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2023 Black Cinema Collective FILMMAKER MICROGRANT

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 BCC Filmmaker Microgrant

for 1st time Black filmmakers! 


ALT: A cropped image of Black men on an outdoor film set in an unknown urban environment. In the foreground one person is holding a Canon DSLR camera rig filming another person pointing and speaking to the camera. 

CAPTION: "Documenting Life In Leimert Park" by joey zanotti from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Reading through the applications, I was so impressed with the visions and imaginations of all the filmmakers. I loved reading about their creative dreams for films. Grants like this are so important to encouraging folks to keep taking steps towards making those visions a reality to share with the world.


2023 BCC Filmmaker Microgrant Juror

We are excited to announce the four (4) awardees and four (4) honorable mentions for  2023 Black Cinema Collective Microgrant!  


After careful consideration and deliberation by Seattle-based filmmakers  Maya Santos and Tifa Tomb, the grant was awarded to four talented new voices in storytelling:


Amber Flame

Leah Teklemariam

Taylor-Nicole Tinsley

Cacey Williams 


The number of applications received is a testimony of how important it is to support Black filmmakers in our community. It was a close call for the juror deliberations.  In recognizing the wealth of thoughtful work happening in the budding filmmaking community of the Pacific Northwest, Tomb and Santos also selected four Honorable Mentions as talented filmmakers to watch!


James Braddy 

Bianca Cha-camp

Rick Dupree 

Sara Mou 

 Congratulations from the BCC + NWFF Teams to all filmmakers! 

curta na central_edited_edited.jpg

ALT:  A darkened movie theater scene with most audience in shadows and two people's faces highlighted by illumination from what is assumed to be a large movie screen. 

CAPTION: Curta na Central: O Hip Hop é foda! - 18/04/2017" by centralfde is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Award$, Prizes + Artist Development Support:

Each of the four (4) awardees receives $2500 in unrestricted funds. 

Within the year receiving this grant, Awardees will also receive the following benefits courtesy of grant co-sponsor Northwest Film Forum (NWFF):

  • Four (4) movie passes to NWFF film programs and/or festivals screenings 

  • Unlimited Workshop and Class waivers

  • Use of NWFF editing lab, or community spaces for gatherings.  

  • Mentorship/consultant sessions with Seattle film artists, BCC + NWFF program leadership 

  • A film screening and promotional support

​*(if the awardee's film is completed within 1 year from date of award)


Amber Flame headshot1.jpeg



Amber Flame is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, activist and educator, whose work garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and more. A former church kid from the Southwest, Flame’s work first full-length poetry collection, Ordinary Cruelty, published in 2017 through Write Bloody Press. Flame’s second book, apocrifa, is a love story told in verse of a non-gendered lover and their beloved, inspired by the Bible’s Song of Songs, and launched May 2023 from Red Hen Press. Amber Flame is a queer Black dandy mama who falls hard for a jumpsuit and some fresh kicks.



INSTAGRAM: @theamberflame

TWITTER: @blkunic0rn

FACEBOOK: @amber.flame.98

Taylor Nicole Tinsely - Dispersed-69.jpg


Taylor-Nicole (She/They) is a Black Queer teaching artist born and raised in Detroit, MI. Their art mediums include theater, voice acting, storytelling, African drumming, puppetry, dance, and mixed media visual arts. Taylor-Nicole has over 12 years of working with youth of all ages, and teaches performing arts with various Seattle-based organizations like Seattle Children's Theater and Arts Corps. She can be seen on episodes of Look, Listen + Learn, a local (Seattle) Black-owned children's show! Taylor-Nicole's philosophy is to curate safe and accessible creative spaces for historically excluded folks, integrate arts and nature focused curriculum, and use art as a tool for healing and well-being. Taylor-Nicole has dreams of completing their original documentary "I AM NOT YOUR MAMMY," and producing culturally relevant children's media. She loves Halloween, being on any type of wheels (roller skates, longboard, bicycle), and her two kitties Babydoll and Kiki. 



INSTAGRAM: t4ylor_nicole

Leah TEK Image 4-30-23 at 8.23 PM.jpeg



 Leah Teklemariam is a second-generation American born to Eritrean immigrants who fled their country due to warfare. As a child and into adulthood, Leah took an interest in the spotlight of performing arts through theater and acting. Always fascinated by film and the art of telling a story, her newfound interest in behind-the-scenes work has sparked her passion to be a storyteller. As someone who understands having to explain her multicultural identity and Eritrea's autonomy, she hopes to create films that allow the subject to be in charge of the narrative. Through her work, she intends to spark conversation about how the history of many nations and peoples at the benefit of higher powers has been muddled and misunderstood.


INSTAGRAM: @fenkilfilms

Copy of bcc microgrant shared.png


Bio + Photo coming soon

Williams' desire as a filmmaker is “to make the things I wish I could’ve seen as a kid, teenager, young adult; movies that those very smart, very bored, very scared kids (that we used to be) would love to watch over and over again.”


Maya Santos headshot_edited.jpg


Filmmaker, Building for Equity Program Manager, 4Culture

Maya Santos is a Documentary Filmmaker and Screenwriter specializing in place-based stories. Graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture from Washington State University in 1999, Maya found her way to filmmaking through her passion for multimedia with isangmahal arts kollective, a Seattle-based interdisciplinary arts group. Founder/Creative Director of Form follows Function, a place-based media studio in Los Angeles from 2011-2020 and Adjunct Professor/Guest Lecturer at California State University Los Angeles, Television Film & Media Studies, Maya returned to her hometown during the pandemic and now serves as Program Manager of the Building for Equity Program at 4Culture. Visit for more. 

Tifa Tomb, Filmmaker


Filmmaker, Snr Media Producer of Storytelling, University of Washington

Tifa Tomb’s work as a director for Retch won Best film at the Seattle Black Film Festival (2020), and her short film Creak! (2021) was selected for the Seattle Children’s Film Festival. She works as a Sr. Media Producer of Storytelling at the University of Washington, freelance produces narrative work, and edits feature length and short narrative and non-fiction work.  After spending the last few years transitioning from an educational career into filmmaking, Tifa now pursues projects exploring themes of home, and the deconstruction of linear time. In 2022 she was thrilled to work as the director/producer of the docuseries: Seattle Black Arts Legacies for

ABOUT the 2023 BCC Filmmaker Microgrant

Black Cinema Collective (BCC), a cinema programs organization based in Seattle centering local and global works by African and Afro-Diasporic filmmakers, launched their first microgrant in January 2023 for first-time Black filmmakers based in Washington or Oregon. 

Based on the work and communities BCC serves, Black identifying, queer, trans, straight, non-binary, non-gender conforming applicants, 18+ with an active interest in film, cinema studies, Afro-Diasporic filmmaking were invited to apply. 

We received more than 30 applications during the grant period which took place from January to March 2023. Due to the availability of organizational opportunities, currently enrolled students, and current contractors, team, and staff members of BCC and NWFF were not eligible to apply.

The 2023 Black Cinema Collective Filmmaker Microgrant is organized by BCC lead organizer Berette S Macaulay with development and management support by BCC co-organizers Savita Krishnamoorthy and Abbie Altamirano, and NW Film Forum's Managing Director Christopher Day, and Executive Director Derek Edamura.  Grant Media Open Call design by jas moultrie, Grant Media Announcement design by Chile.


This microgrant is fiscally supported by the Creative Equity Grant received by Black Cinema Collective in 2021 from the Seattle Foundation.  Artist development package of awards is offered through generous co-sponsorship support by Northwest Film Forum.


ALT:  Three quarter close up shot of two male appearing Black people looking through a suspension cinema camera rig.  One is seated on a high seat, the other standing to their right. 

CAPTION: "African Film maker" by Fidelis ogunseri ocsfilms is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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