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Solutions Storytelling Project: Asia

A collaborative storytelling fellowship that connects regional filmmakers and social innovators in Asia (2025) to produce solutions-focused short documentaries that catalyze positive change. Now in its third year, SSP is from the Video Consortium, supported by the Skoll Foundation, for a more equitable future.

About SSP

During this year-long program, which runs from January through September 2025, 16 Asian (born and based) filmmakers are paired with 16 inspiring nonprofit organizations. Filmmakers are supported with robust resources, connections, and community to produce solutions-focused short documentary films that reache global audiences.

  • For participating nonprofit organizations: the Solutions Storytelling Project's mission is to help you develop a compelling cinematic story that you will use to amplify your mission in new ways — to bring in more funding, raise awareness, and tell a character-driven story about the amazing work you do for the world to see.
  • For participating filmmakers: SSP will not only guide you through the completion of a brilliant short film to use in your portfolio, but concurrently, the program will equip you with tailored industry guidance, access to gear and resources, and deep peer-to-peer connections to jumpstart and fuel sustainable careers in nonfiction impact-driven filmmaking. You will learn the ins and outs of budgeting, client relationships, and impact marketing resulting in a finished film that will make a real difference for a local organization and serve as a powerful piece to share in your portfolio/reel. Depending on the nature of the film you make, it could also get shopped around to major media outlets for acquisition.
Our funder

Made Possible by Skoll

This program was built as a collaborative effort between the Skoll Foundation and the Video Consortium, and is guided by one of the Skoll Foundation’s guiding principles: "We trust those closest to the challenge to lead the change. We aim to support those most proximate to the problems, those crafting solutions in close partnership with the communities most impacted."

Filmmakers

Filmmakers: Applications to SSP will open in September, 2024. Stay informed.

For Storytellers

FAQ For Filmmakers

How will filmmakers be selected?

Any filmmaker living and working in, and from, Asia may apply. Your reel and past projects will be considered during the decision-making process.

How are filmmakers paired with organizations? What happens if an organization is not where I am located? Can I still apply?

SSP filmmakers and organizations are paired according to proximity in location and culture. Please do apply, as organizations are actively applying simultaneously, and matching will occur in December. If the final cohort of organizations does not include organizations located where you are, this may not be the right fit. However, filmmakers who are final contenders will be invited to join the Video Consortium as members and gain access to additional tools and resources.

Can I apply with an organization to this program?

Yes! However, the organization must be currently or previously supported by the Skoll Foundation. Unfortunately, organizations that have not been funded by Skoll are not eligible for this specific program.

If this is the third year of SSP, where can I watch the first and second year’s films?

You can catch SSP Africa's films here. SSP Latin America's films are still in production.

What is the project budget?

Each filmmaker will receive a $1,500 stipend for participation and a $4,500 budget per film, paid directly to you. This budget will translate to approximately 2-4 days of on-location filming (with your partner organization) and a month of editing. You’ll be supported throughout this process with production guidance and mentorship to ensure you create a successful film — that clearly speaks to your partner organization’s mission and that you can use to generate new, future work.

If chosen, what is my responsibility for the duration of the program and production process?

Please see above “program details.” Please note that when you’re not in production, you will be supporting fellow filmmakers with guidance and offering notes, while also learning new production techniques through the professional development aspect of the program. You can expect approximately 2+ hours/per week (or more, based on your preference) to be allotted to the collaboration/support/learning community beyond the time on the video being produced.

I want to apply, but would like to produce my film with a partner/colleague. Should I apply for both of us?

Absolutely! You have the flexibility to apply individually or as a team. If applying separately, you can mention each other in your applications. s. Alternatively, if you wish to hire someone for a specific role using a portion of your production budget, you can apply alone and mention their name for consideration. Each film will have one lead and a total budget of $4500. If you choose to partner on a film, you can split the budget as you see fit.

How will I be paired with my organization?

Pairs will be created based on alignment of your skillset and interests and the organization’s mission, as well as your proximity to your organization’s desired filming location(s).

How involved will Skoll and VC be in this process?

VC will help oversee and “EP” (executive produce) the entire process: your direct contact will be the VC program’s managers and we will have additional team members help with finishing the film and launching it into the world. Skoll and VC will provide notes on drafts (in addition to the featured orgs) and will showcase all finished films on their respective platforms.

When will applicants be notified of their status? And when will the program start?

We will notify you with final decisions between November and December and the program will start in January, 2025.

I have additional questions. Who should I ask?

Please email ssp@videoconsortium.org with any additional questions.

Organizations

Any Skoll-supported organization based or operating in Asia is encouraged to apply for this opportunity to have a film made about their work in order to amplify their impact. For more details and eligibility requirements, please refer to our FAQ and apply below.

The deadline for applying organizations is July 24, 2024.

FAQ For Organizations

How will films/organizations be selected?

Any organization working in Asia that has received Skoll funding can apply. Diversity of organizations and issue areas will drive SSPs decision-making process. Stories should touch on at least one of Skoll Foundation’s six strategic priorities (health & pandemics, effective governance, inclusive economies, climate action, , information integrity, justice and equity). Reviewers consider:

  • Potential impact – how valuable will this film be in furthering your work?

  • Viability of project – can this film be completed on time and within budget?

  • Location of organization & filming

  • Compelling nature of the story - is there a powerful character being featured, or inspiring story of transformation?

What kinds of stories qualify for this program?

We’re looking for stories that highlight a solution or that show how your model works in the field. Example formats could include:

  • Day in the life of a _____ (person served by your work, or carrying out the work)

  • Before and after (story of impact)

  • Profile of a beneficiary, implementer, community

  • Addressing a misconception through real-world, in-action example

If this is the second year of SSP, where can I watch the first year’s films?

You can catch SSP Africa's films here. SSP Latin America's are still in production.

What is the project budget?

$6,000 per film, paid directly to your filmmaker-partner, which includes access to gear for filmmakers, and a limited additional stipend for necessary filmmaker travel. For reference, this means there will be approximately 2-4 days of on-location filming (with your organization/partners), 1-3 featured characters/interviews and weeks of off-site editing — during this period, you will be consulted regularly to give feedback on video briefs, shot lists, and video drafts. If needed, SSP provides an additional stipend for your team’s travel/per diem during production.

If chosen, what is my organization’s responsibility for the duration of the program and production process?

Your organization will be responsible for providing guidance to the filmmaker on the scope and direction of the project, and access to subjects and locations. You will be asked to provide clear, actionable feedback on project briefs and in-progress drafts. (One main point of contact from your organization who can gather all stakeholder’s notes typically works best so the filmmaker receives clear direction.) For some projects we may also work with you to create a release plan for the film (social media, website, live events, etc.). And if you have never made a film before, that is ok! Our team is here to help.

I just want an animated film for my organization. Does this program do that?

No, this program will only fund the production of films in documentary/nonfiction format, which means that no animations, graphic/text driven stories, or narrative/fiction projects will be considered.

We have a local filmmaker we would like to work with. Can we nominate them to apply for this program?

Absolutely. Please email us at ssp@videoconsortium.org and we'll provide an application.

How will the filmmaker be chosen and paired with my organization?

Filmmakers will be chosen based on the strength and alignment of their past work and proximity to your organization and filming location(s).

How much guidance will we receive?

You will have support through the entire process. The program manager for the Solutions Storytelling Project will be your direct contact for questions or needs, you will meet monthly with your fellow SSP organizations, and additional team members from SSP will help you finish the film and launch it in the world.

When will we be notified about our application status?

We will notify you with final decisions in mid- to late-November.

I am not sure how to answer all the questions in this application, I just know I want to take advantage of this opportunity. Can you help us propose a project that will be a good fit?

Of course. Please email ssp@videoconsortium.org and we will work with you to create a focused application.

We have two or more films we would like to have produced. Can we apply for more than one?

Yes. Each organization can submit up to three applications or project proposals for consideration.

We have a film that was made about us already, but we think a better/more updated one can be made. Can we still apply?

Definitely. Please add a link to the film in your application as a reference example.

How long are the films?

Most films will be between 4 and 15 minutes.

Our work is not based in Asia. Will there be another opportunity for my region?

Possibly! Please email ssp@videoconsortium.org to express future interest.

Is this opportunity only available to Skoll Foundation Awardees and Grantees?

If the story or work involves a partner or beneficiary of a Skoll awardee/grantee, they may apply as well.

We previously received funding from the Skoll Foundation but are not a current grantee. Are we still eligible to apply?

Yes! If you are a current or past grantee, your organization is eligible to apply.

SSP: A Retrospective

Watch the Solutions Storytelling Project's magnificent past films — and learn about the inspiring organizations featured in them and amazing filmmakers who produced them:

Photos by Raymond Klavins and Mitchell Ng Liang.