Seattle University Launches Fellowships for Filmmakers to Spotlight Vulnerable Families


Seattle University’s Center for Strategic Communications (CSC) has received a fourth major grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue and evolve the center’s work on family homelessness. The new $250,000 grant will support a new fellowship program that will invite filmmakers to explore and illuminate stories of the thousands of Washington families who are homeless or living in poverty.    

Through the new Film & Family Homelessness Project, local filmmakers will be invited to submit proposals describing how they would tell these stories through film. The four filmmakers accepted to the program as Film Fellows will attend three full-day workshops at SU led by film industry mentors and family homelessness experts. Each Film Fellow will then create a short film in winter 2014. The goal is to screen the films during the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) as part of a collaboration between SU and SIFF.    

Each Fellow will receive a grant of $8,000 plus the services of a film crew and use of related equipment during winter 2014 to complete the film. SU students will be selected to assist the filmmakers.    

The Call for Proposals is open online at:

Proposals must be submitted by Oct. 11, 2013. More information on the proposals is available from Lindy Boustedt, project manager,     

Boustedt is well known within the Seattle independent film community as a writer/director/producer with First Sight Productions, which she runs with her husband, Kris. She is also a longtime SU employee.    

The program comes out of a successful communication and advocacy program that originated in 2010 with the Journalism Fellowships on Family Homelessness, which have resulted in increased, in-depth news reporting on family homelessness.     

 “We are very pleased to again partner with the Gates Foundation,” said David Powers, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “The Film & Family Homelessness Project is another demonstration of the university’s commitment to community service and to involving students in positive social change. It also exemplifies the uniquely Seattle University experience of our Film Studies program, which offers easy access to internships, professional mentoring and film industry networking in a city that is home to dozens of production companies, art-house theaters and film festivals.”


More information on the Film & Family Homelessness Project is available at: