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.
Lyric Cabral is a New York-based filmmaker and photojournalist who has received artist grants from BBC Storyville, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, the Independent Television Service, NYSCA, the International Documentary Association, and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. (T)ERROR, her first feature length documentary,…Show moreco-directed with David Felix Sutcliffe, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. Cabral, along with co-director Sutcliffe, was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award. (T)ERROR was also a recipient of the 2013 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, awarded by the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. In 2013, Cabral was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Her photography has been published through Aperture Foundation, National Geographic Channel UK, the Nation, and the Village Voice, and exhibited with "Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument.” Show less
Aman Ali is an award-winning storyteller in New York City. He’s made appearances on dozens of media outlets including the NY Times, CNN, Buzzfeed, NBC News, and HBO to tell stories about the Muslim American community. He is also one of the brains behind the social media phenomenon 30 Mosques in 30 Days, a 25,000 mile roadtrip he took to all 50 States in the U.S.…Show morewith the mission of telling profound stories about Muslims in America. 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
Garland McLaurin is a Peabody-Award winning filmmaker; his love for storytelling comes from its power to artistically explore the complex and conflicting social and psychological layers of people and society. His web series POPS explores fatherhood for African American men, and was funded by ITVS Digital and National Black Programming Consortium. He…Show moreco-directed/produced the Peabody-winning documentary series, 180 Days a Year Inside an American High School and Hartsville that aired on PBS. He served as co-cinematographer on Wes Moore’s Coming Back documentary series, highlighting veterans, and for award-winning documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen's The New Black (Independent Lens), which explores the fight for marriage equality in the African American community. His other professional credits include: field producing on CNN’s Black in America 4, producer/shooter for WAMU 88.5 American University/BET’s special Homecoming: The Killing of DJ Henry. Additional past digital media work includes work for Black Public Media, Time.com, NY Times video division and video editing at the National Geographic digital news division. He holds a BA in Radio-TV-Film from Howard University and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film school. Show less
Ciara Lacy has produced, directed, or written non-fiction TV for PBS, ABC, TLC, Discovery, Bravo, and A&E, as well as produced rock-documentaries with theatrical distribution for Dave Matthews, My Morning Jacket, and O.A.R. Lacy is a 2014 Firelight Media Producing Fellow, a 2014 Tribeca All Access Awardee, a 2013 Princess Grace Foundation…Show moreAwardee, and a 2012 Sundance Institute NativeLab Director Fellow. A graduate of Yale University and the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii, Lacy is proficient in the Hawaiian language and grew up dancing hula. Show less
Councilwoman follows the story of Carmen, a hotel housekeeper and mother from the Dominican Republic striving to advocate for low-income workers from the margins to Providence, Rhode Island city politics. Her journey encourages us all to reflect on who should be responsible for the decision-making in our communities. Margo Guernsey, director of…
Now in it’s 77th year, the Peabody Awards announced the winners of the 2018 documentary prize. Of the nine documentaries that will be receiving awards, three are ITVS-funded; Newtown, Deej, and Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise will be honored on May 19 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York."Our documentary filmmakers know what hard work is all about," noted…