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Filmmakers and Organizations Join to Promote World Day Against the Death Penalty



LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — Organizations across the United States and MountainTop Films director Lisa Boyd of An American Tragedy have partnered to produce an online fundraising event on October 10, 2022, World Day Against the Death Penalty. The event aims to convey, through a screening of An American Tragedy, the possibility of rehabilitation, the potential for forgiveness, and the cruelty of the death penalty, and through the Q&A discussion following, to activate audiences by providing information and tools for those seeking to become involved in the movement to abolish the death penalty.

World Day Against the Death Penalty Online Event

Date: Monday October 10, 2022
Time: 7:00pm Eastern/6:00pm Central/4:00pm Pacific
Online Event Link:
Event Sizzle

What: Screening of An American Tragedy followed by a Q&A with filmmakers, organizations, and political figures to spread awareness & provide tools to the public on what individuals can do to get involved and prevent any other inmates from suffering the ultimate sentence. 

Price: A “pay what you can” event, the $5 charge covers the event production fees. Donations to support the work of the organizations involved will be graciously accepted on the event website.

An American Tragedy Synopsis: For 26 years, the Hall Family has been waiting for justice for the brutal rape and murder of their seventeen-year-old daughter. With just four hours to live, Death Row inmate Jeffrey Ferguson must face his final moments and seek redemption for the pain and suffering he inflicted on everyone involved. Would you forgive the man who killed your daughter?

An American Tragedy director Lisa Boyd shares, “This film is my promise to both the Hall and Ferguson families to share their stories of hope and forgiveness and to help end further suffering. Death is not the answer.”

World Day Against the Death Penalty was founded by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and the event is supported in partnership with the below organizations. Special guest speakers and additional partner organizations to be announced.


About MountainTop Films

Founded in 2012, MountainTop Films aims to bring about change through award-winning film, television, and documentaries. Director and Producer Lisa Rhoden Boyd (Bitter Sugar, Pinero, Parade, El Cantante) and David Boyd (The Walking Dead, Dear Edward, As We See It) work directly with the Missouri Department of Corrections to bring stories on prison reform, the death penalty, forgiveness, and second chances to the world through the power of film. 

About Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1981 to educate Nebraskans on the problems of our broken death penalty system and to support abolition efforts in our unicameral Legislature.

About Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

The death penalty is largely unsupported by Missouri constituents and as the number of pending death penalty cases and the population of Missouri’s death row steadily declines, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty continues to be a driving force behind the movement to Abolish the death penalty in Missouri.


About Death Penalty Action

Death Penalty Action (DPA) provides tools and strategies for individuals and groups to help stop executions. We offer high visibility resources, leadership, support, educational and direct-action events and activities within the broader death penalty abolition movement.

About Death Penalty Focus

Death Penalty Focus was founded in 1988 by a group of California death penalty abolitionists. Since then, DPF has led protests, supported vigils, engaged people of faith, and worked with community leaders to end the death penalty.

About Peace and Justice Commission, Archdiocese of St. Louis

Members of the Commission include lay persons, clergy, religious sisters, police officers, attorneys, and educators. Marie Kenyon is the director of the Peace and Justice Commission. The Commission will develop its priorities by looking at how issues affecting our region specifically impact the family. As Catholics we believe as Pope Francis states “the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and belong to one another.” By working to help strengthen the family, the Commission hopes to help build stronger communities and a peaceful and just region and world.


About World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 160 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities, and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty. To achieve its goal, the World Coalition advocates for a definitive end to death sentences and executions in those countries where the death penalty is in force.

To learn more or to offer your partnership & support contact:
Kristen Bedno, SideHussle Life
[email protected]

SOURCE MountainTop Films

Black History

New Documentary ‘Bo Legs’ Profiles Marvin Arrington Sr., One of Atlanta’s Unsung Heroes



ATLANTA ( – Newly-released feature-length biographical documentary film covering the life and work of the Honorable Marvin Arrington, Sr., an Atlanta native and one of the city’s transformative political leaders, is now available on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. The film was produced by independent filmmakers based in Atlanta led by Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr. and his SWATS Enterprises company. Born in Atlanta in the 1940s, then a segregated, provincial town during Jim Crow, Marvin Arrington, Sr. grew up to help galvanize the city of his birth into the international, cosmopolitan metropolis that it is today. The documentary, Bo Legs, takes viewers on the journey of one man’s love for a city and his visionary work for the city’s eventual transformation. Battling through the blows of racism and meshing with political opponents over the years, Marvin “Bo Legs” Arrington, Sr. not only found his way but made his mark in civic duty and social justice. 

After integrating his law school Marvin Arrington, Sr. served as the longest-running city council president in Atlanta’s history. Working behind the scenes in crafting legislation Arrington built alliances joining black and white communities for urban development, opened the access for women and minorities serving in city government, proposed policies increasing African American businesses in the city and promoted advancement in the city’s transportation, sports, and housing sectors. “By telling his story this film tells the story of Atlanta,” says Adelin Gasana, writer and director of Bo Legs. “No other person’s biography parallels so harmoniously with the successful growth of the city of Atlanta than Marvin Arrington, Sr.”

The documentary film features a stellar lineup of influential Atlanta leaders helping to narrate Arrington’s impactful story over the past four decades. Such notable figures include: Ambassador Andrew Young, Mayor Shirley Franklin, Governor Roy Barnes, Federal Judge Clarence Cooper, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, TV News Anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson, and Mayor Kasim Reed. Bo Legs appeared in six film festivals–premiering at the Bronze Lens Film Festival–and ran for six months on Delta Air Lines’ In-Flight Entertainment. It is now available for streaming on Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube Movies, and Amazon Prime Video.

Source: SWATS Enterprises

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MasterClass Announces Celebrity Stylist Karla Welch to Teach Building and Owning Your Personal Style



Renowned stylist to Justin Bieber, Tracee Ellis Ross, Oprah and many others teaches how to establish a signature style and curate a capsule wardrobe

SAN FRANCISCO /PRNewswire/ — MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that celebrity stylist and fashion entrepreneur Karla Welch will teach a class on building and owning your personal style. Welch will share her journey of becoming the world’s most renowned fashion stylist, teaching members how to identify their own personal style, choose the pieces that best represent it and create a variety of looks that tell a story. The class is available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 180+ instructors with an annual membership.

Karla Welch for MasterClass

“Karla’s deep knowledge of fashion, attention to detail and renowned work ethic have made her one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stylists,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In her class, she uses over 20 years of experience to take members behind the scenes of her styling process, teaching them how to develop their personal style and curate a capsule wardrobe on any budget.”

In her class, Welch will take members into her styling process and career, teaching them how to break into the industry, work with new clients, create iconic looks and use their experience to launch meaningful businesses. To help members discover their own style and build a wardrobe with essential pieces, she will encourage them to do visual research, take risks and get thrifty. Through her own wardrobe staples, she’ll help members curate a capsule wardrobe of their own and understand how a few strong, organized pieces can make having amazing style far less daunting. Having collaborated with A-list clients like Justin Bieber and Tracee Ellis Ross for years, Welch will take members through a case study of how she creates iconic looks, including Ross’ iconic pink Valentino statement dress for the 70th annual Emmy Awards, and how she works with Bieber on an album cycle. She also shares a deep dive into one of her staple looks—Le Smoking Suit. For those wanting to break into a career in the styling industry, Welch will share practical tips like the importance of becoming an assistant to an established stylist and building a strong work ethic to gain respect in the field. Welch will also detail how she used styling to build purpose-driven businesses and give back through x karla, the Wishi app, and the Period Company. Members will walk away with the tools needed to discover their signature look and curate pieces they can wear every day.

“Style can be the ultimate expression of who you are. It’s a reflection of the choices you make, the person you are or the person you want to be,” Welch said. “In this class, I will teach members how to find inspiration, create a capsule wardrobe and find purpose in their work to help them build confidence and express themselves through fashion.” 

Welch is a multifaceted fashion entrepreneur and one of Hollywood’s top stylists. In addition to long-standing clients like Bieber and Ross, Welch has worked with actor Sarah Paulson, musician Lorde, and many others. She has also established herself as a force in the fashion industry as a designer and a creative director through capsule collections with renowned fashion brands (Levi’s), her personal line (x karla) and stylist app (Wishi). Welch is passionate about social justice and launched the Period Company. in 2020 to provide affordable and environmentally friendly undergarments to support menstrual equity.



MasterClass is the streaming platform where the world’s best come together so anyone, anywhere, can access and be inspired by their knowledge and stories. With an annual membership, members get unprecedented access to 180+ instructors and classes across a wide variety of fields, including Arts & Entertainment, Business, Design & Style, Sports & Gaming, Writing and more. Step into Nas’ recording studio, Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen and go behind the big screen with James Cameron. Design your career with Elaine Welteroth, get ready to win with Lewis Hamilton, perfect your pitch with Shonda Rhimes and discover your inner negotiator with Chris Voss. Each class features about 20 video lessons, at an average of 10 minutes per lesson. You can learn and discover at a pace that best serves your lifestyle—in bite-size pieces or in a single binge, on mobile, tablet, desktop, Android™ TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku® players and devices. Cinematic visuals and close-up demonstrations make you feel like you’re one-on-one with the instructors, while the downloadable Class Guides help reinforce your learning. For those looking to learn by doing, Sessions by MasterClass offers a structured, 30-day curriculum where members can roll up their sleeves, get hands-on and learn meaningful skills through step-by-step guidance from world-class instructors and an active community of peers. With MasterClass at Work, companies can keep their employees engaged and boost morale and motivation with immersive, short-form lessons from the world’s best.

Follow MasterClass:
Twitter @masterclass
Instagram @masterclass
Facebook @masterclassofficial
TikTok @masterclass
LinkedIn @masterclass

Follow Karla Welch:
Instagram @KarlaWelchStylist
Twitter @Karla_Welch
Facebook @KarlaWelch 

SOURCE MasterClass

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black movies and theater

Ford Foundation invests over $4M to support social justice documentary film projects in 2022



JustFilms grants over $4 million to support 68 content projects in the United States, Brazil, and more

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Today the Ford Foundation announced its overall funding for independent documentary film in 2022. One of the largest documentary funds in the world and a part of the foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression (CFE) program, JustFilms provided over $4 million to support 68 innovative film projects in the United States and around the world that are centered on social justice issues.

From this allocation, the 68 documentary film projects supported this year include 43 filmmakers with new projects and 25 continuing support grants for films previously funded. This year’s funding went toward a cohort of films linked by their social, political, and creative ambition to elevate artist-centered filmmaking and spur social action. Of the 68 film projects, 70% of the grants were made to filmmakers identifying as Black, Indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), as well. These projects spanned the foundation’s global offices and included works from the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and beyond.

“We’re privileged to support the ecosystem of independent documentary filmmaking that looks to amplify social justice causes,” said Jon-Sesrie Goff, program officer for JustFilms at the Ford Foundation. “I’m proud of how these projects further illustrate the complexities of the moment we’re all in now, offering unique perspectives that allow audiences to peer deeper into the stories that shape and define our realities today.”

JustFilms has also piloted a direct support grant program comprised of $75,000 grants for leading filmmakers to deepen their practices, build career sustainability, and advance multiple projects. One such example from the program is filmmaker and writer Brett Story, whose work currently focuses on labor movements and prison abolition. Story represents the impact that individuals can have with more support and resources in their corner to build a more sustainable and inclusive documentary sector that honors the research and time that inspires compelling nonfiction storytelling.

“We believe filmmakers should be able to focus on their work and take greater risks without always worrying about how they will pay to keep the lights on,” said Chi-hui Yang, senior program officer for JustFilms at the Ford Foundation. “Ensuring sustainable careers and practices for them requires rethinking models of funding and support beyond project funding tied to specific outcomes in an imperfect system of distribution and exhibition, and allowing artists more freedom to explore, imagine, and consider how their contributions can potentially impact the entire documentary film sector.”


The JustFilms grants for the 68 projects span a number of countries, with many supporting global filmmakers, particularly those from the Global South, as a core part of JustFilms’ work and mission. Films supported in 2022 include: Black Power, Black Rio (dir. Emilio Domingos), which traces the Black Rio Movement and the emergence of Black cultural and political identity in 1970s Brazil via archives of trailblazing Brazilian music and insights from dance promoter Dom Filo; Guardianas (dir. Danniela Castro Valencia), which recenters women of Indigenous and African descent in the fight for cultural survival and protection of the environment in Colombia; and The Walk (dir. Tamara Kotevska), the story of a large-scale social art project called Little Amal, which has traveled across 13 countries representing the forced migration of children fleeing war and violence. Another pivotal grant made this year was part of a multi-year contribution to the IDFA Bertha Fund, which supports artistic voices primarily from the Global South.

Many of the U.S.-based grantees used their documentary projects to engage public discourse around pressing national issues of our time—especially this complex cultural moment of rampant polarization and dis/misinformation. These include Soledad O’Brien’s Untitled Abortion Project, which addresses the state of reproductive health after the Dobbs decision; Sidney Fussell and Samantha Knowles’ #WhileBlack, which explores how Big Tech exposes racism while also exploiting witnesses behind the camera and online viewers; Kimberly Reed’s The Gender Project, which follows misperceptions about gender and biological sex; and Dana Coester’s Raised By Wolves, a look at extremism in online youth culture in an Appalachian community. Other US-based works by acclaimed visual artists and experimental filmmakers include Before the War (dir. Chitra Ganish), Powow People (dir. Sky Hopinka), Nowhere Near (dir. Miko Revereza), and Don & Moki (dir. Ephriam Asili).

Moving beyond accountability to action, JustFilms’ supported filmmakers are on the frontlines of disability justice in the industry, often reshaping the ways diversity, equity, and inclusion are framed in the independent social justice documentary landscape. JustFilms provided the seed funds to launch the Nonfiction Access Initiative at the International Documentary Association, which supports disabled documentary filmmakers through data collection, field surveys, and a film fund. Projects funded by JustFilms in 2022 that focus on disability communities include Set Hernandez’s Unseen, Rea Tajiri’s Wisdom Gone Wild, Reveca Torres’s Untitled Art & Disability Project, and Fire Through Dry Grass (dirs. Alexis Neophytides, Andres “Jay” Molina).

The full list of documentary film projects supported by JustFilms in 2022 are below:

Newly Funded Projects

A Family Business
Frederick Wiseman
Producer(s): Frederick Wiseman, Karen Konicek
A chronicle of the day-to-day activities of a Michelin three-star restaurant and the family that owns and operates it. It is Mr. Wiseman’s 44th film in his continuing series on contemporary life.


A Town Called Victoria
Director(s): Li Lu
Producer(s): Anthony Pedone, Li Lu
Hours after the first travel ban takes effect, a mosque in a small Texas town erupts in flames. As details of the arson emerge and a suspect goes to trial, this quiet community must reckon with the deep rifts that drove a man to hate.

Before the War
Director(s) & Producer(s): 
Chitra Ganesh
An experimental animation featuring music by Saul Williams, Before the War explores an open-ended narrative of memory, love, and loss, animated by the social and political shifts catalyzed by the current pandemic environment and the politically polarizing years preceding COVID-19.

Black Rio! Black Power!
Director(s): Emilio Domingos
Producer(s): Leticia Monte, Lula Buarque de Hollanda
The Black Rio Movement is a popular samba soul scene that emerged in the ’70s in Rio de Janeiro, during the Brazilian dictatorship, that shaped the culture, the Black identity and paved the way for the funk parties that happen today in the urban peripheries. BlackRio! BlackPower! is a film about the historical importance of this movement in affirming Afro-Brazilian identity as well as the movement’s influence in the battle for racial justice in Brazil.

BLCKNWS Director(s): Kahlil Joseph
Producer(s): Onye Anyanwu, Amy Greenleaf, Nic Gonda
Executive Producer (s): Participant Media: Anikah McLaren, Jeff Skoll
By using an original mix of narrative and sampled elements, BLKNWS features a collection of voices and collaborators shown through a lens of fugitive journalism and personal expression. This feature film is an adaption of the media artwork BLKNWS that first debuted at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and has been transformed from its original two-channel broadcast into a single-channel film experience.

Detroit: The City of Churches
Director(s) & Producer(s): Keith Famie
Detroit: The City of Churches shows how Detroit’s rich history was guided by its spiritual leaders from inception to present day.

Don & Moki: Organic Music Society
Director(s): Ephraim Asili
Producer(s): Ephraim Asili, Naima Karlsson
Don & Moki: Organic Music Society is a feature-length documentary exploring the collaborative and communal art practice developed and practiced by jazz multi-instrumentalist, theorist, and educator Don Cherry and his wife and primary collaborator, visual artist Moki Cherry.

Dr. Norman C. Francis: A Legacy of Leadership
Dominic Massa
Producer(s): Thanh Truong, Producer; Dionne Butler, Associate Producer
Dr. Norman C. Francis: A Legacy of Leadership chronicles the career of a true Louisiana legend and one of America’s longest-serving university presidents. Archival photos, footage, and interviews with Dr. Norman C. Francis, his children, and his colleagues document a remarkable life devoted to education and public service.


Fannie Lou Hamer’s America
Director(s): Joy Elaine Davenport
Producer(s): Monica Land
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special is a portrait of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and the injustices in America that made her work essential.

Fire Through Dry Grass
Director(s): Alexis Neophytides, Andres “Jay” Molina
Producer(s): Jennilie Brewster, Alexis Neophytides
On a tiny island in New York City, a group of Black and Brown disabled artists fight COVID and the city to protect the lives of 500 vulnerable nursing home residents.

Going Varsity in Mariachi
 Alejandra Vasquez, Sam Osborn
Producer(s): James Lawler, Julia Pontecorvo, Rachel Mills
In the competitive world of high school mariachi, the musicians from the South Texas borderlands reign supreme. Under the guidance of Coach Abel Acuña, the teenage captains of Edinburg North High School’s acclaimed team must turn a shoestring budget and diverse crew of inexperienced musicians into state champions.

Danniela Castro
Producer(s): Ana Tarazona Cañón, Valentina Romero
In defense of their territories and ancestral knowledge, three women leaders weave communities that defy the false frontier we have erected between the human and the natural.

Hasting Street Blues
Director(s): Juanita Anderson
Producer(s): Juanita Anderson, Marsha Battle Philpot (aka Marsha Music)
Joe’s Record Shop on Hastings Street, owner Joe Von Battle, and the blues music he loved, produced, and recorded illuminate the vitality and complexity of mid-20th century African American life in Detroit: the self-determination and ultimate displacement of a Black community amidst unprecedented migration, racial turmoil, civil rights progress, and urban “renewal.”

Identity Crisis
Director(s): Maxx Ginnane
Description withheld.


Memories of the Harlem Renaissance (Phase One)
William Greaves
Producer(s): Louise Archambault Greaves, Anne de Mare
Memories of the Harlem Renaissance is an unfinished, cinema-vérité documentary project, filmed by William Greaves in 1971, that documents a unique, historic gathering of many of the surviving luminaries of the original Harlem Renaissance. Phase One includes the preservation, digitization, transcription, and cataloging of all the original film materials. Phase Two will involve the creation of a documentary film, a museum installation, and a public-facing digital audio-visual archive.

New Wave
Elizabeth Ai
Producer(s): Elizabeth Ai, Tracy Chitupatham, Anh Phan, Rachel Sine
Mile-high hair. Synthesized music. Underground parties. The Vietnamese new wave scene of 1980s California was the catalyst to healing a generation of refugees in cultural limbo. New Wave is the coming-of-age story of trailblazers who pioneered a raucous music scene and inspired their community to rebuild in the wake of the Vietnam War.

No Time to Fail
Sara Archambault, Margo Guernsey
Producer(s): Sara Archambault, Margo Guernsey
Amidst an onslaught of attacks from a sitting president and the deadly threat of a global pandemic, local election administrators work around the clock to secure the vote for their community. Rhode Island’s election teams take center stage in this unprecedented voting adventure.

Nowhere Near
Miko Revereza
Producer(s): Shireen Seno
A poetic memoir through the lens of a stateless person returning to an estranged homeland. Filmmaker Miko Revereza investigates a family curse that spans the history of Philippine-American migration back to his grandmother’s coastal province. Nowhere Near chronicles physical and introspective exile between borders.

Out of the Picture
Mary Louise Schumacher
Producer(s): Katie Heil; Eric Vogel; Meghan Holbrook; Noel L’Esperance
Out of the Picture is an independent documentary film about art critics living through a cultural reckoning and a historic transformation to both art and media. Through the deeply human stories of critics, the film will provoke questions about how meaning gets made and talked about in the 21st century.

The People vs. Austerity/El Pueblo vs. La Austeridad
Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran
Producer(s): Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran, Neyda Martinez, Julia Steele Allen
What is austerity: a painful but necessary “tightening your belts,” or an economic agenda designed to enrich Wall Street? Created by the team behind the award-winning Decade of FireThe People vs. Austerity uncovers the origins and objectives behind austerity, which uses non-democratic means to eliminate essential services and sell off public infrastructure, all in the name of repaying dubious debts. From 1975 New York City to Detroit and Puerto Rico today, the film traces how austerity has slashed basic services like schools and water—and sparked a powerful resistance movement.


Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story
Director(s): Jennifer Takaki
Producer(s): Jennifer Takaki, Lily M. Fan, Linda Woo
This feature documentary film project Photographic Justice provides a firsthand account of 50 years of Asian American activism through the lens of late Chinese American photographer Corky Lee. Lee’s photographs captured the struggles, celebrations, and daily life of the diverse community of Asian Americans living in New York City. He bore witness to police brutality in Chinatown in the 1970s, to Sikhs and Filipinos battling racist stereotyping after 9/11, and to the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic on the AAPI community in 2020. Director Jennifer Takaki followed Corky Lee for nearly 20 years, documenting triumphs and tragedies. Her film offers a unique and moving memorial to one man’s mission to bring justice to his community through photography.

Point 5
Stefani Saintonge, Yvonne Michelle Shirley
Producer(s): New Negress Film Society
A political education series by New Negress Film Society.

Principios (Principles)
Director(s): Susana Erenberg
Producer(s): Laboratorio de Litigio Estructura, A.C., Abril Schmucler
Principles is the intimate portrait of Juan Méndez, a lawyer who, after experiencing torture at the hands of the Argentine police, became an important promoter and defender of dignity and human rights, working internationally for the prevention and abolition of torture.

Queer Futures series (How to Carry Water, The Script, MnM, The Callers)
Director(s): Sasha Wortzel, Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Lindsey Dryden
Producer(s): Colleen Cassingham, Jessica Devaney
Four short documentaries articulate future visions for queer life that offer liberation, joy, and connection. Just as queer lives subvert normative expectations of behavior, identity, and expression, these films expand the boundaries of nonfiction narrative forms and aesthetics, presenting new ways of seeing the queer experience lived out loud.

Raised by Wolves
Dana Coester
Producer(s): Joel Beeson, Dana Coester
Raised by Wolves is anchored by the filmmakers’ personal narrative as journalists, as part of an Appalachian Muslim family, and as parents to five children, four of whom are boys. The story is also rooted in the filmmaker’s past of growing up in poverty in the Ozarks and now investigating susceptibility to domestic violent extremism through the lens of rural shame.

Rediscovering Fanon
Director(s): Rico Speight
Producer(s): Rico Speight
Rediscovering Fanon is an independent feature documentary on the life and thought of revolutionary psychiatrist Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), one of the leading 20th-century thinkers on race. It examines racially polarized America through the lens of Fanon’s prescient ideas and revisits the tragic killings of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and others.


Red Thread
Tchaiko Omawale
Producer(s): Tchaiko Omawale, Iyabo Kwayana
An oral history documentary collage about the contributions of women to the Caribbean independence project. It weaves together layers of cinematic landscapes of the flora and fauna of the Caribbean, archival cultural artifacts, and the oral histories of the Elders and their international comrades, who are family and family friends to the filmmakers.

Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day In March
Director(s): Titi Yu
Producer(s): Gina Kim
In early 2021, the country watched in horror as vicious attacks on Asian Americans proliferated across the nation—culminating in the brutal murder of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta. One Day in March examines the troubling rise in racism against the AAPI community, pays respect to the lives lost, and champions those coming together to fight the hate.   

Hamoody Jaafar
Producer(s): Razi Jafri
Rouge is a coming-of-age story that follows the lives of four young Black men as they navigate being student athletes at one of America’s richest basketball legacies, located in one of its poorest zip codes.

Sansón and Me
Director(s): Rodrigo Reyes
Executive Producer: Inti Cordera
Producer(s): Su Kim, Rodrigo Reyes
Two Mexican migrants—a young man serving a life sentence in prison and a filmmaker who was his court interpreter—become intertwined through life and cinema.

Shadow of Nanook
Director(s): Jim Compton and Peadar King
Producer(s): Pegi Vail, Melvin Estrella, Peadar King
Through the eyes of Nanook of the North director Robert Flaherty’s unacknowledged granddaughter Martha Flaherty, Shadow of Nanook explores the darker side of the film’s legacy on the descendants the filmmaker left behind on his road to fame. The documentary revisits the frozen high arctic where Martha’s family was forced into a traumatic exile by the Canadian government, serving as human flags to demonstrate Canada’s sovereignty during the Cold War. Now 72, Martha seeks justice for her Inuit family’s exile and passes on the torch of Indigenous activism to her daughter, Alyssa.

Split at the Root
Director(s): Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Producer(s): Marti Noxon, Maria Grasso, Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Miranda Bailey
When a Guatemalan mother seeking asylum was separated from her children days after Zero Tolerance Policy was enacted, a group of enraged women sprang into action. Our film focuses on two immigrant mothers navigating U.S. bureaucracy and the all-volunteer group who galvanized to help families separated by this inhumane policy.


The 3,000 Project
Director(s) & Producer(s): Keith McQuiter
The 3,000 Project is a 90-minute documentary about the complexities of crime and punishment, rehabilitation, and parole in America today. It follows the story of the incarcerated and guilty of violent crimes, who stand for 3,000 others caught between two conflicting sets of laws: They were imprisoned in Wisconsin in the 1990s, but in 2000, as American values changed, the system of law changed too, rehabilitation went out of favor and parole was abolished, new laws made it virtually impossible for violent criminals to ever win their freedom.

The Chemistry of Racism
Director(s) & Producer(s): Penelope Jagessar Chaffer
The Chemistry of Racism is an environmental social justice triptych that explores the phenomena of the systemic and often deliberate poisoning and exploitation of the Black and colored body by America’s patriarchal systems.

The First Plantation
Jason Fitzroy Jeffers
Producer(s): Darcy McKinnon, Romola Lucas
Barbados is the birthplace of many things: possibly rum, definitely Rihanna, and, sadly, many of the modalities and codifications of and around plantation slavery, which spread throughout the wider Caribbean and the southern United States, setting the stage for much of what we know of white supremacy today. The First Plantation is a deeply personal and spiritual investigation into this often-overlooked legacy as the international debate around reparations for the descendants of transatlantic slavery intensifies.

The Gender Project
Kimberly Reed
Producer(s): Kimberly Reed, Louise Rosen, Robin Honan
What defines biological sex: science or society? Through immersion in the lives of people who defy simplistic gender labels, The Gender Project uses bold cinematic language to confront the dichotomy of gender, exploding binary myths with scientific, historical, and cultural revelations. From the molecular level up, persistent binary notions of gender and the biology of sex are blown apart to reveal the true complexity of the human organism and the astonishing spectrum within us.

The Walk
Tamara Kotevska
Producer(s): Harri Grace, Orlando von Einsiedel, Tracey Seaward
The Walk tells the extraordinary journey of a girl named Amal as she travels 5000 miles from the Syrian border across Europe in search of a home. Amal is a 12-foot-tall puppet brought to life by a team of 10 puppeteers in one of the most adventurous public artworks ever attempted. On her ongoing journey, having visited 13 countries already, Amal whose name means “Hope”) brings global attention to the plight of millions of displaced refugee children still unsettled all over the world.

Director(s): Sidney Fussell, Samatha Knowles
Producer(s): Ann Shin, Geeta Gandbhir
Witnesses who filmed the deaths of George Floyd, Philando Castile, and other victims of racial violence step forward in this groundbreaking documentary about the citizen journalist videos that have ignited global movements. Millions of people have seen their horrifying videos, but few realize how witnesses must fight against online trolls, surveillance firms working with police, and exploitative social media platforms that turn their pain into profit. 


Untitled Abortion Project
 Soledad O’Brien
Executive Producer(s): Soledad O’Brien, Rose Arce
This film will look at what the world will look like in the U.S. for reproductive health following the decision to overturn Roe vs Wade.

Untitled (Art and Disability Culture)
Director(s) & Producer(s):: 
Reveca Torres
Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, and Henri Matisse lived and created. Through letters and artifacts, director Reveca Torres finds that they’ve made a path for contemporary disabled artists and their struggles parallel her own. As Reveca connects with present-day artists with disabilities, together they imagine and work towards a society in which the barriers they face no longer exist and disability art and culture is celebrated.

(Untitled) Wynton Marsalis Documentary
Amani Martin
Producer(s): Craig Jenest
Wynton Marsalis has never been seen this way before, up close and very personal. Featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes access, this documentary will explore the formative experiences, philosophy, and global impact of jazz music’s preeminent—and often controversial—figure.

Set Hernandez
Producer(s): Set Hernandez, Day Al-Mohamed, Felix Endara, Diane Quon
An aspiring social worker, Pedro must confront political restrictions as a blind, undocumented immigrant to get his college degree and support his family. But when attaining his dreams leads to new and unexpected challenges, what will Pedro do?

Wisdom Gone Wild
Director(s): Rea Tajiri
Producer(s): Rea Tajiri, Sian Evans
Wisdom Gone Wild is an immersive meditation on elder consciousness and the act of caregiving a parent with dementia. Filmmaker Rea Tajiri weaves her mother Rose’s storytelling wisdom into the dream fabric of this film, with her songs providing a soundtrack for time travel as we witness her evolution across nine decades of living.

Without Arrows
Director(s): Jonathan Olshefski, Elizabeth Day
Producer(s): Elizabeth Day, Jonathan Olshefski
Filmed with vérité intimacy over the course of 12 years (2011-2022), Without Arrows chronicles the choices, events, and relationships that shape a Lakota family’s legacy. Delwin Fiddler Jr. left his reservation as a young man to escape a trauma that splintered his family and built a new life in Philadelphia, but 13 years later, he abandons it all and returns home to attempt to heal the past.



ASCO: Without Permission
Director(s): Travis Gutierrez Senger
Producer(s): Travis Gutierrez Senger, Nick Boak, Andrew Renzi; Executive Producers: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna
ASCO: Without Permission is a feature-length documentary that profiles the extraordinary art collective of the 1970’s-1980’s ASCO, who merged activism and art and challenged Latinx representation in the art world, politics, and Hollywood through their incendiary performance art, photography, video, and muralism. ASCO: Without Permission examines the importance of their subversive and wildly spirited work and how it serves as a framework for representation in today’s cultural landscape. Through formal invention and the creation of original works with the next generation of Latinx artists, along with interviews with prominent actors, artists, and activists, this documentary provides a call to action while celebrating a group that was far ahead of its time.

Director(s) & Producer(s):: 
Alex Rivera
Deportations happen every hour of every day in the United States, but “deportation” appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. This is the incredible true story of where the practice came from and how it almost never began, as well as a roadmap towards, perhaps, ending deportation forever.

 Pamela Yates
Producer(s): Paco de Onís
The United States border is not just a geographical location; it lies within every undocumented immigrant facing the behemoth of a border-industrial complex that spends billions ensnaring, deporting, and separating their families. Skylight’s forthcoming feature-length documentary takes us inside a nascent movement of undocumented and Indigenous immigrants organizing to claim their civil rights in the shadow of the border-industrial complex.

Eat Bitter
Director(s): Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun
Producer(s): Mathieu Faure
During a civil war in the Central African Republic, an immigrant Chinese construction manager and a local worker on opposite ends of the spectrum construct a bank. As deadlines loom, they don’t hesitate to strip the earth and destroy their families for a seat at the table of prosperity.

Going to Mars
Director(s) & Producer(s): 
Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster Going to Mars takes us through the mindscape of legendary poet Nikki Giovanni. Her voice guides us across time and outer space, dreams and remembrances, and across decades of American history as we reimagine her most iconic work with visual lyricism fit for a poet. The film’s cinematic intergalactic journey ventures beyond Nikki’s own lifetime to the Middle Passage and Mars, always keeping hold of possibility and the potential of Black liberation.


Silvia Del Carmen, Carmen Castaños and Estefanía “Beba” Contreras
Producer(s): Jillian Schlesinger, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Leslie Benavides, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Diane Ng
In this late-night summer self-portrait, Silvia Del Carmen, Carmen Castaños and Estefanía “Beba” Contreras make magic of everyday moments while coming of age on the Texas-Mexico border.

I Didn’t See You There
Director(s): Reid Davenport
Producer(s): Keith Wilson
Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on spectacle, (in)visibility, and the corrosive legacy of the “freak show.”

Murders That Matter
Director(s) & 
Producer(s): Marco Williams Murders That Matter documents Movita Johnson-Harrell, an African American Muslim mother who, in the aftermath of her youngest son’s murder, vows to save all the other Black sons on both sides of the gun.

Director(s) & Producer(s): 
Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine
Nine is a feature documentary about the moving relationship between Gerald Hankerson, a Black 53-year old community leader in Seattle, and his father figure, Henry Grisby. Their bond, forged across generations and decades, gives both men the power to push back against an oppressive criminal justice system.

Powwow People
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga)
Producer(s): John Cardellino, Adam Piron (Kiowa/Mohawk)
Told through Hopinka’s distinct artistic style and lens of personal lived experience, this film is a meditation on the nebulous places of community and survivance that are powwows, poetically depicting Native American singers and dancers as they live their lives, maintain their cultural traditions, and prepare for an upcoming powwow, one organized, hosted, and documented through the production of this film.

r/evolution — An American Tech Story
Lerone D. Wilson
Producer(s): Andrea Mustain
Good intentions, unforeseen consequences, and the forces of the internet collide, revealing the humanity—and the humans—confronting the unprecedented power of social media.


River of Grass
Sasha Wortzel
Producer(s): Danielle Varga
River of Grass unfolds as a voyage through the past, present, and precarious future of the iconic and imperiled Florida Everglades, told through the writings of the late environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas and those who today call the region home.

Storm Lake
Jerry Risius
Dark clouds hang over the cornfields of Storm Lake, Iowa, which has seen its fair share of change in the 40 years since Big Agriculture came to town. Farmers blow their life savings on new equipment they hope will keep their livelihoods intact. Migrant workers flock here—welcome and not—for their slice of the American Dream. The people of Storm Lake confront a changing community as global forces threaten their precarious existence. Enter: 63-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen and his family-run newspaper, The Storm Lake Times. Day in and day out, the Cullens deliver local news and biting editorials on a shoestring budget for their 3,000 readers. Come hell or pandemic, they’ll fight to preserve this town they call home. There’s simply too much at stake.

The Big Payback
Director(s): Erika Alexander, Whitney Dow
Producer(s): Ben Arnon, Xan Parker, Erika Alexander, Whitney Dow
A rookie alderwoman in Evanston, Illinois, leads the passage of the first tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans and stirs up a debate about the debt owed from the United States.

The Tuba Thieves
 Alison O’Daniel
Producer(s): Alison O’Daniel, Rachel Nederveld
From 2011-2013, a rash of tuba thefts occurred in high schools across Southern California. The Tuba Thieves does not tell the story of the thieves or the missing tubas; instead, it asks what it means to listen.

Untitled 19th* News Film
Chelsea Hernandez, Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston
Producer(s): Diane Quon, Chelsea Hernandez, Heather Courtney
In 2020, a fearless group of journalists sought to upend the white male status quo in U.S. news by launching an all-women and non-binary news start-up. By building a newsroom that reflects the women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ communities they’re writing about, can The 19th be a model for the news industry in these changing times?

Untitled (Cairo, IL Project)
 Lisa Marie Malloy, JP Sniadecki & Ray Whitaker
Producer(s): Karin Chien, Theresa Delsoin
Untitled (Cairo, IL Project) is a collectively authored film that emerges from the vibrant community spirit of Cairo, Illinois, a former industrial and agricultural empire that sits between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and was a nexus for civil rights movements in the 1960s. Through intimate depictions, this film celebrates the joy and resurgence of this overlooked town.


Untitled Labor Union Documentary
Steve Maing, Brett Story
Producer(s): Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone
An intimate portrait of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), a group of current and former Amazon workers taking on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

Untitled Michael Premo Film
Michael Premo
Producer(s): Rachel Falcone A feature film about contemporary America.

Water for Life
Will Parrinello
Producer(s): Rick Tejada-Flores, Maria Jose Calderon & Will Parrinello
As mining and hydroelectric projects threaten vital water supplies in Latin America, Water For Life follows three community leaders as they face death threats and murder to save their precious resources.

When They Walk
 Jason DaSilva
Producer(s): Jason DaSilva, Naomi Middleton & Leigh DaSilva
Filmmaker, artist, and activist Jason DaSilva’s biggest struggle isn’t his MS but, rather, that he lives in a world that is not made with people like him in mind. Jason pulls apart the ableist frameworks that surround him and discovers that accessibility means access to the ones you love.

Whose City Director(s): Javier Lovera
Producer(s): Ina Fichman
Tech companies partnering with city governments promise an urban utopia, but their sensors and algorithms often become tools for oppression and mass surveillance. Now, impacted citizens and community leaders from some of North America’s largest cities are fighting to rein back these powerful partnerships, reclaim their democratic power, and change their cities’ futures.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization with assets currently valued at $16 billion. For more than 85 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.


SOURCE Ford Foundation

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