Meet our filmmakers, the risk-taking artists who bring untold stories to viewers around the world.
Zeshawn Ali was born and raised in Ohio. He moved to New York to study film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where he concentrated on directing and cinematography. He directed the short film Shallows and short documentaries for the 30 Mosques series which were featured in festivals and publications across the country. He's currently based in New York.
Laura Green is a documentary director and editor based in San Francisco. She has directed, produced and edited five short documentaries, which played at numerous festivals, including Palm Springs Shortfest, Aspen Shortsfest, Sarasota Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, and Outfest. She edited True Son (2014), a feature length documentary,…Show morewhich premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the new documentary web-series The F Word. Green is also a lecturer at Stanford University, California College of the Arts, and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Show less
Bernardo Ruiz is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His directorial feature debut, Reportero (POV, PBS 2013) about attacks on the press in Mexico, was nominated for a 2014 News and Documentary Emmy® Award and premiered at Full Frame (U.S.), IDFA (Europe) and Ambulante (Mexico). New York Magazine called it “a powerful reminder of how journalism…Show moreoften requires immense amounts of physical and psychological bravery.” His latest feature documentary, Kingdom of Shadows was called “unforgettable” by The New York Times and premiered at SXSW and IDFA. Ruiz founded Quiet Pictures, a New York-based production company, in 2007 in order to produce independent documentaries. Through Quiet, he created and Executive-Produced the two part bilingual PBS series, The Graduates/Los Graduados for Independent Lens. The series, about the lives of six Latino and Latina students, was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and co-produced with ITVS. In the fall of 2015, Ruiz was a “filmmaker in residence” at the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Full Frame Film Documentary Festival and the International Documentary Association's Enterprise Fund. Show less
(Director/Producer/Editor) Chico Colvard teaches Race, Law and Media related courses at MassArt. He was the Founding Curator of the UMB Film Series. Chico is also the founding member of C-LineFilms, which produces short and long form documentaries as well as online commercial content. His feature doc, Family Affair, premiered in competition at…Show moreSundance and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her cable channel, OWN. The film streamed on Netflix, iTunes and other online outlets. The film screened at festivals and aired on TV stations around the world. He is a two-time Sundance Fellow, WGBH Filmmaker-in-Residence, Firelight Media Fellow, and Flaherty Fellow. Chico is a frequent guest speaker, moderator, festival panelist and juror. His recent film, BLACK MEMORABILIA examines the manufacturing, consumption. and reclamation of these objects. The film premiered at MoMA and screens at festivals and museums nationally and internationally. Show less
Anna Moot-Levin is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in Brooklyn. She has directed, produced, shot and edited three short documentaries, Still in Motion (2011), Well-Fed (2012) and Track by Track (2013). Track by Track premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and is in distribution with Sproutflix. She is also an associate producer of the Academy…Show moreAward-winning documentary Inside Job (2010). Moot-Levin has an M.F.A. in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University and received her B.A. in film and sociology from Vassar College. Show less
Erika Cohn is an Emmy award winning director/producer who Variety recognized as one of 2017’s top ten documentary filmmakers. Most recently, Erika completed The Judge, a film about the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and will be broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens…Show moreseries. Erika co-directed/produced, In Football We Trust, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about the unique faith and culture that ultimately drives young Pacific Islander men into the NFL, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2016 Independent Lens series. Her work has been supported by IFP, the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Hot Docs, Sheffield, ITVS, Women in Film, BAVC and the CPB Producer’s Academy among others. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade’s Win from Within series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. Erika is also an avid photographer and served as a U.S. Ambassadorial Film Scholar to Israel/Palestine. Show less
From ITVS Open Call funding to an Independent Lens premiere, Out Of State director Ciara Lacy and producer Beau Bassett talked to us about the multifaceted and sometimes painful journey through the Hawaiian incarceration system. ITVS: This story hits close to home for both of you. Can you explain why you thought it was important to bring it to public…
We are pleased to announce that of the eight winners in the Documentary category of the prestigious Peabody Awards, ITVS-funded filmmakers were honored with four awards. The 2018 Peabody Award recipients were Minding the Gap, Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, Dolores, and The Judge. Honoring the “most powerful, enlightening and…
Orthodox Jewish culture, paramedics, and humor round out director Paula Eiselt's intimate portrait of a group of women in Brooklyn who pushed back against their establishment. Paula was able to draw upon her cultural connection to the women who form the Ezras Nahim collective and build the trust needed to tell their story. With grace and patience,…