Film still from The Oath by Laura Poitras.

Yance Ford
Strong Island

Strong Island examines the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother 25 years ago, and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free. The film calls us to bear witness to the reality rather than the abstraction of injustice, going beyond interviews into the homes of those left behind, into profound crises of civic faith. Strong Island interrogates murderous fear, racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change. Strong Island was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2018.

Director and Producer Yance Ford was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2011 25 New Faces of Independent Film. From 2002 to 2012 Ford was Series Producer of POV where his work curating the acclaimed documentary garnered 16 Emmy Nominations.

Garrett Bradley

Love is a practical, object-based product provided free of charge to those suffering the negative effects of missing loved ones as a result of incarceration.

Garrett Bradley was born and raised in New York City. Her Academy Award-nominated documentary Time (2020) was nominated for over 57 awards and won 20 times, including a 2020 Peabody Award, and becoming the first Black female director to win Best Director at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Previously, Bradley was honored with the Jury Prize for her short documentary film Alone (2017) which was produced and distributed by The New York Times OpDocs.

Nina Menkes

A radical re-imagining of the Greek myth, MINOTAUR is set in the contemporary Old City of Jerusalem, with a single man playing the complex figure of Theseus and his nemesis: the Minotaur. The Minotaur symbolizes the violent destruction that terrorizes the area; the heroic journey here is to confront and transform this negative vortex into an ascending, spiritual, non-denominational love, which is, in fact, the deepest inner meaning of the Holy City.

Nina Menkes has been described as a “Cinematic Sorceress of the Self” (Dennis Lim, New York Times). Her films include Dissolution (2010), Phantom Love (2007), Massaker (2005) and Magdalena Viraga (1986), among others.

Reid Davenport I Didn't See You There
ID: In a reflection of an unmarked storefront is a grayish silhouette of a man using an electric wheelchair. Overlaid on the photograph are white festival laurels that read “Directing Award: U.S. Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2022. Photo by Reid Davenport

Reid Davenport
I Didn’t See You There

Spurred by a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker connects the ostensibly antiquated institution of the Freak Show with his own life. Shot from a camera held by director Reid Davenport or mounted to his wheelchair, the film serves as an unequivocal rebuke to the norm of disabled people being seen and not heard. I Didn’t See You There expands on the tradition of point-of-view film toward a new aesthetic for disabled filmmakers, creating film that is disabled through the artist’s own embodiment.

Reid Davenport makes documentaries about disability from an overtly political perspective.

Laura Poitras
The Oath

The Oath is a cross-cut tale of two men propelled on divergent courses with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo Bay Prison and the U.S. Supreme Court. Abu Jandal is a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen; his brother-in-law Salim Hamdan is a Guantanamo prisoner and the first man to face the controversial military tribunals. Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories—how they became bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver, respectively—act as prisms that serve to explore and contextualize a world that has confounded Western media. As Hamdan’s trial progresses, his military lawyers challenge fundamental flaws in the court system. The charismatic Jandal dialogues with his young son, Muslim students and journalists, and chillingly unveils the complex evolution of his belief system post-9/11. The Oath offers a rare window into a realm too long misunderstood—and the international impact of the U.S. War on Terror.

Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker who won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Citizenfour.

Nikyatu Jusu NANNY

Nikyatu Jusu

In the narrative feature film, NANNY, Aisha is an undocumented nanny in New York City caring for the privileged child of an Upper East Side family. As she prepares for the arrival of the child she left behind in her native country, a violent presence invades her reality, jeopardizing the American Dream she has so carefully constructed.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu uses film to explore the complexities of dynamic Black female characters.