“Inherent in the suit of pentacles is the power to manifest ideas into prosperity. In a similar vein, House of Pentacles exists as a direct economic intervention in the lives of Black trans people.”

Joie Lou Shakur | House of Pentacles Founder

Film Fellowship Application

Application Status: Closed

Check back in January 2021.

House of Pentacles is a Film Training Program and Production House designed to launch Black Trans youth (ages 18-35) into the film industry and tell stories woven at the intersection of being Black and Trans. House of Pentacles (HOP) provides film instruction with an emphasis on experience based learning. Black Trans people are accepted as film trainees to the HOP Film Training Program every two years. Trainees are given political education tools, film instruction, practice time, access to film equipment, and taken on set to create House of Pentacles short term and long term film projects.

We have a simple mission: To train Black Trans storytellers and filmmakers, leverage our brand and credibility to get Black Trans filmmakers paid projects in their communities, and to pay Black Trans trainees to work on HOP projects that further the stories of Black Trans people globally. Our house is built on tenets of survival, creative resistance, and family. Much like the ballroom house scene, we help each other survive, stunningly and unapologetically.

We are looking for 5 passionate Black Trans/GNC youth who fiercely want to develop and learn the craft and practice of filmmaking and storytelling. Our 18-month long program is designed to take you from absolute beginner or amateur filmmaker to creating your own film project from start to finish. This includes technical skill development in script writing, casting, set design, directing, production, audio engineering and many other specialties involved in film. Trainees will have the option to self select their specialty within the parameters of the program.

To apply, you must be 18-35 years of age, Black, Trans and/or GNC, and able to commit 10 hours/week to training, creating, & matriculating the HOP curriculum. Training will be rigorous and requires passion and a self-motivated spirit. Applicants are not required to have any background in film or any past film experience. There is no cost to Trainees to apply or complete this film training program. Finalists are required to assist with the HOP’s annual film fundraiser and equipment drive. Film equipment and software is provided to all trainees throughout the duration of the program. Priority is given to applicants residing in close proximity to our home base, Durham, NC but we are open to hearing other feasible forms of participation as well.


HOP Application FAQs


Who is eligible for this program?

Black transgender people between the ages of 18-35.


Do I have to live in Durham to be eligible?

No. Because of the structure of our training program (we have limited resources and our mandatory in person trainings and productions are Durham based) we will prioritize feasibility in our application review process. If you are not located in and around Durham/Triangle area of NC, our main concern would be whether or not you can feasibly participate in the duration of this program. Please demonstrate the feasibility of your participation from the location you’re based out of. This is an invitation for you to convince us of how this can work with HOP being in Durham and you being where you are. All trainees will need to be in Durham weekly during June 2019 (first month of training) and at least monthly for day long trainings July 2019 – May 2020.

What kind of film trainee applicants is HOP looking for?

Black transgender people between 18-35 that are most importantly self motivated, have a creative mind, beginner (no prior experience) to amateur filmmaker, passionate storyteller, needs this resource and investment in their career as an artist, are able to commit a consistent 10 hours weekly to training and creating, wants to be a leader in this Black Trans creative network.


Is there a cost for this film training program?

Film trainees are not expected to pay any out of pocket costs associated with this film training program. However, all finalists and selected trainees are expected to contribute and assist with HOP Training fundraisers. These fundraisers are used to cover the costs of equipment, graduation gear, travel, housing, and meals during in person trainings and production days, training software and facilities when necessary, and to stipend trainees when their paid labor is required. HOP was created to be a direct economic intervention in the lives of Black Trans people. It is important to us that Black Trans youth do not have to pay out of pocket up front costs so that money is not a barrier for admission and the folks who need this investment the most are able to access it.


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