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Documentaries Challenging White Supremacy: The 2021 Pare Lorentz Documentary Grants Theme



About the Event

To introduce Challenging White Supremacy, the open call theme for this year’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans will lead a discussion on systemic racism and documentaries. IDA Funds Director Poh Si Teng and grantees Jon-Sesrie Goff (After Sherman) and Hillary Pierce (At The Ready) will share their perspectives on exploring and challenging white supremacist structures in the United States through non-fiction storytelling.

This digital event will have ASL and CART Captioning provided.

Topics covered will include:

  • Documentaries that challenge our ideas of white supremacy

  • Submitting unique film proposals on the theme

  • How filmmakers can address authorship in applications

Left to right headshots: Eric Deggans is a dark-skinned male, glasses wearing dark grey blazer over a light pink button up. Poh Si Teng is an Asian woman with black shoulder length hair and black turtleneck. Jon-Sesrie Goff is a Black male with short hair in white shirt. Hillary Pierce is a white woman, brown wavy hair in coral blouse looking back over her shoulder.

Eric Deggans, NPR TV Critic

Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time TV critic, crafting stories and commentaries for the network’s shows, such as Morning Edition, Here & Now and All Things Considered. In addition to his NPR work, Eric is a contributor and media analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, dissecting media issues on NBC TV platforms and online. He is also an adjunct instructor of journalism and public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. A journalist for three decades, he is also the author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, a look at how prejudice, racism and sexism fuels some elements of modern media.

Poh Si Teng, Director of IDA Funds & Enterprise Program

Poh Si Teng is the director of IDA Funds and Enterprise Program. She is the producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, St. Louis Superman, and an Emmy-nominated director. Prior to joining IDA she oversaw the US, Canada and Latin America as documentary commissioner and senior producer for Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand, Witness. Poh was previously a staff journalist for The New York Times and an independent filmmaker based in India.

Jon-Sesrie Goff, Filmmaker

Jon is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. His practice explores the intersection of race, power, identity, gender and the environment by unearthing the visceral representational value and authenticity behind the images propelled across varying diasporas. Jon has offered his lens to a variety of projects spanning many genres including the award-winning documentaries Out in the Night (POV, Logo 2015) and Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens 2015), among many others. He holds an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University and is currently the Executive Director of The Flaherty. Prior, Jon served as the Museum Specialist for Film at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture where he was responsible for developing the museum’s public film program.

Hillary Pierce, Filmmaker

Hillary Pierce is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker currently based in Marfa, Texas. Pierce spent several years working in scripted film and television in her native North Carolina before relocating to New York City to begin a career in documentary film under the tutelage of Direct Cinema pioneer Albert Maysles. Pierce has spent the better part of the last decade producing feature documentaries in Texas, including Keith Maitland's 2016 films Tower, winner of Grand Jury Documentary Prize and Audience Award at the 2016 SXSW and 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Historical Documentary, and A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story and Ben Masters' 2019 The River and the Wall, nominated for the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Nature Documentary.