A 13-year-old girl designs and builds a mobile app to help kids stay connected to their incarcerated parents by sending photos and letters.
Samantha Knowles is a Dartmouth College graduate and Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker. Her film Tangled Roots follows the only Black woman in the Kentucky state legislature as she fights to dismantle a system of discrimination against Black people penalized for something seemingly innocuous—their hair. It premiered on BET in June 2020, was broadcast on Showtime, and was an official selection in the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. She directed The Blue Line, which examines the controversy that erupted when her hometown painted a blue line on the street in support of police. It premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, was featured in NBC’s Meet the Press Film Festival, and is now part of the prestigious New York Times Op-Doc series.
Samantha also directed the award-winning short documentary Why Do You Have Black Dolls? (2012), which focuses on a small community of Black doll creators, curators, and collectors and examines the history and significance of the Black doll. The film has been an official selection in numerous film festivals, and among other publications was featured in the New York Daily News, USA Today, Jet magazine, the Huffington Post, theGrio, and BET.com.
A first-generation high school student describes what she and her mom learn about people when cleaning their homes.
Sharon Arteaga is a first-generation Mexican-American filmmaker from Corpus Christi, Texas, who convinced her mom to buy her a video camera instead of a quinceañera. Included in NALIP’s 2019 List of Latinx Directors to Know, Arteaga’s work playfully incorporates themes of generational, linguistic, and cultural differences between people. She has won numerous short film competitions for her films When I Grow Up, Plane Pretend, and When You Clean a Stranger's Home.
She was a 2019 Tribeca Chanel Through Her Lens finalist for her short screenplay In Tow (runner-up at the 2020 New Orleans Film Festival South Pitch), a semifinalist in ScreenCraft’s Film Fund, and most recently, awarded the 2021 Mexican-American Cultural Education Foundation Filmmaker Grant. Sharon is currently working on a couple of narrative shorts about life on the South Texas coast while developing her first feature film. She is a passionate educator who loves empowering others to also tell their own stories through film.
Frustrated with the lack of character diversity in The New Yorker’s cartoons, an artist submits her own illustrations, becoming the first Black woman cartoonist in the magazine’s near-century run.
A Bronx woman’s accidental social experiment connects her with fellow New Yorkers who might otherwise forever remain strangers.
Emily McAllister is an independent filmmaker and freelancer known for Maidentrip (2013), Mateo (2014), The Diplomat (2015), and most recently, Wearable Tracy (2021). After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in film and economics, she began her career with an internship at Part2 Pictures. She worked on television documentaries for National Geographic, OWN, and PBS. She describes herself as an “original thinker and data nerd with a passion for understanding complex concepts and breaking them down to help inspire others and drive business results.”