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2023 Fellows

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Resita Cox’s films are a poetic portrayal of her community’s irrepressible spirit and resilience in the face of racism. Born and raised in the South, her films center Southern, Black communities and use them as a lens to examine topics ranging from environmental justice to racial justice. She is the director of Freedom Hill, a documentary about the environmental racism that is washing away the first town chartered by Black people in the nation, with which she was named a 2021 Hulu/Kartemquin Accelerator Fellow and premiered at the 2022 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University in Documentary Film and is a 2021 North Star fellow with Points North Institute. Resita was recently named a 2022 Esteemed Artist by the City of Chicago and is one of Elevate’s 2022 Climate Changemakers.

Resita Cox


After 15 years of working as a cinematographer, Cat Deakins shifted into documentary film producing. As a DP, she worked with Soraya Sélène on Amy Adrion’s documentary feature Half the Picture which premiered at Sundance. She has shot all over the world (Bolivia, Croatia, France, Hungary, Mexico) for commercial, doc and narrative projects including the indie feature Love, Sex and Missed Connections (directed by Emmy-nominated Eric Kissack), which won many festival awards. She also collaborated with choreographer/filmmaker Benjamin Millepied on several dance films, multimedia and performance projects including Portals (directed by Millepied and 2018 Sundance Editing fellow and Emmy winner Kate Hackett, ACE). For 7 years, she also taught photography to incarcerated youth in the LA County Probation system. Prior to becoming a DP, Cat freelanced as a music photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine. She holds an MFA in Cinematography from UCLA and BA from Harvard (Sociology). She is currently also co-producing and developing a documentary feature Private Money Public Power about elite philanthropy in the U.S. with Matt Landfield (dir/co-prod) and producer Jane Wells (3 Generations).

Cat Deakins


Marta Effinger-Crichlow (Director/Producer/Writer) is a filmmaker whose interdisciplinary projects in film, theater, and literature highlight her mission to fuse social issues, culture, and history. Her first produced collage, THE EVOLUTION OF JAZZ, was commissioned for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her produced projects include the multi-media collage THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED STARTIN’ SUNDAY. Marta, who holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D from Northwestern University, has worked as a freelance dramaturg for 20 years for theater productions throughout the U.S. Currently, she is a dramaturg for the bi-coastal film adaptation of BLACK TERROR (written by Richard Wesley and dir. by Richard Lawson). She has appeared on TEDx at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and co-curated 400 Years of Inequality at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Along with her work-in-progress documentary LITTLE SALLIE WALKER, Marta’s projects center the lives of Black women and the archive. She has conducted interviews with Black female migrants from World War II. She is the author of Staging Migrations toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones, published by UPC Press. She is an advisor on the documentary CHOCOLATE MILK (dir. by Elizabeth Bayne). For LITTLE SALLIE WALKER, Marta has received support from organizations like WIF x Sundance, The Perspective Fund, DOC NYC, Women Make Movies, and Working Films. Marta, a mother, is also the descendant of Black southern migrants.

Marta Effinger-Crichlow


Luchina Fisher is an award-winning director, writer and producer whose work is at the intersection of race, gender and identity. Her feature directorial debut MAMA GLORIA is a 2022 GLAAD Media Award nominee, won numerous festival jury awards, and made its broadcast debut on World channel and PBS. She is the director of two scripted short films and has written and produced several nationally broadcast documentaries, including two episodes of the History channel series with President Bill Clinton. Her newest film, the short documentary TEAM DREAM won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at the Chicago International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the TIDE Film Festival and will air on BET next year. She recently co-directed her second feature with Kate Davis about the barriers to Black homeownership and predatory lending in housing, and her latest documentary short THE DADS, about six dads of trans and LGBTQ kids on a weekend fishing trip, will premiere next year. Fisher’s work has been supported by Black Public Media, the Field Foundation, Sisters in Cinema, Brown Girl Doc Mafia, the Queen Collective, the Athena Film Festival’s Works in Progress Program, Firelight Media and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Luchina Fisher


Dawne Langford grew up in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; she is a documentary filmmaker and 2022 Sundance Producer’s Lab Fellow. After years of working in public media as a broadcast television editor, she transitioned to producing. In 2013 Dawne was accepted to the PBS Producers Academy and then began working in a freelance capacity on independent documentaries, including; CHECK IT, KANDAHAR JOURNALS, and FINDING JOSEPH I, about the lead singer of the seminal all-Black punk band, Bad Brains. Her recent projects include working at Moxie Pictures in N.Y.C. as a story producer on a docuseries with director Lee Hirsch. She is also producing a project chronicling the descendants of the enslaved GU272 descendants in conjunction with Georgetown University. Her primary interest is in amplifying traditionally suppressed narratives and presentations of historic events to deepen understanding, support learning, and stimulate community dialogue.

Dawne Langford


Ashley O’Shay is a director and DP living in Chicago. Her work focuses on illuminating marginalized voices. She specializes in immersive stories, recognizing the societal impact of observing life as is. She’s brought her unique style beyond the documentary space, collaborating with a number of national brands, including Nike, Vox, Wilson Tennis, and Dr. Martens. In 2020, she premiered her debut feature, Unapologetic, a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago, told through the experiences of two young, Black queer women. The film premiered at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival, broadcast on PBS POV, and was shortlisted for the International Documentary Association Awards. Ashley was also selected as the recipient of the 2021 Athena Film Festival Breakthrough Award, 2021 Cleveland International Film Festival Groundbreaker Award, and DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 List.

Ashley O’Shay


Soraya Sélène is a director and cinematographer working in documentary, narrative and experimental works. Born in France and raised on the lower east side of New York City, photojournalism was Soraya’s early passion. She studied photography at the School of Visual Arts, and photographed for La Nación, Chile’s national newspaper, while studying and backpacking throughout South America. The recipient of several awards for her short films, feature credits include cinematographer on documentary Half The Picture, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her current project, Normal Never Worked, is a personal lyrical documentary which explores education in this disruptive moment. Soraya received her MFA in Directing & Cinematography from UCLA and her BA in Sociology/Psychology from Wesleyan University. She is a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia and a founding member of the International Collective of Female Cinematographers (ICFC). Soraya is also an educator, teaching documentary and cinematography as faculty at CalArts.

Soraya Selene


Shan Shan Tam is an award-winning Asian-American producer and filmmaker from Boston. She began her producing career working at PBS and on celebrated shows such as Top Chef, America’s Test Kitchen, Lidia Bastianich Celebrates America, Weekends with Yankee, ESPN’s NYC Marathon, and Boston Trauma. In 2019, she co-founded This Little Company, a full service media and production company based in NYC and Palm Beach, with a client list stretching from fashion to sports to current issues and with a particular focus on BIPOC and LGBTQI content. Current and past partners for This Little Company include Tribeca Film, Tommy Hilfiger, Viacom, GLAAD, Cartier, IMG, NBC Universal, and the Human Rights Campaign. Shan Shan’s latest short documentary “Team Dream” won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film and a Best of Fest jury recognition at the Chicago International Film Festival, as well as Best Documentary at the TIDE Film Festival in NYC. She is currently producing a feature documentary on Jackie Shane, a 1960s transgender soul singer and icon.

Shan Shan Tam