The Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a 2,400-strong organization advocating for women and nonbinary people of color in the documentary industry, has announced its Board of Directors ahead of Sundance.
Filmmaker Ursula Liang, Denae Peters of Film Sprout and Nicole Tsien of POV American make up the board and will work with its Co-Directors Iyabo Boyd and Tracy Nguyen-Chung. Boyd founded the group — eight of whom will premiere their latest projects in Park City next month — in 2015.
“Brown Girls Doc Mafia was formed to tackle a myth that has been repeated in industry conversations, hiring discussions, festival programming meetings and funder circles: that there aren’t many filmmakers of color worth paying attention to, especially not women of color,” Boyd said. “This lack of research and semi-conscious bias has discouraged, marginalized and isolated legions of women filmmakers of color in documentary for generations. BGDM provides a nourishing atmosphere where women filmmakers of color and their projects can incubate, and women industry representatives of color can evolve in a safe place.”
The group also recently received a $105,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
“With this expanded team, and the infusion of support from MacArthur, we’re able to pursue our priorities of community, visibility, access, sustainability, growth, creativity, and power at a higher level,” Boyd said.
Added Nguyen-Chung: “We believe that it is critical for women filmmakers of color to have access to industry festival and conferences, social environments and academic exchanges where relationships are made, ideas are developed and potential beneficiaries are identified. Showing up in large numbers disrupts the film industry’s long standing barriers to diversity and inclusion, personifying the immediate possibility of radical change.”