DOC NYC’s Documentary New Leaders initiative honors individuals whose efforts and fresh thinking on distribution, sales, festivals, and marketing bring greater inclusion and equity to the field. This program is co-presented by A&E. 

The 2021 selection process began with an open call for submissions; more than 100 nominations were received and reviewed by a six-person selection committee including DOC NYC Director of Filmmaker Development Caitlin Boyle; DOC NYC Director of Industry and Education Malikkah Rollins; IFC Center’s Operations Manager Asha Phelps; DOC NYC’s Artistic Director Thom Powers; and 2020 Documentary New Leaders cohort members Iyabo Boyd (Founder, Brown Girls Doc Mafia) and Merrill Sterritt (Co-Director, If/Then Shorts). 

The list of 18 recipients draws from 12 cities–including New York, London, Los Angeles, Chicago and others–and reflects the honorees’ broad range of experiences, including roles in funding, journalism, grassroots organizing, distribution and film festivals. While several honorees are filmmakers, this program highlights their leadership in roles that shape industry practices and culture. 

Over the next year, the Documentary New Leaders program will host monthly online gatherings for the honorees, offering a forum for guest speakers, camaraderie, collaboration and organizing. 

Past Documentary New Leaders

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