SUNY New Paltz and Marist professor Chris Nostrand has won a grant to complete his documentary “Firefly”: The Tay Fisher Story. Compelled by the former Harlem Globetrotter and Kingston native, the professor says he and Fisher have wanted to produce the project for years and now they finally have the chance.
"It's a story about coming from the inner city; coming from nowhere and just going straight to the top through hard work," said Nostrand.
Although Nostrand and Fisher have worked together on other projects in the past, they never had the funding to make this particular documentary happen, but thanks to a grant from HUDSY, a free video streaming platform, he is able to bring his vision to fruition.
“It was super important to get the grant because if we didn't get it, this literally would not be happening,” said Nostrand.
He, along with two other filmmakers, received $5,000 from HUDSY’s Community Content Fund.
“One of the main points of HUDSY is to really just get resources into local storytellers hands so that they can tell the stories that they're passionate about,” said HUDSY Co-founder Jesse Brown.
The grant is meant to engage local creatives and encourage them to produce content in their communities.
“We really want to see more incredible local stories come to life,' said Brown. "As a filmmaker, some of the stories I think are the best, tend to be the ones that don't have resources or funding to come to life."
Nostrand says the grant demonstrated the area is full of opportunities.
“The thing that I'm hoping that people get out of this documentary is, you know what, anything can happen in the Hudson Valley. And you can see that story from Tay’s side, and you can see that story from the film production side,” says Nostrand.
HUDSY received more than 40 applications for the three grants. A content committee of six diverse, multi-generational community stakeholders spent weeks reviewing each submission before making a decision on the winners.