Eighteen filmmakers nominated by PBS Indies partners POV, ITVS, Firelight Media, Reel South, and America ReFramed on WORLD Channel

Fifth annual cohort builds bridges between independent filmmakers and public media leaders, with support from Wyncote Foundation

New York, N.Y. – WEBWIRE

American Documentary Inc., the nonprofit organization behind award-winning series POV and America ReFramed, hosted the fifth annual Wyncote Fellowship program leading up to the virtual 2022 PBS Annual Meeting.

Administered by American Documentary, the Wyncote Fellowship is a collaboration between PBS Indies partners with filmmakers nominated by POV, Firelight Media, ITVS, Reel South, America ReFramed, WORLD Channel, and the National Multicultural Alliance. Made possible with support from Wyncote Foundation, the program helps independent filmmakers better understand the public media landscape through one-on-one meetings and curated events.

“Wyncote Foundation has been proud to support this fellowship initiative since its inception in 2017,” said David Haas, vice chair. “We’re truly heartened to see the growing engagement between independent producers and PBS station leadership, in service to public media’s mission to bring diverse voices to local communities and national audiences.”

Wyncote Fellows participated in small group sessions, station networking, and a panel discussion with PBS VP of Programming and Operations Adaora Udoji, and PBS Senior Director, Programming Development Wendy Llinas and who offered a behind-the-scenes look at their work with programming and PBS digital studios. The program was also featured as part of the official PBS Annual Meeting as part of a breakout session: “Meet the Filmmakers: Wyncote Fellows and the Future of Public Media.” Several fellows have upcoming programs on POV and America ReFramed, including: Ann Kaneko, Kevin Shaw, Reid Davenport, Naim Naif, Margaret Bowman, Josh Chuck, and Harry Chuck.

Read the full list of filmmakers and their bios below:


Born and raised in London, Margot Bowman uses film to build bridges. Accessible spaces of possibility and power that connect us to ourselves and each other. Inspired by her home city’s legacy of club culture; creativity, freedom of expression and community set the tone for her visually striking approach to storytelling. Using the medium to explore identity and belonging through this lens, Bowman is represented by PRETTYBIRD and is a Royal Society of the Arts Fellow. Her recent documentary short, COMING HOME, had its World Premiere at SXSW 2022.

Josh Chuck (Co-Director, Producer) – Josh grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown and has worked in the community for over 16 years as a youth worker, filmmaker, and fundraiser. He has produced, shot and edited short films for the past 16 years, mostly sharing the stories of individuals who symbolize the rich diversity of the city, as well as organizations advocating for the needs of the underserved. He currently directs the UPS Community Internship in San Francisco, an intensive community immersion program for UPS Upper Management, which focuses on the Chinatown, Tenderloin, and Bayview neighborhoods. Chinatown Rising is Josh’s first feature film.

Harry Chuck (Co-Director, Producer, Director of Photography) – Former Youth Director and later Executive Director of Cameron House, Harry was an early mentor for thousands of Chinatown youth. Harry was the catalyst in Chinatown’s fight to save the Chinese Playground from being developed into a parking garage, leading to the formation of the Committee for Better Parks and Recreation in Chinatown.  He was co-founder of the Chinatown Coalition for Better Housing and was appointed by five separate mayors to city commissions. Harry was one of the first Asian American religious leaders to speak out for same-sex marriage. His footage for this film was shot as a student/activist and in 1981, he earned his MA from the SF State University’s Film Arts Department.

Reid Davenport makes films about disability from an overtly political perspective. His first feature film I Didn’t See You There premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Directing Award in the US Documentary Competition. His work has been supported by The Ford Foundation, NBC Universal, ITVS, and The Catapult Film Fund, among others. Davenport was a 2021 Creative Capital recipient, a 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40″ Filmmaker, and a 2017 TED Fellow. 

Laura Green is an award-winning documentary director and editor based in San Francisco. Her debut documentary The Providers aired on Independent Lens in 2019. She recently edited the documentary When I Write It, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and aired on POV, as well as the IDA award-nominated documentary web-series The F-Word. She is an assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.

Born in Colombia, Hazel Gurland-Pooler is an acclaimed NYC-based filmmaker. Hazel directed 10 episodes of PBS’s primetime celebrity genealogy series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and co-produced the 6-hour PBS series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which was honored with Emmy, Peabody, duPont-Columbia, and NAACP Image awards. Storming Caesars Palace, Hazel’s first feature-length documentary, is supported by ITVS, Black Public Media, Firelight Media, Ford Foundation, Fork Films, the National Endowment for the Humanities, a 2020 Ken Burns/Levine/Library of Congress finalist Prize, and will broadcast nationally on PBS in 2023.

Julie Ha’s storytelling career spans more than two decades in ethnic and mainstream media, with a specialized focus on Asian American stories. She formerly served as editor-in-chief of KoreAm Journal, a national Korean American magazine. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Rafu Shimpo and the Hartford Courant. A graduate of UCLA, she is a past board secretary of the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles Chapter, and a founding board member of the reboot of Gidra, a progressive Asian American magazine that originated in 1969. Free Chol Soo Lee, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, is her first documentary film.

Dru Holley is a director and producer who is passionate about producing inspiring stories that empower viewers to re-think broken systems. Dru is motivated to highlight the stories of marginalized groups whose experiences can help shape conversation for solutions and illuminate the truth of the past. Dru graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado, where he specialized in video broadcasting. He recently collaborated on the development of four short-form episodes on the past, present, and future of the Albina Vision Project in Oregon, and is now in pre-pre-production on the documentary, New Slave. Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts is his feature directorial debut.

Nyjia July is a Washington D.C. native. She attended the University of the Arts with a major in documentary film. She became a CPB diversity fellow with the Center for Asian American Media. She’s worked in television development and as a field producer on numerous docuseries. Nyjia’s first documentary Just Us examines generational imprisonment. She was in the SOURCE Magazine as one of 25 Women to Watch. Her second documentary, Listen To My Heartbeat, looks at the gentrification of Washington, D.C. through the gaze of the city’s folkloric music, Go-Go music. Listen To My Heartbeat has been awarded support through ITVS. Nyjia has been a part of the following fellowships: BAVC MediaMaker Fellowship, Sundance and Women in Film’s Financing Intensive for Women Filmmakers, Black Public Media’s 360 Incubator, Firelight Media Documentary Lab, Sundance’s Uprise Fund and she was a Center for Cultural Power Artist Disruptor Award winner. 

Ann Kaneko is known for personal films that weave her intimate aesthetic with the complex intricacies of political reality. An Emmy winner, her credits include Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust; A Flicker in Eternity; Against The Grain: An Artist’s Survival Guide to Peru, and Overstay. She was a Fulbright, Japan Foundation, Film Independent Doc Lab and Jackson Wild Multicultural Alliance fellow. Funders include JustFilms/Ford, Redford Center, CAAM, VMM, Firelight Media, Chicken and Egg and Doc Society. She was Visual Communication’s Armed with a Camera artist mentor and teaches at Pitzer College.

Iyabo Kwayna is an independent filmmaker who uses immersive techniques in cinematography, directing, and editing in order to mobilize and amplify the more discreet, often hidden aspects of film narratives, compelling viewers towards a transformative experience. Her career spans from serving as director of photography for fiction films, to director or (co)cinematographer for award-winning documentaries, to directing and editing archival experimental films that leverage minstrel imagery to NASA footage to articulate personal trauma and catharsis. Her work has recently been acquired by the Criterion Channel (July 2021) and World Channel-PBS (premiere date forthcoming) and has screened widely both domestically and internationally on the festival circuit. Building on past love of mixed media practices, her newest areas of research combine transmedia practices with storytelling and experiential and participatory film and media making approaches.

Zaire Love is an award-winning filmmaker, music maker, and writer whose mission is to honor, amplify, and archive the stories and voices of the Black South, concentrating her work in Memphis, TN, and Mississippi. Her artistry is an ode to being Black and southern in America because the Black South has always had meaningful “cornbread” to share. Zaire calls her work creative cornbread because it is Black Southern sustenance filled with knowledge, facts, creativity, and imagination that nourishes those who partake. 

Naim Naif is a Palestinian-American filmmaker. Born in the States, and raised between Florida and Palestine. His directorial debut was the short documentary film, Coming Home (World Premiere SXSW 2022). Naim also works as a producer and UPM, with his most recent credit on HBO’s ‘How To With John Wilson.’ Currently based in New York City. 

Orion Pahl is an award-winning documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles. His film Bury Me at Taylor Hollow is currently available on PBS as part of Reel South’s 7th Season. The film explores the culture surrounding death in the USA and highlights a more earth-friendly way to lay people to rest. Orion studied film at Columbia College Chicago and interned at Kartemquin Films. His documentaries focus on the relationships between humans and place, environment, work, family, death, and art.

Kevin Shaw was a segment director and cinematographer on ‘America to Me,’ and additional cinematographer on ‘City So Real,’ both series from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James. Shaw’s debut documentary about Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr., The Street Stops Here, aired nationally on PBS and ESPN to rave reviews. His short documentary on a quadriplegic trying to regain the ability to walk won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Sports Reporting Excellence. He won a National Sports Emmy in Cinematography for ESPN’s FIFA World Cup. Shaw is an alumnus of Kartemquin Films’ Diverse Voices in Documentary Fellowship and Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab.

Débora Souza Silva is a documentary filmmaker whose work examines systemic racism and inequality. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, and on PBS, BBC, Reveal News, KQED, and Fusion. Silva is a recipient of the Les Payne Founder’s Award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the NYT Institute Fellowship. She started her career as a TV reporter in Brazil before moving to California to pursue a Master’s in Journalism at UC Berkeley. Black Mothers Love & Resist, Silva’s debut feature documentary, follows the mothers behind the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Asha Stuart is a documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on sociocultural themes. Her passion for storytelling has taken her across the world—documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh to Gender-based violence in Africa. Asha’s story interests are rooted in the lives of people living in marginalized communities and facing injustice in areas of racial and economic inequality, social exclusion, women’s rights, and environmental issues. Her works have appeared on National Geographic, CNN, PBS, TIME, Politico, PBS and other outlets.


America ReFramed is a year-round anthology series airing on the WORLD Channel. Every year, the series premieres a dozen new documentaries in addition to thematic curation from its deep catalog that explore the nation’s most timely topics–including civil rights, immigration, the environment, and more. Currently in  its tenth season, America ReFramed is long regarded as a critical platform for diverse voices in public media and a launchpad for new independent filmmakers. In 2021, the season supported over 50  filmmakers with acquisition fees, national broadcasts, marketing campaigns, and awards submissions. Digital engagement strategies include live online film chats alongside broadcast on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, PBS, and a presence on both the AmDoc and WORLD Channel websites.

Firelight Media is a premier destination for non-fiction cinema by and about communities of color. Firelight Media produces documentary films, supports filmmakers of color, and cultivates audiences for their work. Firelight Media’s programs include the Documentary Lab, an 18-month fellowship that supports emerging filmmakers of color; Groundwork Regional Lab, which supports filmmakers in the American south, midwest, and U.S.-controlled Territories; and the William Greaves Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities. Firelight Media also produces digital short films, including the recently announced collection Homegrown: Future Visions.

ITVS is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that has, for over 25 years, funded and partnered with a diverse range of documentary filmmakers to produce and distribute untold stories. ITVS incubates and co-produces these award-winning films, and then airs them for free on PBS via our weekly series, INDEPENDENT LENS, as well as on other PBS series, and through our digital platform, OVEE. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Humanities: American Rescue Plan, Acton Family Giving, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Wyncote Foundation. For more information, visit itvs.org.

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. To date, POV films have won 45 Emmy Awards, 26 George Foster Peabody Awards, 14 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on social media.

Reel South reveals the South’s proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives, through the curation and distribution of feature-length and short documentaries. Reel South is a PBS documentary series co-produced by PBS North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and produced in association with Alabama Public Television, Arkansas PBS, Texas PBS, Tennessee Public Television Council, and VPM. Reel South is a platform for and a service to non-fiction filmmakers in the American South working within the region’s tradition of storytelling. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @reelsouthdocs. 

WORLD Channel shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examine the issues and amplify the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multicast 24/7 channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 195 member stations in markets representing over 75% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT). Find out more at WORLDChannel.org.


About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promiseand Minding The Gap and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, includingPBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit thePBS Passport FAQwebsite. 

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram. POV films and projects have won 45 Emmy Awards, 26 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on social media. 

About America ReFramed

Exploring myriad perspectives, America ReFramed curates contemporary nonfiction films highlighting the changing contours of an ever-evolving America. Through diverse voices from across the nation, the series presents an array of experiences through which we contemplate our past, understand our present, and reimagine America’s future. America ReFramed is co-produced with WORLD Channel and broadcast nationally every Tuesday night at 8/7 Central. 

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Sage Foundation, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.