Sisters in Cinema Visual Storyteller-in-Residence

Sisters in Cinema seeks an enthusiastic and talented Visual Storyteller-in-Residence  to join our team part-time. The successful candidate will demonstrate an eagerness and ability to tell the Sisters in Cinema story through photos, videos, and online stories that captivate and inspire our various audiences, and amplify strategic messages across digital and print platforms.

Reporting to the Founder & CEO, the Visual Storyteller will be involved in a wide range of projects that strengthen and enhance the Sisters in Cinema brand. Photo and video provide inspiring media for communicating with current and prospective participants, community members, and our generous donors.

We seek an enterprising video and photography professional who is up-to-date on video and photography trends, and driven to creatively capture all that Sisters in Cinema offers, from our current programs and participants, to our new Media Arts Center; from our community connections to the Chicago based Black women and gender nonconforming media makers who are members of our Sister Social Network.

Preference will be given to candidates with additional skills such as animation, marketing, copywriting, advertising, social media, teaching and/or graphic design.

You have an eye for captivating footage that appeals to a wide audience and experience structuring videos to keep our audience engaged while telling a story. You are creative, with a passion for news, storytelling and have excellent communication skills. 

You are self-motivated, curious, with some experience in news video and/or social media. You possess a strong work ethic. The ability to multitask and the aptitude to work across short-term and long-term deadlines is required. 

About Sisters In Cinema: 

Sisters in Cinema was founded in 1997 as an online resource for and about African American women media makers. Today we are a Chicago based 501(c)3 non-profit with an inclusive mission to center and celebrate Black girls, women, and gender nonconforming media makers, providing programs designed to educate, raise visibility, and support and serve our communities.

We envision a world where all Black girls, women and gender nonconforming media makers and storytellers have equal opportunities to create and thrive. To learn more visit: www.sistersincinema.com.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create strategic, entertaining, and/or informative visual stories (photo and video) for the Sisters in Cinema website, advertisements, social media platforms, email communications, presentations, and other media as needs arise.
  • Create expertly edited photo and video stories worthy of wide audiences that showcase Sisters in Cinema programs, facilities,  participants, as well as video interviews with staff, program participants and others.
  • Generate ideas for new visual stories and ads: storyboard concepts, film and conduct interviews, gather necessary photos and b-roll footage, and edit videos to meet the organization’s marketing and communication standards and needs.
  • Suggest and implement ideas for new photo spreads and videos that will help Sisters in Cinema recruit and retain program participants and donor support.
  • Oversee the production of videos for the new Media Arts Center’s virtual tour.
  • Harvest user generated and other content  from social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube, and secure and track content use permissions 
  • Teach student photographers and videographers in our new Multimedia Storytelling program.
  • Create and maintain a video style guide for Sisters in Cinema, working to ensure all videos created meet the organization’s brand guidelines.
  • Organize, manage, and schedule photo and video shoots.
  • Archive and organize valuable photos and video footage for reuse in future projects.
  • Work with other team members to maximize visuals on our website and social media, and in our advertisements and other materials.
  • Manage the organization’s YouTube channel, making sure videos are subtitled, keyworded, transcribed, and organized in a way to maximize views and meet accessibility standards.
  • Brainstorm and suggest ideas for adding photo/video components to publications, news stories, and other promotional efforts.
  • Work with the Sisters in Cinema team to prioritize time-sensitive projects so they are optimized for success. 
  • Maintain all photo and video gear and equipment.
  • All other administrative tasks and other duties as assigned.

Required Education, Skills, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in broadcast journalism, media studies, communications, marketing, or related fields.
  • 1-3 years of experience in visual storytelling, digital photography, and videography, including concept development, storyboarding, filming, and editing, preferably in a newspaper, nonprofit, college, or university setting.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to give and receive critical feedback in a small team environment
  • Ability to work independently and under close direction.
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines and to remain calm under pressure.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Adobe programs including Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere and After Effects. Able to use a personal computer and Web browser, including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, and a content management system.
  • Photography, Videography and non-linear editing experience required
  • Ability to expertly operate mid- to high-level cameras, video cameras, microphones, and lighting.
  • Demonstrated proficiency and passion for current  photography/videography styles, visual storytelling formats including social media, and potential of user-generated content.
  • Enthusiasm for a variety of video types — formal interviews, fun animations, short GIFs, etc. — and a commitment to quality work across genres.
  • Proficient at posting content to various websites
  • Must be dependable, respectful, adaptable, efficient, and personable.
  • Must be able to keep both small and large projects on track.
  • Must be able to work well with a wide range of people, including program participants, donors, community and team members.
  • Must be comfortable working both independently and with our collaborative team.
  • Must be able to juggle multiple projects, respond to immediate requests, and work in a deadline-driven atmosphere.
  • Must employ a deep respect and appreciation for our various audiences, their interests, and viewing habits.
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule. Regular hours are Monday-Friday, approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but some evening and weekend hours may be required due to program events.
  • Occasional travel may be required.
  • Teaching experience preferred.

Additional Requirements

  • Must be able to carry and set up production equipment often weighing up to 50lbs.
  • Must have reliable transportation. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record. In addition, proof of insurance and liability coverage may be required.

What Else You Should Know

Start date: August – September  2021.

Deadline: Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Early submission of your application is recommended. First round interviews will take place the first week of August. 

Application Process: If your application is moved forward, the application process may include up to three interview rounds with Sisters in Cinema team members. Finalists will be sent a prompt and asked to submit a pre-employment exercise, for which they will receive an honorarium.

Location: This position is based in Chicago, IL.  All staff are currently teleworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate returning to the office when the Sisters in Cinema Media Arts Center opens.

Compensation: This is a one-year part-time position with flexible work hours. The annual compensation is $26,000 for a 20-hour work week. Part-time benefits currently include: 100% premium coverage of health, dental, vision and  life insurance. Annually we offer part-time employees one week of vacation, 5 safe and sick leave days, and 2 personal days. The office is closed for 9 holidays, in addition to December 24-31.

Visual Storyteller-in-Residence benefits: Benefits include a dedicated creative coach and mentorship for one of your non-fiction projects that you will work on during your residency year. A career coach. Fundraising support for your project. The opportunity to apply for up to $2,500 in Sisters in Cinema grant support after successfully completing six months of the residency.  

Equal Employment Opportunity: Sisters in Cinema is an at-will and equal opportunity employer. As such, we strongly encourage and seek applications from all backgrounds, including but not limited to women and gender nonconforming individuals, people of color, bilingual and multicultural individuals, people with working class backgrounds, people with disabilities, as well as members of the LGBTQIA community.

We take great pride in providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, genetics, protected veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or familial status, arrest or conviction record, status as a victim of domestic violence, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process.

How to Apply

Send the following items as a single PDF file: 1) cover letter, 2) résumé, 3) links to 3-5 samples with descriptions of work you’ve produced, along with details about: how you came up with the idea, the stakeholders involved in the process, and the timeframe it took to complete the project from idea to distribution, 4) a link to your portfolio of photography and video work, 5) a link to a short 1-2 minute video in which you briefly introduce yourself, 6) a short description of the non-fiction project that you will work on during your year in-residence (one page maximum)  7) Links to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin pages and 8) a list of three work-related references who can speak to your qualifications for this position to info@sistersincinema.com.

Include “Visual Storyteller – [your name]” in the email subject line. Kindly include where you learned about this position opening in the body of your email.

In your cover letter, we invite you to respond to the following prompts:

  1. Why is being Sisters in Cinema’s Visual Storyteller-in-Residence the next best step for you professionally? What motivates you to want to join Sisters in Cinema?
  2. Tell us about your relevant skills and how your experiences have prepared you to be successful in our Visual Storyteller-in-Residence role.
  3. Tell us why our vision statement is important to you. (We envision a world where all Black girls, women and gender nonconforming media makers and storytellers have equal opportunities to create and thrive.)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please, no phone calls.

Hiring companies: We will not respond to emails about this position