Asad Faruqi is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker with over a decade of experience behind the camera. He has lensed a number of award-winning films such as HBO’s Academy Award-winning Documentary Shorts, A Girl in the River and Saving Face. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Ja’Tovia Gary is an artist and filmmaker whose work seeks to liberate the distorted histories through which Black life is often viewed. In 2017, she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her award-winning films have screened at festivals and cinemas worldwide. She has received generous support from Sundance, Cinereach, and the Jerome Foundation. A 2018-2019 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, Ja’Tovia is based in Dallas, Texas.
Patricia E. Gillespie is the daughter of a cable splicer and a seamstress. She loves verité, underdogs, and the Fujinon 19-90. She’d tell you about her next project, but has to use Signal. The director of The Devil You Know, a To Be Announced MTV Studios Documentary and the producer of Unrest, she is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Alexandra Lazarowich is an award-winning Cree producer, director and screenwriter from Northern Alberta, Canada. Her documentary Fast Horse premiered and won the Special Jury Award for Directing at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She is the co-founder of COUSIN COLLECTIVE and currently the series producer for the CBC’s multi-award-winning comedy documentary series Still Standing.
Tiffany Hsiung is Peabody award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her debut feature documentary The Apology (2016) has won over 15 awards internationally. Tiffany is also a winner of the Peabody – Futures of Media Award (2018) and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Digital Production for The Space We Hold (2017). Hsiung’s recent film Sing Me a Lullaby (2020) won the Toronto International Film Festival inaugural Share Her Journey Short Cuts Award.
Ian Hultquist is an American composer and producer based in Los Angeles, California. Over the past few years, he has made a name for himself composing the scores for numerous films, documentaries and TV shows, most recently working on the Netflix series How to Fix a Drug Scandal (directed by Erin Lee Carr).
Crystal Kayiza was raised in Oklahoma and is now a Brooklyn, New York-based director. Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, her most recent films include Edgecombe and See You Next Time. Her work has screened at Sundance, BAMcinemaFest, BlackStar, MoMa and appeared on The New Yorker, Starz and PBS.
Jessica Kingdon is a filmmaker named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her upcoming feature Untitled PRC Project is supported by organizations including SFFILM, Chicken & Egg, Cinereach, Sundance, Firelight, and Field of Vision. She also directed Commodity City, Routine Island and It’s Coming.
Maxx Caicedo is a director/producer for the digital production company Vitamin in San Francisco, California. A second-generation Colombian-American, he studied at Tufts University, where he received his B.A. in political science and English literature before entering the Peace Corps to teach English and biology in Mozambique. In 2012, he joined Lake Research Partners as a political consultant representing Senator Mark Begich (Alaska), Congressman Jerry McNerney (California) and Congressman Michael Honda (California). Maxx then went on to partner with Essential Access Health to win the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Condom Grant in 2015. A La Calle is his first feature documentary.
Victoria Chalk is a British-Chinese editor in Los Angeles, California. Her credits include the PBS series Asian Americans, and PJ Raval’s documentary Call Her Ganda. She’s currently editing Sara Terry’s documentary That’s How We Roll. Victoria is the 2019 Karen Schmeer Editing Fellow and an organizer with A-DOC and Across The Cut, an intersectional roster for editors.
Luther Clement-Lam got his start in film editing viral rap videos. His award-winning directing, editing, and cinematography work has screened worldwide. Among his many projects, he directed the Cinema Eye Honors-nominated and Academy Award-shortlisted Stay Close. Luther is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Reid Davenport’s work focuses on disability from a political perspective. His in-production feature film, I Didn’t See You There, has been awarded the Doc Society’s New Perspectives Grant and was selected to be included in the 2020 IFP Week. Reid is a 2017 TED Fellow and based in Oakland, California.
Lauren Domino is a writer and producer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a 2017 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. Her work as a producer includes Alone, America, and Time. She co-hosts the podcast The Secret Lives of Black Women, which has been highlighted by The New York Times and Forbes.
Jessica Earnshaw is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work focuses on criminal justice and has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She won the Albert Maysles Best New Documentary Director Award at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival for her first feature film, Jacinta.
Daniel B. Levin’s work spans documentaries, narratives and commercials, where he has served roles including director, producer and cinematographer. Levin’s latest work includes serving as the executive producer and cinematographer on the series I Promise, executive produced by LeBron James and released on Quibi in 2020. Levin is currently directing a feature documentary on the groundbreaking NBA superstar, Kevin Garnett for Showtime and is based in New York City.
Viridiana Lieberman edited the Emmy-winning features I Am Evidence and The Sentence, which won the 2018 Sundance Documentary Audience Award. Her solo directorial debut, Born To Play premiered on ESPN in 2020. She is currently the lead editor on a series for Netflix and Imagine Entertainment slated for 2021 and is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Elizabeth Lo is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Elizabeth was featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, Cannes Lions’ New Directors’ Showcase, and Locarno and NYFF’s Artist Academy. Her debut feature documentary, Stray, won the Top Jury Prize at Hot Docs after premiering at Tribeca, and will be released by Magnolia Pictures in 2021.
Luke Lorentzen is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Hedgehog Films with Kellen Quinn. His most recent film, Midnight Family, tells the story of a family-run ambulance business in Mexico City and was shortlisted for the 2020 Oscars. He is also one of the directors and producers of the Netflix series, Last Chance U. With Kellen Quinn and is based in San Francisco, California.
Emelie Mahdavian is completing Bitterbrush and developing a project on the creative process of Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Previously a professional dancer with a Ph.D., she produced, wrote, and edited Midnight Traveler, which won a Peabody Award, a Special Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for a Gotham Award. She is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Clare Major is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker who specializes in handheld observational camerawork. Her recent cinematography credits include Belly of the Beast (HRW 2020), Ahead of the Curve (Frameline 2020) and We Are the Radical Monarchs (SXSW 2019). Based in Oakland, California, Clare is currently working on documentaries set in California, Mississippi, Italy, and Haiti.
Holly Meehl is a creative producer on award winning documentary and narrative features and short films. Her recent projects include Jacinta (directed by Jessica Earnshaw), For the Birds (directed by Richard Miron) and In Reality (directed by Ann Lupo). She is a 2020 Impact Partners Documentary Producing Fellow and based in Los Angeles, California.
Ruchi Mital is an Emmy-winning producer/filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Her films include We Could Be King, Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang and This is Personal, both of which premiered at Sundance, and The Case Against Adnan Syed for HBO. She is currently producing a hybrid documentary/fiction feature, This World is Not My Own.
Nelson Gonzalez Navarrete is a multifaceted filmmaker born in Venezuela, living in Los Angeles, California. He began his film career making iconic music videos in the Latin American Hip-Hop scene and co-directed his first feature documentary, A La Calle, a film that explores the complex political tensions of Venezuela.
Codie Elaine Oliver is a film and television producer, as well as a Partner at Confluential Films, a production company she shares with her husband Tommy Oliver. She co-created and currently directs Black Love, a two-time NAACP Image Awards-nominated series going into its fourth season. The show debuted as the most-viewed unscripted series in the history of the OWN Network. Codie also oversees BlackLove.com, which the Olivers created to give voice to all things love in the Black community. Codie is a proud Howard University grad and mama to three boys under four years old, learning every day how to find balance between entrepreneurship and family. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
Tommy Oliver is a cinematographer, director, editor, producer, writer and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California. His past projects include producing the Sundance winner Kinyarwanda and The Perfect Guy, which opened as the #1 film in the country. 1982, a film he also wrote and directed, premiered at TIFF and he is co-creator and executive producer of the OWN hit docu-series, Black Love.
Lance Oppenheim is a filmmaker from South Florida, now based in New York City. His films have been screened at film festivals across the world including Sundance, Rotterdam, Tribeca, True/False, and featured at the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian. Lance was a 2019 Sundance Ignite Fellow, named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and is the youngest contributor to The New York Times Op-Docs. He graduated from Harvard University’s Visual and Environmental Studies program in 2019. His first feature, Some Kind of Heaven, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was produced by Darren Aronofsky, The New York Times (the paper’s first feature film production), and the Los Angeles Media Fund. It will be distributed by Magnolia Pictures in 2021.
David Osit is an Emmy Award-winning director, editor and composer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the director of Mayor, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Full Frame Film Festival, and will be theatrically released at the end of 2020. He is an alumnus of the Sundance Nonfiction Director’s Residency.
Kellen Quinn is a producer at Hedgehog Films, a production company he runs with Luke Lorentzen. His credits include Garrett Bradley’s Time, Daniel Hymanson’s So Late So Soon, Noah Hutton’s In Silico, Viktor Jakovleski’s Brimstone & Glory and Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family. In 2017 and 2018, Kellen was a Sundance Documentary Creative Producing fellow. He is based in New York City.
Evan Rosenfeld is a Los Angeles, California-based filmmaker and executive. He is the creator, showrunner and co-director of the LeBron James produced Warriors of Liberty City, as well as the PGA Award-winning and Emmy-nominated VICE World of Sports. His other works include: ESPN’s The U and Broke, HBO’s Kareem: Minority of One, 60 Minutes, and Dawg Fight.
Anya Rous is a Brooklyn, New York-based producer and the vice president of production at Multitude Films, an award-winning production company dedicated to stories by and about underrepresented communities. Her recent credits include Pray Away (Telluride 2020), and Always In Season (Sundance Special Jury Award Winner 2019). She was a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and Impact Partners Producing Fellow.
Zach Seivers is an Emmy award-winning sound designer from North Carolina, now based in Los Angeles, California. His most recent work can be heard in the unscripted series We’re Here (HBO), the feature documentary Ask Dr. Ruth (Hulu), archival docuseries The Decades (CNN), and true crime docuseries The Keepers (Netflix).
Elaine McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated, and Emmy and Peabody-winning documentary filmmaker. She is the director of two Netflix Original Documentaries – Heroin(e) and Recovery Boys – that explore America’s opioid crisis. She was named a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2018 USA Fellow by United States Artists, and one of the Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Elaine is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Jiayan “Jenny” Shi is a Chicago, Illinois-based documentary filmmaker. Her debut documentary Finding Yingying won the Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice at 2020 SXSW. Jenny is a graduate of Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices In Docs program and a fellow of the Inaugural Women at Sundance Adobe Fellowship.
An NYC native, Lesley Steele is an editor, director and 16mm cinematographer. Her visual language in both digital and analog reflects the juxtaposition of formats to explore new meaning in the moving image. Her work has been shown at Blackstar Film Festival and the NYC Independent Film Festival. In 2019 she was a fellow in UnionDoc’s Collaborative Studio and in June 2020 was selected to participate in Sundance’s Art of Editing Fellowship. Lesley is currently producing her first investigative feature doc about the state of mental health and its intersection with race and the carceral system in the United States.
Kristine Stolakis is a director whose films examine how power, politics, and prejudice unfold in real people’s lives. Her debut feature Pray Away (Tribeca / Telluride 2020) takes you inside the “pray the gay away” movement and is a Multitude Films production. She proudly hails from North Carolina and central New York.
documentary filmmaker / location sound mixer
Emily Strong is an NYC-based documentary filmmaker and freelance location sound mixer (Taylor Swift: Miss Americana). She produced Keep Moving Forward (Big Sky Documentary Film Festival); and co-produced A Letter for Sang-Ah (2018 Loni Ding Social Justice Award at CAAMFest). Her personal work centers around ethnic grocery stores and the communities they serve; cooking, and human behavior.
Poh Si Teng is the producer of the Academy Award-nominated St. Louis Superman and Dead Woman’s Pass, which recently won Special Mention Best Documentary Short at Palm Springs. She is also an Emmy-nominated director and documentary commissioner for AJE Witness and has an upcoming short documentary called Blood On Our Side. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Christine Turner is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. Most recently, she directed Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business (Sundance 2020) about the 93-year-old artist. Previously, her documentary Homegoings (Documentary Fortnight at MoMA 2013) about a renowned funeral director in Harlem, aired on PBS POV.
Nanfu Wang is a Chinese filmmaker based in New York City. She directed and produced the feature documentaries Hooligan Sparrow (Sundance 2016, shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature), I Am Another You (SXSW 2017, Special Jury Prize winner), and One Child Nation (Sundance 2019, Grand Jury Prize Winner, shortlisted for the 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature).
Malika Zouhali-Worrall is a British-Moroccan filmmaker based in New York. An Emmy Award-winning director, her directing credits include Call Me Kuchu (Berlinale, 2012), Thank You for Playing (Tribeca, 2015), Earn A Living (ARTE/IDFA, 2018), and an upcoming short for PBS American Masters, Strange Grace: The Art of Amyra Leon.
Senior Vice President of Programming, Firelight Media
Nurturing BIPOC storytellers and working towards a more just and beautiful documentary ecosystem.Loira Limbal is an Afro-Dominican filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that is nuanced and revelatory for communities of color. She is the Senior Vice President of Programs at Firelight Media. Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal movements and moments in the U.S.. Its flagship program–the Documentary Lab–is a fellowship that provides mentorship, funding, and industry access to emerging filmmakers of color. Limbal’s film Through the Night is a feature documentary about a 24-hour daycare center. It was part of the 2019 Sundance Edit & Story Lab and was selected for world premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, was a co-production of ITVS and aired on PBS in 2009. Additionally, she co-produces and helms the popular Brooklyn monthly #APartyCalledRosiePerez. Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She is a Sundance Institute Fellow and a former Ford Foundation JustFilms/Rockwood Fellow. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.
Festival Director, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival
Bridging Latinx creators, stories and culture to bring about positive change, new representation and self actualization.Marángeli Mejía Rabell is a Puerto Rico-born, Philadelphia-based connector, cultural organizer and producer, arts and culture curator and programmer whose work is centered on co-creation, capacity building, leadership development, cross sector collaborations and honoring our roots as a tool for social change and community self actualization. Marangeli’s practice is focused on community media practices, cultural organizing, intersectionality, accessibility, and diversity. As Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and Co-founder/Creative Partner of AFROTAINO, she co-curates, designs and executes arts and culture programming, collaborations, and multidisciplinary projects. She has served as the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Director for over five years, supporting the groundbreaking work of Latinx filmmakers. Under Marángeli’s leadership, PHLAFF has evolved into an international film festival that brings the best of US-based Latinx and Latin American stories to wide audiences. Throughout Marángeli’s career, she has centered Latinx creators, stories, and culture to bring about positive change and new representation.
CEO and Impact Producer, Looky Looky Pictures
Empowering filmmakers to activate their film’s most passionate audience through powerful partnership building, engaging events, and impactful social change campaigns.Ani Mercedes is CEO, Impact Producer, and Founder of Looky Looky Pictures, which connects the power of films with the power of people, by bringing films to passionate partners and audiences who can use them as tools to change the world. Since 2016, Looky Looky Pictures has led or advised more than 40 social impact campaigns, including DOC NYC 2020 selections Through the Night and Duty Free and impactful films Councilwoman, Building the American Dream, Liyana, and led the Outreach for Good Pitch NYC 2019. They work with stories that go beyond empathy; that aim to participate in the transformational work of building solidarity with (rather than for) the communities they aim to serve. Ani is a passionate “gate-opener,” advocating for independent filmmaker empowerment, offering the Guided Campaign service, a hands-on accelerator program that guides filmmakers on how to confidently launch and implement a successful film impact campaign with full access to templates, weekly strategy calls, and a private Facebook group. Ani is also a financial educator and created the Thriving Filmmaker Academy, a resource with free webinars and workshops that have served over 500 filmmakers in over 20 countries. Ani was a Firelight Media Impact Producer Fellow, Kartemquin Films intern, White House intern during President Obama’s administration, an elementary school teacher via Teach for America, earned a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Master’s in Public Administration from Syracuse University, and lives in her hometown of Miami, Florida where she enjoys the boxing and oil painting.
Program Officer, Perspective Fund
Funding initiatives that amplify movement-driven modes of distribution and foster an inclusive and sustainable ecosystem for documentary filmmakers and impact strategists.Denae Peters is a Program Officer at Perspective Fund, a grant-making organization funding nonfiction media, where she oversees the documentary impact infrastructure portfolio. She is also a founding board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM), an advocacy initiative representing 4000+ women and non-binary people of color working across the documentary field, and has recently programmed for Hot Docs and the Toronto International Film Festival. Previously, she led non-theatrical impact campaigns at Picture Motion and Film Sprout. Before working in the documentary impact niche, Denae spent five years at the Toronto International Film Festival, overseeing the filmmaker relations department.
Multi-Emmy-nominated Abby Lynn Kang Davis primarily collaborates with storytellers and curators in non-fiction. Throughout her career, Abby has focused on breaking underrepresented voices into the commercial television and film industry. Her specialized skill set identifying viable talent, advocacy and mentorship on behalf of unknown storytellers has garnered millions in sales revenue, top-tier film festival invitations and award nominations. Abby began her career at Freestyle Picture Company, where she assisted in the directorial debuts of top female talent such as Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde. Abby began the next phase of her career as an agent at Preferred Content, and over her six-year tenure was responsible for bringing multiple projects to market, among them being Rich Hill (Sundance 2014), The Bad Kids (Sundance 2016) and 78/52 (Sundance 2017) and executive producing Emmy-nominated Long Shot (Telluride 2017/Netflix Originals), Emmy-winning 306 Hollywood (Sundance 2018/PBS POV), Wrinkles the Clown (Magnolia) and the television docuseries The Devil You Know (Viceland). Abby went on to serve as Head of Originals at Breakwater Studios (BS), one of the first venture-backed branded content studios by MWM’s Gigi Pritzker. Among the projects she developed and produced while at BS was The New York Times’ Emmy-nominated series Almost Famous (Telluride 2020 / Op Docs). Currently Abby is the founder of character., a producing and consulting company that focuses on discovering and advocating for underrepresented storytellers into the commercial film and television marketplace. Abby is originally from Michigan and splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Director, IF/Then Shorts, Field of Vision
Chloe Gbai is an Emmy-nominated producer and the Director of IF/Then Shorts at Field of Vision, a program that identifies and supports original, standalone short documentaries by filmmakers working in and representing their communities. Previously, as the POV Shorts and Streaming Producer, she launched POV Shorts, which, in its first season, earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short, two Emmy nominations and an IDA Awards nomination for Best Short Form Series. She is a proud member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a 2020 Impact Partners Producing Fellow, and a member-in-residence of the Meerkat Media Collective.
Digital Operations Lead, New Day Films
Cheryl Green MFA, MS is a captioner, audio describer, audio and video producer, 2017 AIR New Voices Scholar, and a Member-Owner and the Digital Operations Lead at New Day Films. She brings her personal experiences with invisible disabilities to creating media that explores politically and culturally engaged stories from cross-disability communities. Her artistic goals focus on making media accessible, cross-disability collaboration, and building equity. Cheryl produces audio for the Disability Visibility Podcast and DisArt’s DisTopia, reported and produced one episode for the Peabody-nominated Season 2 of 70 Million, and has provided captions and audio description for Superfest International Disability Film Festival, Cinema Touching Disability, Kinetic Light, and Basic Able Podcast.
Co-Founder, Undocumented Filmmakers Collective
Set Hernandez Rongkilyo is an undocumented immigrant filmmaker and community organizer whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. They are the fruit of their parents’ sacrifices, their siblings’ resilience, and their community’s nurturing. Set envisions a filmmaking landscape that centers equity and abundance, where all artists have the resources to thrive using the unique skill sets they embody. Set’s short films have been televised, featured, and awarded in film festivals across the U.S. As part of the inaugural cohort of the Disruptors Fellowship by Joey Solloway’s 5050by2020 and the Center for Cultural Power, Set is developing a half-hour, TV comedy pilot about the undocumented experience. Set also directed/produced the short documentary Cover/age (2019) about healthcare expansion for undocumented adults. They served as Impact Producer for projects such as In Plain Sight and the award-winning Call Her Ganda (Tribeca, 2018). Since 2010, Set has been organizing around migrant justice issues from education equity to deportation defense. Along with Rahi Hasan, they are the co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, which advances equity for undocumented immigrants in the film industry. They are the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Firelight Impact Producer Lab and Soros Justice Fellowship. They have spoken about people-centered filmmaking on panels across the country including the Film Independent Forum and the Sundance Film Festival.
Equity & Representation Team Lead, New Day Films
Brenda Avila-Hanna is an award-winning filmmaker, video journalist, and educator. Born and raised in Mexico City, her films mostly focus on transnational narratives between Latin America and the United States. Her work has been showcased at HotDocs, Lakino Berlin, Frameline, Fusion Network and Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, among many others. Brenda has been a Fellow at BAVC’s National MediaMaker, the National Minority Consortia Lab through LPB, the NALIP Media Market and DocsMX. She is also a member-owner of New Day Films, an independent filmmaker collective bringing social justice films to educators. She currently serves in the collective’s Steering Committee as the team lead for Equity & Representation. Brenda is also a programmer for the Watsonville Film Festival and a Mentor for the Latino Film Institute’s Youth Cinema Project. Brenda received a Master’s degree in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz, where she has also taught courses on the intersection of filmmaking, education, and social change.
Executive Director, Center for Media & Social Impact, American University School of Communication
Founder & Director, Brown Girls Doc Mafia
Iyabo Boyd is the founder and director of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, whose mission is to bolster the creative and professional success of women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary industry, and to challenge the often marginalizing norms of the documentary field. Iyabo is also an award-winning filmmaker who strives to tell stories from under-explored perspectives, to reflect the dynamic humanity of women and people of color. Her latest short Me Time is a black feminist comedy about masturbation, which has played over 20 festivals nationwide, winning 9 awards. She was a fellow in Sundance’s 2019 Talent Forum and their 2018 Screenwriting Intensive, and was awarded a 2019 SFFILM Rainin Screenwriting Grant for her first first feature screenplay, Kayla & Eddie En Français, about an estranged Black father and daughter reconnecting in Paris. As a producer, Iyabo was a Sundance Creative Producers Fellow and an Impact Partners Creative Producers Fellow in 2016, for the feature documentary For Akheem, about a teenage black girl coming of age in St. Louis just after Ferguson, which premiered at the Berlin International and Tribeca Film Festivals. As a film industry professional, Iyabo has held positions in artist development, program management, and funding at the Points North Institute, First Look Media’s Topic.com, Kickstarter, Doc Society’s Good Pitch, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tribeca Film Institute, and IFP. Originally from Denver, Iyabo graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for Film & Television, and currently resides in the Bronx, NY.
Coordinating Producer, America ReFramed
Robert Y. Chang is the Coordinating Producer of America ReFramed and is part of the American Documentary Programming & Production team. American Documentary is the producer of POV, POV Shorts, and America ReFramed. America ReFramed is committed to presenting diverse stories that illuminate complex social issues. The curated year-round series can be seen on public television’s WORLD Channel. America ReFramed’s weekly national broadcasts pose an array of experiences through which viewers can contemplate our past, understand our present, and challenge the reimagining of America’s future. Robert contributes to series curation, coordinates production and release of digital assets, and assists in managing submissions, film evaluations, and filmmaker deliverables. He has served as juror, screener, programmer, panelist, and reviewer for a range of film festivals and arts funders. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at NYU for his research on the intersection of religion and media. Robert is also a documentary filmmaker whose work has screened worldwide at festivals and is distributed by Documentary Educational Resources (DER). He is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
Director, Original Documentaries & Docuseries, Disney+
Empowering storytellers to find their voices by using documentary as a tool to reach new audiences.Marjon Javadi is the Director of Original Documentaries and Docuseries at Disney+. She is responsible for identifying new nonfiction opportunities and works with key stakeholders across the company to ensure their success through development, production and launch. Current projects include the Untitled Mickey Mouse Documentary, On Pointe and Marvel’s 616, among others. Previously, she was Senior Manager, Film Funds and Partnerships at Doc Society, working across international film funds that support feature documentary stories from early development to production. Recent projects included the Academy-nominated The Edge of Democracy, Knock Down the House, and most recently Softie, which premiered at Sundance 2020. Prior to Doc Society, she worked in the documentary division at Netflix Originals on series and films including Emmy-award-winning Chef’s Table and Making a Murderer, and Academy-Award-nominated films Virunga, and Winter on Fire. She has also worked as a development executive for Scott Rudin Productions, and in CAA’s Film Finance and Sales Group. She was a producer on the short documentaries, Waiting For Hassana and WGBH’s Crossing the Divide. Her experience is in development, production, and acquisitions for both fiction and non-fiction features. Marjon graduated from New York University and is based in Los Angeles.
Director, Original Documentary Features, Netflix
Increasing empathy on a global scale through the power of documentary storytelling.Zana began in the documentary space early in her career, interning for esteemed NYC documentarian Marc Levin at Blowback Productions. She has spent the last 6 1/2 years as a part of the Netflix Documentary team, working with a wide array of filmmakers across various projects. She oversaw the recently launched doc series Unsolved Mysteries, executive produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and Terry Meurer’s CMP; Brian Knappenberger’s The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez; as well as the feature doc Becoming, directed by rising star, Nadia Hallgren, which took an intimate look at the life of Michelle Obama.
Head of Alliances and Cultural Engagement, Cinereach
Advocating for increased funding and accessibility for under-resourced and marginalized filmmaking communities.As the Head of Alliances and Cultural Engagement, Merrill Sterritt has expanded Cinereach’s impact by developing methods of support for regional and community-focused film organizations and collectives. She firmly believes there is no sustainable, ethical or equitable path forward for the independent film industry without a diversification of field leaders and gatekeepers and a decentralization of power. Prior to joining Cinereach, Merrill co-founded Film Presence in 2010, where she lead theatrical outreach campaigns to connect films with crucial audiences from outside the arthouse bubble. Merrill has also worked in post-production and managed the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies.
Co-Producer, American Documentary / POV
Building an equitable framework for POV programming and developing new pipelines for diverse filmmakers.Nicole is the Co-Producer at POV, the longest-running documentary series on PBS. As a member of the Programming and Production team, she takes part in the curation and production of the series, manages film submissions and the pre-screening process, and advises filmmakers on their projects. Since joining POV in 2013, Nicole has worked with her colleagues to present more than 90 films to a national audience and has been the recipient of multiple News and Documentary Emmy, Peabody and duPont-Columbia nominations and awards. Nicole was a co-producer on Ngawang Choephel’s Ganden: A Joyful Land; has worked as a production assistant on Yance Ford’s Oscar-nominated documentary Strong Island; and was an assistant to Joshua Z. Weinstein on his 2012 documentary Drivers Wanted. Nicole has participated on pitch forums, panels, and juries worldwide, including Austin Film Festival, DocAviv, and Doc NYC. She is a member of Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and serves as a board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
Every year, our audience votes for their favorite feature film. This year’s audience favorite is:
The other top vote getters, in alphabetical order, are
“40 Under 40” celebrates emerging talent in the documentary world, including directors, producers, cinematographers, and editors. This program is co-presented by HBO Documentary Films and Topic Studios.
Now in its third year, the “40 Under 40” list shines a spotlight on emerging talent. Honorees from past years who brought forth acclaimed new works in 2020 include Garrett Bradley (Time), Cecilia Aldarondo (Landfall), Smriti Mundhra (Indian Matchmaking), and Sonia Kennebeck (Enemies of the State).
The 2020 class will be honored during the November festival at a private online celebration, including a Keynote Conversation between filmmakers Garrett Bradley (Time) and Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo). Bradley was on the inaugural “40 Under 40” list in 2018. Williams is a repeat alum of DOC NYC, having appeared three times on the festival’s Short List for top award contenders.
The 40 Under 40 selection process begins with an open call for nominations for filmmakers based in the U.S. and Canada. The final list of honorees was chosen by the DOC NYC team of Director of Filmmaker Development Opal H. Bennett, Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos, and Artistic Director Thom Powers. In addition to directors, the list encompasses talent working in producing, editing, cinematography, sound, composing, and other creative roles.
“Some names will be familiar to documentary insiders, but many will be new,” said Bennett. “We hope funders will make themselves familiar with this talent that will help chart the future of documentary making in North America.”
The honorees are listed below.
The DOC NYC Short List for documentary features has a history of being a predictor of other awards—from critics’ prizes and top ten lists to the Oscars. The selection officially started in 2012 with 10 titles and grew to 15 titles in 2014. Notable statistics:
- For the last nine years, DOC NYC has screened the documentary feature that went on to win the Academy Award.
- The festival has screened 24 of the last 25 Oscar-nominated documentary features.
- In 2019, DOC NYC screened 13 of 15 titles that were named to the subsequent Academy Award Documentary Shortlist.
DOC NYC’s Short List selections are chosen by the festival’s programming team, overseen by Artistic Director Thom Powers and Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos. Most of the DOC NYC Short List titles will be shown on the festival’s online platform, with the films followed by a recorded Q&A with the filmmakers. Additionally, the films’t directors or other collaborators will participate in DOC NYC PRO Short List Features and Shorts days that will take place online in early December; details to be announced. The DOC NYC PRO Short List Features Day is co-presented by MTV Documentary Films.
For the second year, the Short List: Features will vie for juried awards in four categories: Directing, Producing, Cinematography, and Editing. Last year’s winners in these categories were The Edge of Democracy (Directing), American Factory (Producing), Apollo 11 (Editing), The Elephant Queen (Cinematography), and For Sama (Special Recognition for Courage in Filmmaking).
This year’s selections for Short List: Features are:
Dir: Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous
Prod: Hao Wu, Jean Tsien
A suspenseful, immersive look at life under COVID-19 lockdown in Wuhan, China, focused on front-line hospital workers and their patients. (Courtesy of MTV Documentary Films)
Dir/Prod: Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
An annual civics program reveals modern-day democracy in a microcosm as high school boys create a mock government in Austin, Texas. (Courtesy of Apple Original Films/A24)
Dir/Prod: Alexander Nanau
Prod: Bianca Oana, Bernard Michaux, Hanka Kastelicová
This riveting investigative film follows a team of Romanian reporters as they doggedly uncover a deadly scandal that reaches the highest levels of government. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Participant)
Dir/Prod: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht
Prod: Sara Bolder
A chronicle of America’s disability rights movement and its origins in a liberating summer camp for disabled teens. (Courtesy of Netflix)
Dir/Prod: Kirsten Johnson
Prod: Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness
When the filmmaker’s 86-year-old father begins to lose his memory, she enlists him in a playful project to confront his mortality with a sense of humor. (Courtesy of Netflix)
Dir/Prod: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres
Prod: Maya Seidler, Peggy Drexler, Kerry Washington
This inspiring and vital film follows lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union as they battle the Trump administration over cases of immigration, abortion, LGBTQ+ equality, and voting rights. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures/Topic)
Dir: Victor Kossakovsky
Prod: Anita Rehoff Larsen
A cinema vérité immersion into the experiences of several animals on a farm, focused on a sow and her new litter of piglets. (Courtesy of NEON)
Dir: Nathan Grossman
Prod: Cecilia Nessen, Fredrik Heinig
A portrait of Greta Thunberg’s meteoric one-year rise from high-school climate strike organizer to inspiration for a global movement. (Courtesy of Hulu)
Dir: Sam Pollard
Prod: Benjamin Hedin
Using recently declassified files, MLK/FBI examines J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment against Martin Luther King, Jr. (Courtesy of IFC Films)
Dir/Prod: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering
Prod: Jamie Rogers, Amy Herdy
This groundbreaking investigation of sexual assault in the music industry explores the complex factors that make it difficult for Black women to speak out and be heard. (Courtesy of HBO Max)
Dir: Jeff Orlowski
Prod: Larissa Rhodes
An exposé of the insidious hidden systems of control behind our increasingly networked world, as revealed by former tech world insiders. (Courtesy of Netflix)
Dir/Prod: Ramona S. Diaz
Prod: Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn
A chilling look at the assault on fundamental democratic freedoms in the Philippines through the persecution of courageous journalist Maria Ressa. (Courtesy of PBS Distribution/FRONTLINE)
Dir/Prod: Garrett Bradley
Prod: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn
A moving chronicle of a marriage and a family separated by incarceration, focused on Fox Rich, who has spent 21 years fighting for the release of her husband from a 60-year prison sentence. (Courtesy of Amazon Studios)
Dir/Prod: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
Enter the secretive world of the only people–and dogs–who are able to find the elusive white Alba truffle, the most expensive ingredient in the world. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
Dir/Prod: David France
Prod: Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov
A courageous team of Russian activists operate an underground railroad to help LGBTQ+ Chechens escape state-sanctioned persecution (Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films/Music Box Films)
The Short List: Shorts showcase of 12 titles is now in its third year at DOC NYC. Last year the selection included 7 of the 10 films that went on to be named to the Oscars Shortlist for Documentary Shorts and 3 of DOC NYC’s picks went on to be Oscar nominees. For the second year, a DOC NYC jury will select one of the Shorts for a Directing Award. Last year’s winner was Stay Close.
This year’s selections for Short List: Shorts are:
Dir/Prod: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Mike Attie
At a Philadelphia abortion helpline, counselors answer nonstop calls from women who are seeking to end a pregnancy, but can’t afford to do so. A revealing look at how economic stigma and cruel legislation determines who in America has access to abortion. (Courtesy of Topic/Women Make Movies)
Dir: Taylor Rees
Prod: Shirley Whitaker
Winfred Rembert, a survivor of an attempted lynching in 1967, a Star Wars fanatic, and leather artist, develops a friendship with Doctor Shirley Jackson Whitaker, who is on a mission to memorialize the forgotten 4,000 African Americans lynched during the Jim Crow era. (Courtesy of XTR)
Dir: Geeta Gandbhir
Prod: Jessica Devaney
A tale of migration and deportation, this film follows four characters as they struggle to make sense of their lives in Tijuana. Each with a different story, they’re linked by displacement and call center work in a country that’s unfamiliar and frightening, yet sometimes a ray of hope. (Courtesy of Topic)
Dir/Prod: Anders Hammer
Prod: Charlotte Cook
In the fall of 2019, a proposed bill allowing the Chinese government to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China escalates protests throughout Hong Kong. Unfolding across a year, this film captures the determination and sacrifices of the protesters, the government’s backlash, and the passage of the new Beijing-backed national security law. (Courtesy of Field of Vision)
Dir/Prod: Alison Klayman
Japanese artist Azuma Makoto has sent his floral sculptures into space and sunk them to the bottom of the ocean, but, most of the time, he thinks about the life and death of flowers. (Courtesy of New Yorker)
Dir/Prod: Skye Fitzgerald
Prod: Michael Scheuerman
This unflinching look at the human-caused famine in Yemen follows health care workers Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they work to save the lives of hunger-stricken children in two therapeutic feeding centers, against the backdrop of a forgotten war. (Courtesy of RYOT/Vulcan)
Dir: Safyah Usmani
Prod: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Social media superstar Qandeel Baloch pushed boundaries in conservative Pakistan like no other. In 2016, high on her newfound celebrity, Qandeel exposes a well-known Muslim cleric–with tragic results. (Courtesy of MTV Documentary Films)
Dir/Prod: Sophia Nahli Allison
Prod: Fam Udeorji
The injustice surrounding the shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central Los Angeles store became a flashpoint for the city’s 1992 civil uprising. Nearly three decades later, director Sophia Nahli Allison removes Latasha from the context of her death to craft a dreamlike portrait of a promising life lost. (Courtesy of Netflix)
Dir/Prod: Carol Nguyen
Prod: Aziz Zoromba
Filmmaker Carol Nguyen interviews her family to craft a portrait of love, grief, and intergenerational trauma. (Courtesy of Travelling Distribution)
Dir: Christopher Auchter
Prod: Selwyn Jacob
On the 50th anniversary of the first new totem pole raising on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii in almost a century, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter steps through history to revisit the day that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit. (Courtesy of New York Times Op-Docs / POV / National Film Board of Canada)
Dir/Prod: Tiffany Hsiung
A daughter journeys to Taiwan seeking her mother’s long lost mother, uncovering family secrets and connecting the generations. (Courtesy of CBC/POV)
Dir/Prod: Maja Novaković
In the lush pastoral hills of Eastern Bosnia, two old women share solitude. The care they have for each other is not composed of words, but rather their daily conduct. They are in a conversation with the land, welcoming the voices of nature, and the songs of a memory that is dying out.
DOC NYC has announced the lineup of work-in-progress documentaries chosen from submissions to participate in its Only In New York program. Part of DOC NYC PRO, our industry and educational programming component, Only in New York presents an opportunity for filmmakers with works-in-progress to take one-on-one meetings with industry figures from the fields of distribution, financing, publicity, marketing, and more. The program curates the most promising documentaries of the future for industry consideration, and this year we have selected 33 projects from a very competitive pool of more than 130 submissions. In addition to these works-in-progress teams, we also open Only In New York meetings to the up-and-coming filmmakers honored in our 40 Under 40 List (co-presented by HBO Documentary Films and Topic Studios).
Only In New York is co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films for the fifth year.
New York City is a media capital for documentary the way Hollywood is for fiction filmmaking. That makes DOC NYC a unique gathering place, able to leverage the city’s power to advance creative careers, as evoked in the phrase “Only In New York.” Starting in 2016, the festival has run this showcase to facilitate face-to-face meetings between industry and filmmakers with works-in-progress. As the festival moves online for the showcase’s fifth year, the phrase “Only In New York” becomes more metaphoric. The festival continues to assemble an A-list of key industry figures, but this year they’ll take their meetings online—from not only New York, but also Los Angeles, London, and beyond, expanding the program’s scope. Meetings will take place on November 17 & 18.
Notable projects that have gone through the “Only In New York” program include Down a Dark Stairwell, The Dilemma of Desire, and Other Music, as well as the 2019 winners of DOC NYC’s two competition sections: Viewfinders Grand Jury Award, City Dream; and Metropolis Grand Jury Award, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back.
The process for “Only In New York” selection starts with an open call for submissions. The final list of projects was chosen by the DOC NYC team of Director of Industry & Education Caitlin Boyle, Director of Filmmaker Development Opal H. Bennett, Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos, Associate Producer of DOC NYC PRO Valerie Torres, and Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen.
“This year’s Only In New York line-up represents a wide range of filmmaker voices and diverse approaches to documentary, and each of our selected teams made us eager to see the finished film,” said Boyle. “We hope to play a valuable role in helping to bring these projects to completion.”
Companies and organizations participating in Only In New York meetings include American Documentary / POV, America ReFramed, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cinetic Media, Cora Media, Disney+, Endeavor Content, ESPN, Hulu, IFC Films, Impact Partners, First Look Media’s Topic Studios and Topic streaming service, Fork Films, The Guardian, Kickstarter, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NEON, Reavis Page Jump LLP, Shutterstock, Submarine Entertainment, SVA’s MFA in Social Documentary, The Film Sales Company, The New York Times, Together Films, WNET, XTR, and more.
2020 ONLY IN NEW YORK PROJECTS:
Directed by Kim Anno; Produced by Kim Anno and Kristy Guevara-Flanagan The story of the LGBTQ community in Cuba and how their dramatic and creative activism is catapulting the country into a more humane society, despite the growing threat of the evangelical church.
Directed by Jota Sosnowski; Produced by Jota Sosnowski A hybrid documentary that reframes adoption as a form of family separation through the intimate voices of a queer adoptee and her birth mother.
The Black Theatre Project
Directed by: Rome Kyn Neal; Produced by Darryl Harrison and Erika Wortham Half a century ago, African Americans used theatre to be the “for us, by us” platform to tell unapologetically Black stories. That legacy continues today.
Born in New York,
Raised in Paris Directed by Victoria Thomas; Produced by Victoria Thomas, Jezz Vernon, and Severine CatelionA chronicle of the role of hip hop in empowering disenfranchised Black and Arab youth in France to highlight and protest police brutality.
Bound by Blood – Echoes of the Elaine Massacre
Directed and Produced by Franziska Blome and Llewellyn Smith When Sheila Walker and her son Marcus discover their ancestors were victims of the 1919 Elaine Race Massacre, it triggers a quest for racial reconciliation.
Directed by Dina Burlis; Produced by Melissa Azizi Nastasya, 19, was poised to become the first woman of color to ever compete in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2020 Olympic Games. Our film follows the physical, financial, and emotional challenges she faced on her unprecedented journey against all odds—and what led her to quit.
Chain of Rocks
Directed by Damon Davis; Produced by Chris Renteria After a death row inmate confesses to a crime after 30 years, the activist who once fought for his innocence is faced with the moral dilemma of whether the fight was in vain.
Directed by Ariel Ritchin and Charlie Eckert After discovering that her small children are being poisoned by the factory next door, a young, determined mother does all she can to protect them from a manufacturing giant accused of polluting her community’s entire water supply.
Directed by Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt; Produced by Zachary Kislevitz
In a small Texas town, four wild-spirited teenage girls search for freedom and navigate early adulthood as they each break away from their past traumas. This raw vérité portrait dives down the rarely seen rabbit hole of modern girlhood, where adolescence clashes with personal agency.
Cycle: The Right to Remain Violent
Directed by Laura Dyan Kezman and William Howell; Produced by Vianca Fuster
The killing of Ty’rese West propels the narrative of police violence forward by exposing what is beneath an unquestioned police report when an incident is not captured for the world to see. Cycle: The Right to Remain Violent actively investigates this systemic whitewashing and gives a voice to the countless names that have not yet been said.
Directed and Produced by Amy Nicholson
The residents of a scrappy seasonal trailer park reveal the secrets to a rich life as market forces threaten their shabby Shangri-La.
Heart & Soul
Directed by Kenny Vance; Produced by Bronwyn Berry and Liz Nickles
A Brooklyn music star’s lifelong search for the soul of doo-wop, a new kind of music that sprang out of his hometown in the 1950s, uniting a generation and creating a cultural revolution that endures today.
Directed by Neelu Bhuman
Set in idyllic Kerala, this story of hope and defiance reveals the epic journey of India’s first transman pilot, 21-year-old Muslim Adam Harry.
How the Monuments Came Down
Directed by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren; Produced by Michelle Taylor
Virginia has more Confederate monuments than any other state—including five tributes on a mansion-lined stretch of the capital. Discover who built them, and who took them down.
Imagining the Indian
Directed by Aviva Kempner and Ben West; Produced by Kevin Blackistone and Sam Bardley
A documentary film examining the movement that is ending the use of Native American names, logos, and mascots in the world of sports and beyond.
It Takes Guts: The Microbiome Revolution
Directed and Produced by Adrienne Grierson
An investigative and character-driven documentary exploring the origins and impact of the destruction of the human microbiome and the willingness of patients to try fecal transplants to restore their health.
Directed by Jaime Puerta; Produced by Jaime Puerta and Alan Thompson
Julia, a Mexican immigrant currently living in California, has raised a family of talented Mexican folk musicians who play under the name of “Los Sandy’s.” The stability of the family is threatened by the sudden death of her husband Enrique, the harsh working conditions to which immigrants are subjected, and the notice that they must leave the home where they’ve lived for 18 years.
Directed by Anne Alvergue and Debra McClutchy; Produced by Debra McClutchy and Judith Mizrachy
An archival documentary portrait of the unlikeliest of whistleblowers: Martha Mitchell, wife to President Nixon’s right hand man, who was despised by the administration, adored by a hungry truth-seeking press, and ultimately discredited when she threatened to expose Nixon’s dirty tricks in the notorious Watergate scandal.
Middle School 243
Directed and Produced by Camilla Calamandrei
An intimate, face-to-face exploration of a high-performing public school that requires 10-14 year olds to collaborate in almost all classes, and somehow it actually works. Shot in the years just before the current COVID19 experiment in remote learning began, it is a chaotic and glorious reminder of what school can be.
The New Extinction
Directed by Kyle Arpke; Produced by Jessica Knap and Jessica Farrell
In this modern-day bone war, vigilant paleontologist Dr. Thomas Carr and controversial commercial collector Alan Detrich hunt for rare fossils in an America torn between science and capitalism.
One of Ours
Directed by Yasmine Mathurin; Produced by Laura Perlmutter and Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith
A poetic observational look at reconciliation and belonging through the eyes of a young Haitian-born Indigenous adoptee in Canada.
Directed by Chithra Jeyaram; Produced by Chithra Jeyaram and Nico Opper
A single white mother makes a bold move and chooses an Indian American couple as her twin daughters’ adoptive parents. The twins, now 8, want to reconnect with their birth mother. Our Daughters captures what unfolds.
The Philadelphia Eleven
Directed by Margo Guernsey and Nikki Bramley; Produced by Margo Guernsey
When eleven women defy church leadership and become the first women Episcopal priests, they hit a chord in a deeply divided world about who speaks the word of God, and learn what it takes to challenge patriarchy.
Directed by Theo Rigby
An exploration of families staying together in the face of deportation and communities turning faith into action.
Song of Salt
Directed by Emma Baiada and Nicolas Snyder; Produced by Emma Baiada
A haunting and intimate glimpse into the everyday life of Trona, California as it grapples with waning American industry, isolation, and a series of powerful earthquakes.
Sons of Detroit
Directed by Jeremy Xido; Produced by Amanda Burr
A family forged in 1970s Detroit. Two boys—one white, one black—raised as cousins. When tragedy strikes, the boys are propelled on radically different paths, each shaped by violence, opportunity, and race. Now, 20 years later, they return to reckon with the loss of home and family—and their roles in the destruction.
Storming Caesars Palace
Directed by Hazel Gurland-Pooler; Produced by Hazel Gurland-Pooler and Jamila Wignot
The untold story of Black women who took on presidents, the mob, and everyday Americans, challenging the pernicious lie of the “welfare queen” and launching one of the most extraordinary yet forgotten feminist, anti-poverty movements in our history.
Directed by Dana Kalmey; Produced by Dana Kalmey and Nori Mizukami
Two Hawaiian world champion tandem surfing pioneers fight to keep their endangered sport and its Hawaiian roots alive by making Olympic history.
That’s How We Roll
Directed by Sara Terry; Produced by Alysa Nahmias
When housing on the lowest rung of the American dream is being devoured by the wealthiest of the wealthy, whose dream are we serving? That’s How We Roll addresses urgent issues of class and economic (im)mobility through the lives of mobile home park residents who can’t afford housing anywhere else.
Untitled 2020 Weddings Documentary
Directed and Produced by Ellen Martinez and Steph Ching
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted almost everything on the planet, but it can’t stop some 2020 couples from throwing the wedding of their dreams. This documentary follows couples, planners, and other members of the industry as they navigate the challenges of planning a wedding in 2020.
Untitled China Surf Film
Directed and Produced by Jessica Chen and Jeremiah Bogert
Inside a state-run sports academy in tropical Hainan, China molds its first generation of surfers as the sport makes its Olympic debut. Team members navigate the tension between surfing as a quintessentially anti-authority pursuit and a culture that values collective achievement.
Untitled Rio Grande Valley Project
Directed by George Lerner; Produced by Julie Bridgham and Patricia Benabe
On the Texas border, a civil rights worker battles against the possible deportation of her mother, and a DACA recipient who strives to become the next Pavarotti finds his dreams boxed in by Border Patrol checkpoints. Despite the unprecedented militarization of the border, these residents of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are determined to fight for their civil rights, and call on the United States to fulfill its promise of equal justice under the law.
Welcome To Jay
Directed and Produced by Jeffrey Morgan
When a Black teenager is shot and killed attending a party in a predominantly white Southern town, the community’s racist past becomes its present.