Skip to content

NWFC’s Sustainability Labs (Coming Fall 2021)

The Northwest Film Center (NWFC)’s creative reimagining continues through a new program focused on improving equity, creative diversity, and sustainability in cinematic storytelling. Successfully making a cinematic art form is a feat in and of itself, but sustaining a career in the film and media industry continues to be difficult because of lack of access to mentors, industry leaders, tools, and strategies necessary in communities outside of New York and LA. The Cinema Unbound Sustainability Lab, a pilot program that uniquely prioritizes holistic career advancement and sustainability over singular project completion, will act as a catalyst not only for select artists but for our community and the ecosystem at large.

The 9-month Lab will embrace artists’ multiplicities—de-siloing the various modes of storytelling that their careers can and should embrace. To this end, the Labs will be open to cinematic storytellers of all forms: filmmakers, animators, artists working in VR and augmented reality, audio, and serialized content. This allows the Lab to open NWFC’s doors wider to all types of artists—further challenging for whom, by whom, and how cinematic stories are told.

In our ongoing commitment to inclusion in media arts, at least 50% of artists who participate in the Sustainability Labs will be representative of marginalized or underrepresented communities (Black, indigenous, artists of color, women artists, trans/nonbinary artists). We will also bring together both NW artists and national artists, uplifting the region’s talent to a global scale and creating long-lasting interconnected cohorts that can support one another now and into the future.

The Sustainability Labs are presented thanks to the generous support of Joan Cirillo & Roger Cooke, and Oregon Cultural Trust.

Applications and further information will be live in July 2021.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.