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General Criteria of Evaluation

The Fejos Fellowship for Ethnographic Film supports a wide range of film and audio projects, from experimental film and audio ethnographies to more classically crafted works. We encourage projects that variously draw from, and in some way extend, ethnographic documentary genres such as observational, participatory, sensory and ethno-fiction. We assess applications on the basis of a written proposal and a sample of audiovisual work that offers a vivid sense of the proposed project and the applicant’s abilities. In making our final selection, we prioritize the project’s potential contribution to anthropological knowledge and debate while also seeking to support works which draw explicitly from anthropological methods and perspectives to communicate ethnographic insights to wider audiences.

  1. We are looking for films and audio documentaries that do one or more of the following:
    • Uses audio-visual media to communicate and build on the applicant’s anthropological research.
    • Represents a cultural world, event, practice, and/or group of people through an evocative use of images and sound.
    • Illustrates collaboration between an anthropologist and his/her/their interlocutors.
    • Experiments with film style and documentary approaches in order to create a theoretically rich and ethically engaged film.
    • Demonstrates a capacity to use audio visual media as a mode of social engagement and analysis
    • Integrates film/video/audio with other media forms and/or written publications.
  2. The work must communicate the results of the applicant’s own anthropological research. The underlying anthropological research will be judged based on the following:
    • Quality of research question
    • Quality of engagement with existing literatures on the topic and region
    • Appropriateness of methodological approach given the topic and question(s)
    • Theoretical significance of the research to the discipline of anthropology
  3. The proposal budget and timeline should be feasible given the scope and logistical needs of the project.
  4. We prefer to support applicants [and applicant teams] with a demonstrated background in filmmaking or audio production. We judge an applicant’s facility with film, video, or audio in part on the quality of the sample reel.
  5. We are eager to support applicants whose projects have the potential to make a significant contribution to the discipline of anthropology and the subfield of visual anthropology. An applicant must explain how, in communicating his or her research in the form proposed, the project will add to anthropological conversations and/or provide a model for building capacity in the field.
  6. There is no preference for particular geographic areas or topics.


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