The Origins Project


Origins is a Cascade PBS docuseries project that allows us to collaborate with PNW and Canadian filmmaking communities. We are looking for stories that reflect the makeup of our region told from an insider’s perspective: stories grounded in ancestry, connection, culture, influence and rootedness. Stories that reflect our place, values and people.  

Every year in February, submissions will open, and documentary filmmakers can apply for $40,000 in funding for a five-part docuseries. The key requirement is that the filmmaker needs to be part of the community they are documenting (i.e., Indigenous stories told by Indigenous filmmakers, Latinx stories told by Latinx filmmakers, etc.). 

Submissions will be open from February 14 to April 17. At that point, a five-person panel will review the applications and select the winner. The committee will consist of representatives from Cascade PBS, the Seattle International Film Festival, and leaders from Pacific Northwest film communities. We will announce the winning project publicly at SIFF’s opening-night ceremony in early May 2024. The funds will be released at that point, and production can begin. 

The Cascade PBS Original Productions team will meet regularly with the filmmaker to ensure the project is on track. We will offer feedback and support, but ultimately we are backing the filmmaker’s vision. The filmmaker is responsible for how the grant money is spent, but they will update the Cascade PBS team on their budget. They will assemble the team needed to tell the story from production through post-production. Costs for shooters, producers, editors, etc., will all come out of the awarded $40K. Cascade PBS will be there every step of the way, ensuring the filmmaker remains on target to deliver a compelling, well-packaged, five-part docuseries by the end of the year. 

The series has the opportunity to air on broadcast in March 2025, with a public event in the days leading up to the premiere. This event will mimic a film festival-style screening: The first two to three episodes will play, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and key characters. This will be a celebration of the project and a chance for us to share it with the community in an intimate way that gives the audience a look behind the curtain at how the project came together. At that time, the application process will open for the following year’s project, and the cycle will begin again. 

Watch Season 1: Refuge After War