Now in its fifth year, DOC NYC’s 2024 Documentary New Leaders program honors figures in the American documentary industry whose work to date and potential for leadership brings greater inclusion and equity to the field. The initiative is co-presented by A&E IndieFilms.

Documentary New Leaders are selected from an open application process, in which candidates from across the field are invited to apply for the honor directly or be nominated by a peer. Following this open call for applications, DOC NYC’s selection committee reviews applications and nominations to recognize the accomplishments of rising talents who have created positive change in the documentary industry, and who are poised to bring the industry into a more inspiring future.

The New Leaders cohort is intended to represent a range of work and lived experiences and may come from any field within the documentary industry, including sales, funding, marketing, distribution, advocacy, or community organizing. Applicants may be based in any country but must have demonstrated experience and influence with the North American documentary industry. Each New Leader cohort receives an opportunity to gather live during the fall festival, as well as regular online meetings throughout the year. For questions about the program, email DOC NYC’s Director of Industry and Education at

To self-nominate, click here.

To nominate someone else, click here.

Applications will be accepted through August 1, 2024.

The 2023 list of 14 honorees (see below) reflects a broad range of experiences, including roles in distribution, education, community engagement, funding, social impact, organizing, and journalism. While several honorees are filmmakers, this program highlights the cohort’s leadership in roles that shape industry practices and culture.

Class of 2023