A Very Merry DDF Announcement

Posted on December 21, 2012

ITVS has announced the eleven documentary projects selected as part of the 2012 Diversity Development FundThis year’s selections provide extraordinary access and insight into the daily lives and struggles of people around the world, from female parliament members in Afghanistan to the bicycle brigade formed by feminist women of color in East Los Angeles.


The productions were selected through a competitive application process, which resulted in 120 submissions. 

Chasing Voices- The Story of John P. Harrington by Daniel Golding 

Lauded a genius by his fans and decried a paranoid lunatic by his critics, ethnographer and linguist John Peabody Harrington had a long and controversial career studying Native American languages across the Americas. Not until after his death in 1961 would it be discovered just how much work he did and the impact it is having on today's Native American language revitalization movement. 

Eating Up Easter (working title) by Sergio M. Rapu 

The community on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is struggling to adapt to a rapidly growing and unregulated tourism industry, rising demands on the island's limited resources, and an increasing dependence on imported goods. This story follows a Rapanui-American man who takes us behind the veil of a coveted tourist destination to examine the issues and evaluate possible solutions, both local and global, that could build a more sustainable future. 

Frank Wong and His Chinatown Miniatures by James Q. Chan 

In the mid-1970’s, an aging former Hollywood set-designer embarked on a personal art project to reclaim his childhood memories. Twenty years later, Frank Wong’s breathtaking three dimensional miniature sets of San Francisco Chinatown scenes were completed.  The historical and cultural events depicted in the miniatures span 1945 to 1991 and offer an intimate living-room perspective into the life and times of this intriguing and quietly flamboyant man. 

Mr. SOUL! Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power by Sam Pollard 

The film explores the groundbreaking PBS television series SOUL!, while profiling its noted producer and host, Ellis Haizlip.  In 1968, on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, SOUL! was the first nationally telecast all-black variety/ entertainment show to be produced and hosted by an African American, who also happened to be gay. At a time of deep racial turmoil, Haizlip gave radical voice to the struggles and successes of the black experience 

Ovarian Psycos by Kate Trumbull-LaValle 

Based in the heart of East Los Angeles, and building upon the legacy of the Chicano/a civil rights movement, the Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade are a ferocious and unapologetic group of young women of color cycling through the barrios and boulevards of the Eastside, committed to collectively confronting racism and violence, and demanding and creating safe spaces for women. 

Seadrift by Tim Tsai 

The fatal shooting of a white crabber in a small fishing village ignites a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese fishermen along the Texas and Louisiana coast. Through first hand accounts and archival footage, Seadrift tells the story of Vietnamese refugees who flee a war-torn homeland only to be confronted by angry fishermen and the KKK. 

So Young So Pretty So White by Chanelle Aponte Pearson 

This feature-length documentary film is about skin bleaching: the global practice of using chemical substances to lessen one’s concentration of melanin. In each culture, the reasons why people risk their health to appear lighter are different, varied, and complex. Moreover, the film will focus on the direct connection between an individual’s decision to lighten his/her skin and a constantly intensifying brand of global hyper-capitalism in which money and resources trump all else. 

The Woman Factor by Sedika Mojadidi 

As American troops begin withdrawing from Afghanistan, this intimate, character-driven documentary follows three compelling Afghan women who are members of Parliament to tell the story of what will happen to women when the Americans leave. Our film follows the day to day realities of three very different female politicians struggling to maintain the hard won rights of Afghan women in a country where lawlessness, political instability, insecurity, and violence against women continues to be a normal way of life. 

ITVS is also proud to support The Untitled Suzy Salamy Project by Suzy Salamy. For more information on the Diversity Development Fund, please click here.


From our blog

  1. ITVS Launches NEH-supported $1.7 Million Fellowship for Independent Filmmakers and Advisors Working in the Humanities

    October 5, 2021

    How can supporting a diverse cohort of 20 filmmakers for one year bring new perspectives to documentary filmmaking and the humanities?

  2. ITVS and Independent Lens Filmmakers Honored with 2021 News & Documentary Emmy Awards

    September 29, 2021

    PBS’s award-winning documentary anthology series Independent Lens, in association with ITVS, today announced films released under its banner have been honored with two News and Documentary Emmy® Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).We are so pleased to salute the producers of these documentaries, which aired on

  3. Wrapping Up 2021 Independents Summit: What Does "Now" Look Like for Doc Makers

    September 2, 2021

    ITVS robust 2021 edition of its Independents Summit was jam-packed with panels of ITVS-funded filmmakers, industry partners, PBS reps, and thought leaders asking, What does "now" look like for documentary makers in a rapidly changing media landscape? Read on for our recap.