Image: Terrence F. Hayes, Hybridmotion; screen capture.

OPEN CALL: Filmmakers for ACTivate Residency

OPEN CALL: Filmmakers for ACTivate Residency


Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is looking for a filmmaker to collaborate with resident artists throughout their ACTivate Residencies on February 6–12, 2023 and July 17–23, 2023 on the filming and production of two 3–5 minute documentaries to document the work and highlight the impact of the ACTivate Residency.


The ACTivate Residency is a seven-day, site-responsive artist residency in Boston’s historic Cyclorama building. Over the course of seven days an artist or collective of artists will have the opportunity to create a new work that is performative and/or visual in nature. The residency is open to all Boston-based artists with priority given to BIPOC, Immigrant, and New American artists and their collaborators.

At BCA we emphasize the importance of process over product. To that end artist residents (who the filmmaker(s) will be documenting) will not be required to deliver a finished product. However, some artists may have a final performance or piece to share with audiences. The ultimate intention of this residency is to offer the artist the time, space, and resources to create new work and deepen their practice.

Through documentation we hope to illustrate that:

  • The creative process varies from artist to artist,
  • The creative process can be unexpected,
  • The act of creating new work happens both inside and outside of the studio
  • An artists’ practice is always evolving,
  • Boston artists are here making current, risky, engaging work.

Films may be used at the discretion of Boston Center for the Arts and by the artist, and may be shared during a culminating event in the BCA Cyclorama.


The duties of this position include, but are not limited to:

A three-to-five-minute film (one per residency — two residencies in 2023) that provides viewers with a behind the curtain look at the artists’ process over the course of the residency. This will include footage shot on-site at BCA during the residency period. It may also include self-taped footage provided by the resident, interviews, off-site footage of the resident, and other agreed upon footage.

Purpose and Themes
The films will be used to document the artists’ creative process and to give audiences a ‘behind the curtain” look by:

  • Engaging audiences in the work of the artists and the mission of BCA to provide artists with opportunities to create, perform, and exhibit new works.
  • Showcasing the Residency and the impact a site-specific residency can have on an artists’ creative process.
  • Highlighting the artists both inside and outside of the studio.

Pre-production meetings:
Prior to the start of each residency, the filmmaker will have at least two pre-production meetings with the artist and a representative from BCA to fine-tune details and a potential shooting schedule. BCA will be provided with filming details based on these conversations.

Specific audiences and uses for these films:

  • Artists will be able to include the finished films on their artist website if they choose to do so.
  • BCA will share the films as needed for fundraising and marketing purposes.

Contractor will collaborate and consult with the major stakeholders in the project – Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts, the Artistic Programming Team, and the Marketing & Communications Team. Filmmaker will arrange for reviews and approvals at milestones in the pre- and post-production process.

Fully produced, edited,  films for each residency within 30 days after the completion of the residency. Film specs should be a minimum 2K / HD.

Production will take place between February and July 2023. Filmmaker will collaborate with and arrange for reviews and approvals with stakeholders for the concept development, rough cut, and final cut of the videos.

Filmmaker will provide professional video and audio production and will use professional applications, licensed music, and BCA will own all rights to the film in perpetuity.

Filming will take place during 2023 ACTivate Residency sessions:
February 6–12, 2023 — Residency (Mon-Sun)
July 17–23, 2023 — Residency (Mon-Sun)


Payment is  $10,000 for two documentaries. Payment will made on the following schedule:

  • 25% upon completion of principal photography on documentary #1,
  • 25% upon delivery of documentary #1,
  • 25% upon completion of principal photography on documentary #2,
  • 25% upon completion of documentary #2.


Please apply through this online form by 11pm, December 19, 2022: