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Inclusive & Socially Conscious Filmmaking Lab

Starts October 19

6 sessions: Thursdays, October 19-November 30 (no session Nov. 23), 7:00-9:00 pm. Application deadline: 11:59pm CST, Monday, September 11, 2023.

Now in its third iteration, the FilmNorth Inclusive and Socially Conscious Filmmaking Lab is a six-week course designed to help filmmakers in any stage of their career practice greater inclusive and socially responsible filmmaking and become leaders of change in our field.

Bringing together leading industry professionals throughout America, including NYC, LA, and the Twin Cities, the lab focuses on the entire filmmaking process, from conception to finding an audience. Throughout this lab, questions of representation are asked of each filmmaker. What are the stories we see or don’t see on-screen? Who is telling them and why? And what impact do they have?               

Recognizing there is no “one size fits all” solution in changing our industries and communities, each participant will utilize a personal project to model a more comprehensive approach in their filmmaking. Each lab participant will conclude their lab experience by being paired with an industry professional for a one-on-one mentorship session tailored to their interests and work. Additionally, for the first time, lab participants will gain access to a resource hub to support their work now and in the future.

Whether you are a director, a cinematographer, a PA, or anyone else involved in the filmmaking process, we have the individual capacity to change how films and media are made. The FilmNorth Inclusive and Socially Conscious Filmmaking Lab seeks to empower each participant to be a greater force for change.

Lab Information                              

  • 10 participants are selected from a free, open call.
  • The Lab is open to individuals worldwide working in any positions within film and media.
  • All filmmaking practices are encouraged to apply (narrative, documentary, animation, etc.).
  • Both the Lab and application are free of charge.
  • The Lab meets virtually on Zoom for six weekly sessions (no meeting Nov. 23).

Application Materials

  • Two-sentence description of your background and how it influences your filmmaking.
  • One-sentence describing your goal for participating in the lab.
  • One-sentence describing your goals for your career and/or filmmaking practice.
  • One-sentence synopsis of your current or an upcoming project.

Complete and submit your application here. The application deadline is 11:59pm CST, Monday, September 11, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status within one week following the deadline.


Minneapolis-based writer and director Jake Yuzna’s work focuses on presenting expanding identities on screen. Their films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, British Film Institute, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, as well as been broadcast nationally on PBS and throughout Europe. Yuzna was the first American feature director to win the Teddy Jury Prize, the oldest queer filmmaking award, at the Berlin Film Festival. Their films have garnered additional awards at NewFest: the NYC LGBT Film Festival, OutFest: the Los Angeles Queer Film Festival, the Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival, Cinema Touching Disability, and IFP. A Guggenheim Fellow in Film/Video, Yuzna has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Frameline Foundation, Philanthrofund Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, McKnight Foundation, FilmNorth, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, among others. In 2017, they were awarded a Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Film Institute. 

Farida Rafique is an impact producer and storyteller who graduated from California State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Management.

Farida’s passion for stories is fueled by human rights advocacy and community building. She has produced social impact videos and art installations, including “Love Letters to an Addict” (Recovery and Hope for Opioid Addicts), documentaries for Human Rights Initiative, and co-produced a documentary on the family separation crisis on the Border of Texas and Mexico. She developed and directed a short film, “Ojo,” about a son leaving his family’s hidden history of white supremacy and confronting his old demons upon his mother’s death. 

Farida produced impact campaigns in narrative films with intrepid female writer/directors, served on the board of a community arts organization, and is an active member of the United Nations Association Human Rights Organization. She participated in the FilmNorth’s Inclusive and Socially Conscious Filmmaking Lab (’20) and Women in Media’s Cameraderie Accelerator (’21).


The 2023 FilmNorth Inclusive & Socially Conscious Filmmaking Lab is made possible by:






October 19, 2023 @ 7:00 pm
November 30, 2023 @ 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Jake Yuzna & Farida Rafique
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
6 sessions: Thursdays, October 19-November 30 (no session Nov. 23), 7:00-9:00 pm