DOC NYC unveils honorees for ’40 Under 40′ and other programs

DOC NYC organizers have announced the honorees and projects across four initiatives designed to foster new talent, including the fourth annual 40 Under 40 list, co-presented by HBO Documentary Films, ...
November 4, 2021

DOC NYC organizers have announced the honorees and projects across four initiatives designed to foster new talent, including the fourth annual 40 Under 40 list, co-presented by HBO Documentary Films, which highlights young talent.

Additionally, the second annual Documentary New Leaders program, co-presented by A&E, is designed to highlight a group of individuals whose efforts in distribution, sales, festivals and marketing help to bring greater inclusion and equity to the documentary and non-fiction field.

Launching at this year’s festival will be the DOC NYC x Video Consortium Storytelling Incubator, which connects emerging documentary filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds and perspectives with creative consultation and professional guidance from industry veterans.

And finally, DOC NYC has unveiled the lineup for its sixth annual Only In New York program, co-presented by Showtime Documentary Films, which pairs filmmakers with projects in progress with industry decision-makers for roundtable meetings.

“We are delighted to spotlight and support the work of filmmakers and rising industry leaders who represent the full spectrum of talent and innovation in our field,” said DOC NYC director of filmmaker development Caitlin Boyle in a statement. “In addition to recognizing their efforts and achievements, we hope to actively foster relationships and create dialogues between established leaders and new voices.”

DOC NYC takes place in person in New York and online November 10-18.

40 Under 40

The selection of the 40 Under 40 list began with an open call for nominations for filmmakers based in the U.S. and Canada. The final list was chosen by a selection committee including DOC NYC staff and leading industry decision-makers. The list includes talent working in producing, editing, cinematography and other creative roles.

Tabs Breese, producer

Yael Bridge, director/producer

Isabel Castro, cinematographer, director/producer

Aisling Chin-Yee, director/producer, editor

Maya Cueva, director/producer

Lauren DeFilippo, director/producer

Zackary Drucker, director/producer

Leah Galant, cinematographer, director

Èlia Gasull Balada, editor

Lauren Haber, producer

Karim Hajj, cinematographer, producer

Emily Harrold, director/producer

Chelsea Hernandez, director/producer, editor

CJ Hunt, director

Rebeca Huntt, director

Daniel  Hymanson, cinematographer, director

Jeffrey Johnson, cinematographer

Morgan Elise Johnson, producer

Lance Kramer, producer

Catherine Lee, director/producer

Julia Liu, cinematographer, director

Sura Mallouh, director/producer

Angelo Madsen Minax, director, editor

Ali Moss, producer

Habiba Nosheen, director/producer

Ashley O’Shay, cinematographer, director

Hannah Olson, director/producer

Nneka  Onuorah, director

Richard  Peete, director/producer

Sian-Pierre Regis, director

Rodrigo Reyes, director/producer

Sharon Shattuck, director

Nevo Shinaar, producer

Mike Shum, cinematographer, director/producer

Iliana Sosa, director

Samantha Stark, director

Cai Thomas, cinematographer, director

Sweta Vohra, director/producer

Elizabeth Woodward, producer

Matt Yoka, director/producer, editor

Documentary New Leaders

More than 100 nominations were received and reviewed by a six-person selection committee following the open call for submissions.

The list of 18 recipients reflects the honorees’ range of experiences, including roles in funding, journalism, organizing, distribution and festivals. Over the next year, the Documentary New Leaders program will host monthly online gatherings for the honorees, including a forum for guest speakers, collaboration and organizing.

The 2021 DOC NYC Documentary New Leaders, with their own mission statements:

Day Al-Mohamed
Founding Member, FWD-Doc
“Promoting authentic disability representation, not just content and accessibility, but supporting full inclusion of disabled creatives, to advance equity in the film industry. This doesn’t just make more diverse films, it makes better films.”

Jeanelle Augustin
Manager, Film Fellowships and Artist Development, NBC News Studios
“Embracing risk and deepening investment.”

Samara Grace Chadwick
Executive Director, The Flaherty
“Facilitating complicated conversations, new vocabularies, and bold imaginaries that shatter calcified forms of power and nurture real lasting community within the field of independent documentary.”

Sahar Driver
Field Builder
“Harnessing the power of non-fiction to transform society and culture by preparing filmmakers and their teams to lead powerful impact campaigns, building communities of practice across sectors, and deepening the power of people of color in documentary.”

Sky Dylan-Robbins
Founder, Executive Director, The Video Consortium
“Empowering non-fiction filmmakers with the supportive community, creative resources, and valuable connections they need to produce powerful true stories that catalyze positive social change.”

Amber Espinosa-Jones
Manager, Outreach and Inclusion, Sundance Institute
“Cultivating equitable community partnerships and building authentic spaces for underrepresented artists to heal, thrive, and create change.”

Alexandra Hannibal
Senior Director, Program Development, CNN Films
“Bringing entertaining and informative stories to the public via a global news brand while demystifying industry practices to uplift storytellers.”

Rahi Hasan
Co-founder, Undocumented Filmmakers Collective
“Cultivating healing and creative spaces for marginalized artists, through participatory research, collective strategic organizing, and creative funding approaches.”

Darian Henry
Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, Youth FX | NeXt Doc
“Moving at the speed of trust to hold change in which minds mutate and futures unfurl.”

Maori Holmes
CEO & Artistic Director, BlackStar Projects
“Illuminating the work of visionary filmmakers of color whose practices don’t often fit neatly with the confines of genre or field and championing the broader efforts to expand the power of cinema to shift how we see the world.”

Sarah Mosses
Founder & CEO, Together Films
“Increasing revenue and reach for films and festivals that champion social impact and diversity on a global scale through distribution, marketing, technology & advocacy.”

Asadullah Muhammad
Vice President of Impact and Engagement Strategy, American Documentary/POV
“Building power with mission-driven organizations, public media stations, community spaces, and educators by elevating the reach and impact of documentary film.”

Lauren Pabst
Senior Program Officer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
“Supporting the field of non-fiction multimedia storytelling and documentary  and efforts to create a more equitable industry.”

Anuradha Rana
Creative Lead, Diverse Voices in Docs + Co-Chair, Documentary Program, School of Cinematic Arts, Kartemquin Films + DePaul University
“Mentoring and supporting emerging filmmakers to cultivate and foster a more diverse and authentic story ecosystem, rooted in community.”

Tracy Rector
Managing Director, Storytelling, Nia Tero
“Uplifting and amplifying the stories of Indigenous and BIPOC filmmakers to reach audiences around the world.”

Marjan Safinia
Director/Producer, Field-Builder, Beyond Inclusion
“Making good trouble and good films in pursuit of justice, equity, and diversity in the documentary field.”

Poh Si Teng
Director of IDA Funds and Enterprise Program, International Documentary Association
“Serving independent documentary filmmakers through values-based funding and grant-making, by prioritizing transparency, accountability and self-determination.”

Chloe Walters Wallace
Director of Regional Initiatives, Firelight Media
“Creating space, opportunities and platforms for underserved documentary talent to shine from wherever they call home through labs, commissioned work, and advocacy.”

DOC NYC x Video Consortium Storytelling Incubator

The Video Consortium’s Filmmaker Advisory Council, in collaboration with DOC NYC, reviewed more than 100 work-in-progress documentaries from rising industry talent and selected 18 filmmakers representing 16 projects to participate as mentees in the program.

In addition to one-on-one mentorship support, participants engage in a series of tailored master classes, closed community discussions and happy hours during the program. The Incubator concludes in July, with a screening and final gathering.

The inaugural cohort includes:

A.K. Sandhu

Michelle Leung

Nada Bedair

Xinyan Yu

Jessamyn Ansary

Joyce Mishaan

Khaula Malik

Loulwa Khoury

Ludwig Hurtado

Andy Sarjahani

Brenda Matthews

Divya Kharnare

Eden Ponce

Gabriela Arp

Natalie Chao

Nathaniel Schmidt

Poorva Dinesh

Ragini Nath

Only in New York

Since 2016, DOC NYC has run this program to facilitate face-to-face meetings between leading industry decision-makers and filmmakers with works-in-progress. In 2021, meetings will take place in-person on November 11-12. Following the open call for submissions, the final list of 45 projects was chosen by DOC NYC director of filmmaker development Caitlin Boyle.

More than 75% of the selected film teams are helmed by filmmakers who identify as women, non-binary or genderqueer; 37% are headed by first-time directors; and 62% are director and/or produced by filmmakers who identify as BIPOC. Companies and organizations participating include A&E, American Documentary/POV, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Cinetic Media, Discovery+, ESPN, The Film Collaborative, The Film Sales Company, Hot Docs Festival, Hulu, IFC Films, Imagine Documentaries, Impact Partners, International Documentary Association, NBC News Studios, The New Yorker, Participant, Submarine Entertainment, Topic, TIME Studios, Vice Studios, Women Make Movies and more.

Selected projects include:

15th Parish
Directed by Ben Digiacomo and Dutty Vannier
Produced by Amy Hillock and Jay Will

1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted A Culture
Directed by Sharon “Rocky” Roggio
Produced by Jenna Serbu and Sharon “Rocky” Roggio

A Double Life
Directed by Catherine Masud
Produced by Abby Ginzberg

Directed by Zack Khalil and Adam Khalil
Produced by Steve Holmgren and Francesca Alfano

Adam’s Apple
Directed by Amy Jenkins
Produced by Amy Jenkins

Addicted to Life
Directed by Pola Rapaport
Produced by Pola Rapaport and Rebecca Borden, Esq.

An Unclenched Fist
Directed by Michael Kleiman
Produced by Michael Kleiman and Trita Parsi

B. F. Skinner Plays Himself
Directed by Theodore Kennedy
Produced by Theodore Kennedy

Between Earth and Sky
Directed by Andrew Nadkarni
Produced by Katie Schiller and Swetha Regunathan

Brigidy Bram
Directed by Laura Gamse and Kareem Mortimer
Produced by Laura Gamse and Kareem Mortimer

Demon Mineral
Directed by Hadley Austin
Produced by Nevo Shinaar and Tommy Rock

Directed by Leland Palmer
Produced by Leland Palmer and Eduardo Vasconcelos

Hollywood’s Finest
Directed by Claire Hannah Collins
Produced by Erik Himmelsbach-Weinstein and Claire Hannah Collins

How To Power A City
Directed by Melanie La Rosa
Produced by Melanie La Rosa

I of the Water: The Unwritten Life of Sia Figiel
Directed by Kimberlee Bassford
Produced by Kimberlee Bassford and Marilyn McFadyen

Jose and Derek
Directed by Keira Sultan
Produced by Arielle Knight

Kings of Tort: The People v. Profits
Directed by Jack Lofton and Jeff Dailey
Produced by Jack Lofton

Laying The Last Track
Directed by Shelley Cheung Claudon
Produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy

Life + Life
Directed by Contessa Gayles
Produced by Contessa Gayles and Richie Reseda

Little Sallie Walker
Directed by Marta Effinger-Crichlow
Produced by Marta Effinger-Crichlow and Princess A. Hairston

Making La Grande Boucherie
Directed by Ben Digiacomo
Produced by Amy Hillock

The Meme Economy (w/t)
Directed by Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci
Produced by Jenna Kelly and Carrie Weprin

Mexican Dream
Directed by Laura Plancarte
Produced by Iván Trujillo and Laura Plancarte

MKO: Waiting for Mr. President
Directed by Ose Oyamendan
Produced by Veronique Bernard

Directed by Nicole Betancourt
Produced by Nicole Betancourt

Directed by Hossein Martin Fazeli and Gillian Greenfeld
Produced by Jack Silberman

Queen of New York (w/t)
Directed by Emma Fidel
Produced by Gigi Dement and Robert Profusek

Rocky Flats
Directed by Nancy Wolfe
Produced by Rabia Sultana

Directed by Katie Mathews
Produced by Darcy McKinnon and Jenny Mercein

Directed by Denis Dobrovoda and Matthew Bremner
Produced by Matthew Bremner

School District
Directed by Leigh Morfoot and Jason Morfoot
Produced by Leigh Morfoot

Siouxsie & the Virus
Directed by Gwen Isaac
Produced by Alex Reed and Phillida Perry

Skin of Glass
Directed by Denise Zmekhol
Produced by Denise Zmekhol and Amir Soltani

Slumlord Millionaire
Directed by Ellen Martinez and Steph Ching
Produced by Ellen Martinez and Steph Ching

So Help You God
Directed by Ashley York
Produced by John Fee and Susana Ruiz

Sound of Ice
Directed by Tommy Gulliksen
Produced by Thomas Robsahm and Renée Mlodyszewski

Directed by Valerio Ciriaci
Produced by Isaak Liptzin and Curtis John

The Beauty of Blackness
Directed by Tiffany Johnson and Kiana Moore
Produced by Josh Levine and Mark Book

The Entomologists (w/t)
Directed by Jiayu Yang
Produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy and Shahong Lee

The Petitioner
Directed by Yi Chen
Produced by Yi Chen

The Star of Hope
Directed by Jason Mann
Produced by Dallas Brennan Rexer and Lindsay Mann

Traces of Home
Directed by Colette Ghunim
Produced by Capella Fahoome

Walk By Me
Directed by Lisa Leeman
Produced by Lisa Leeman and Karen Hori

We Build The Block (w/t)
Directed by Tristan Nash
Produced by Johnny Gaffney and Peter Reinstein

Woman on the Outside
Directed by Zara Katz and Lisa Riordan Seville
Produced by Kiara C. Jones, Zara Katz and Lisa Riordan Seville

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.