RFP for a NUBAA Documentary Film Project on the 1968 Bursar’s Takeover


 The Northwestern University Black Alumni Association (NUBAA) is seeking proposals from an experienced documentary filmmaker to craft the story about the 1968 Black student takeover of the Bursar’s office (The Takeover), including events leading up to the event and the subsequent impact on Black student life, the NU administration and its surrounding communities. A special emphasis should be placed on telling the story through the eyes and voices of the African-American and other students who orchestrated and participated in the event.

The filmmaker will work with NUBAA and the NUBAA Archives committee to identify, film and produce stories covering any positive and negative impacts of The Takeover before, during and after the event. The film will be used for current and future advocacy, educational and information purposes.


The Takeover was the single greatest catalyst for establishing a substantial presence of black students on the campus of Northwestern University. In preparation of its 50th anniversary, the commemoration will be the biggest unifying event for the African-American community since 1968. It will bring together people and cultures in celebration of social justice and equality. It will provide entertainment, networking and inspiration to the estimated 1,000 attendees, and it will serve as a once-in-a-lifetime economic and cultural boost to the students, alumni and staff and members of NU’s extended communities.

NUBAA is inviting documentary filmmakers with experience in investigating and documenting social justice issues and events to propose a documentary film package from conception to completion that captures compelling stories of students and others that contributed to, participated and were affected by The Takeover and present it in a format that can be used to raise cultural awareness and serve a scholarly chronicle of The Takeover for generations to come.

The winning filmmaker will conduct original research and explore ways to tap into existing resources. The completed film is expected to be no more than 90 minutes in length and will relate to and be comprehended by a broad audience that extends beyond NU attendees, faculty, staff and administration.


  • May 5, 2017 Release of RFP
  • June 5, 2017 Response to RFP
  • June 15, 2017 Award Announced


Applicants should submit a concise package to nubaapresident@gmail.com by Monday, June 5, 2017 at 4:00pm CT, including the following:

  •  Limited 2-minute clip of previous work showcasing your filmmaking style
  •  A creative vision for the documentary film project to include:
    • Project concept detail (include what will be unique, interesting and engaging about your approach and style)
    • Bio and credentials of filmmaker and production team
    • Proposed production schedule outline
    •  Proposed budget

Feel free to forward questions to nubaapresident@gmail.com. Thank you for your interest in NUBAA and Northwestern University.

Proudly Purple,


Jeffrey E. Sterling, MD, MPH

President, Northwestern University Black Alumni Association

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