The first waves are in: we are now accepting Filmmakers to Story & Heart.

At Story & Heart, we’re building an ecosystem—a network of support; a haven for true expression; a place that creators and their creations can call home.

Up until now this has seemed like a mission whose goal is always at the horizon, and if you’ve followed us thus far you’ve probably watched as bits and pieces of the Story & Heart platform have been unveiled: a community event here, a tee-shirt there, and a lot of wonderful conversation about what we’re building together.

We met you on tour—crossing the continent twice to show what happens when you to join us, when you collaborate, learning first hand what is standing between you and telling the stories you love.

We invited you to Ask Us Anything—creating a space for storytellers, a place to forget our fears and celebrate what we don’t know so that together we can feel safe sharing what we do know.

And we opened up applications to be a Story & Heart Filmmaker—finally giving you the chance to take the first steps toward truly seeing what it means to learn from, collaborate with, and encourage a community of like-minded storytellers.

But now? We’re thrilled, delighted, and even a bit hysterical to announce that the doors to Story & Heart are opening:

We have accepted the first wave of Filmmakers to the Story & Heart platform!

The first wave of Story & Heart Filmmakers: already spanning the globe. Start imagining the stories you can tell together!

The first wave of Story & Heart Filmmakers: already spanning the globe. Start imagining the stories you can tell together!

There is really no other way to say this: the response has been incredibly overwhelming. Our hearts have been wonderfully warmed by the sheer passion we’ve seen poured into these applications.

And even in this first wave we’ve seen something incredible develop: when we say we’re making the world a better place for storytellers, we can actually point to a map, and we can say, in unison, “Look!”

In each of these locations marked on the map are filmmakers who through the applications shared with us their hopes, fears, inspirations, and journeys as storytellers (some of which we've collected to share below).

The beautiful thing? Practically every single one of these inverted tear-drops represents a whole host of filmmakers—how many are in your town, your city, maybe even within the bounds of your neighborhood and you had no idea?

As storytellers spread all over the world, we are never as distant—as creatively apart—as we think we are.

Because now, part of Story & Heart, all of these filmmakers seem less and less intimidated by the astounding breadth of what we can build together. 

"Often I think that we as humans in general think that fear is something we should keep at bay. I'm learning to embrace it, harness it, and channel it." – Mike; Rochester, NY

What we’ve seen in these applications is that at the core of all of our fear regarding the sustainability of our passion and our career is the notion that collaboration is never as hard as it seems.

You can start small, with the idea of community—or even with the knowledge that it’s something you need—and there is no telling how quickly, or how well, it could grow. This is why the Story & Heart community is both local and international, both far-reaching and intimate: we believe the world is never too big when we work together.

"I work off the energy of people and the opportunity to be a part of a community of filmmakers who are just as passionate and energetic as I am about storytelling makes me so happy. I can't wait to get started!" – Sixtine; Gainesville, FL

This is the benefit of Story & Heart’s community: celebrating the unique visions each storyteller can contribute while working toward a common goal so much bigger and greater than anything each of us can do on our own. The perspective of one enriches the many.

"Motherhood has made my heart grow in ways I didn't know were possible. I want to connect with other moms that are filmmakers and storytellers. We have a lot of stories to tell and our female point of view is a minority in the industry. I'd love to figure out how to make our voices louder as women and moms that tell stories through filmmaking." – Maribeth; Minneapolis, MN

Again, it’s simple: We tell our own stories so much better when we tell them together.

By opening the doors, we’re giving the first brand new members of our community the first glimpse at not only what our community can be, but what they can achieve as filmmakers, alone, with a community behind them. As they start by preparing their films for the Story & Heart platform, we’re getting practically tingly anticipating what kinds of stories we’ll see from each.

But not only that..

"This once close friend asked me to help him. He had just landed a new job working with a funeral director. They wanted to offer people a chance to bring in memories of their loved ones, and be able to put together these final edits of peoples lives. I found myself lost in these lives, and found myself wanting to give these people something comforting in a time of despair. That's when I really found the power of the screen, it connects us and lives beyond us." – Brad; San Diego, CA

...we could not simply wait any longer to begin to give storytellers a place to connect—to become invested in one another. To share in this big, grand, life-long story we’re telling together.

"Life is a journey and I am finding out more and more that I want to live a life full of stories, adventures and a community with others that desire the same thing." – Timothy; Stanfield, NC

Because this is how we’ll change the way we tell stories: by changing the way we all—all over the world—engage with an industry that seems unable to change.

Does this sound like a movement you’d like to be a part of?

Busy? Only half done with that application? We suggest you don't delay. :) Because...

Very soon we'll be announcing some amazing events that will only be available to Story & Heart Filmmakers. We're talking more with our friends Stillmotion, Gnarly Bay, Joe Simon, and Ryan Booth, to name but a few—incredible opportunities to collaborate, learn, and encourage. 

And in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns or simply want to share what you're excited to explore in the Story & Heart community, hit us up in the comments below.