partners at Oakland School for the Arts to empower Oakland youth and explore the true history of the Black Panther Party. This project will help our students grow as artists and emerging leaders and will allow them to better understand their own journey as agents of change.”Oakland Theater Project
SeriesFest, a non-profit organization, champions and empowers artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling by providing year-round opportunities for creators and industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and share stories, which inspire and impact global audiences. Each June, SeriesFest culminates in a highly-curated and celebrated Denver-based festival and marketplace. Dedicated to showcasing innovative episodic content, the annual festival includes in-competition independent pilot screenings, panels, workshops, live reads, parties, and network television premieres. SeriesFest: Season Nine will take place from May 5–10, 2023 in Denver. Submissions are now open for all competitions.
Congratulations A.K. and the Oakland Theater Project. To learn more about our Spotlight Your Town Initiative, visit our website, and check out our current programs open for submission here.