Is the Fellowship going ahead, despite the spread of COVID-19?
Yes, the Fellowship is going ahead. One World Media will continue to champion diverse voices and stories from around the world, and support our global community of aspiring filmmakers and journalists. The Fellowship is a remote programme that provides support through email, calls, webinars and video conferencing, and will continue to operate as such.
I’m not sure when I can travel to cover my story. Should I still apply?
We are very aware that most projects are or will be affected by the current circumstances, given the long term uncertainty. Travel might be restricted for months to come, and stories are likely to change along with other global developments. For our 2020 fellows, there will be increased flexibility with regards to reporting schedules and delivery dates, and we will be open to accommodating changes in stories where necessary. We understand that it is difficult to pitch a project when you can’t be sure that you will be able to deliver it. We recommend thinking of this Fellowship as a 1 to 1.5 year programme and submit your proposal(s) accordingly.
It’s difficult to confirm access under these circumstances. Can I just pitch an idea?
We expect that your pitch is more than just an idea, that it is a well researched proposal. We understand that confirming participation of your subjects is difficult at the moment. Nevertheless, we encourage you to communicate with people and organisations you’re hoping to work with, and make sure they are happy to take part. If granted the funds and the Fellowship, we expect that you will be able to begin reporting when safe to do so, and have confirmed participants. Under current circumstances, we will be more flexible with our consideration during selection. However, we recommend that you include a considered plan for how you are going to tell the story.
My project location seems to be on the FCO’s list of countries with ‘advise against essential travel’. Does that mean my project is ineligible?
The safety of our Fellows is our top priority. We follow the FCO advice to determine the safety of travel for our Fellows and do not support projects in hostile environments. However, due to the global spread of the virus, at the moment most countries fall under FCO’s ‘advice against essential travel’ warning. Your project location might still be eligible in the long run if this advice is likely to be lifted once the risk of COVID-19 has significantly reduced and it is safe to travel. We will be continuously monitoring the safety of international travel, and assess each project on an individual basis. We hope that in the coming months, it will again be possible to operate safely around the world and produce media, in one way or another. So we encourage applicants to still submit their proposals, but plan their reporting for late 2020 or early 2021.