Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) is a collective of women (and non-binary) filmmakers and industry representatives of color. The collective builds community online and in person to further members’ creative enrichment, exchange resources and ideas, and bolster professional growth and opportunity. We are the first of our kind — now boasting over 1,800 women filmmakers of color across the globe.
BGDM started in secret in 2015, born from the desire to break the isolation we’d experienced throughout the majority white documentary industry, and the desire to break down the systemic tokenism and erasure of women filmmakers of color that we have endured within it. We spent the first two years incubating in private, finding each other through back channels and word of mouth. We rejoiced in our new connections, and went straight to work identifying our specific barriers, needs, and opportunities.
Our members are made up of filmmakers — writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, etc. — with experience levels ranging from emerging makers to veterans in the field. Additionally, BGDM’s membership also consists of individuals who work as industry professionals, including funders, curators and programmers, lawyers, distributors, and more. As a collective, we pride ourselves on inclusivity and understanding the value of every person’s unique contribution. Our penchant for sharing knowledge, building networks, having intimate and transparent conversations, and exchanging crucial resources is what makes this community thrive.
Our collective went public in 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival, where we hosted a brunch with key allies (reps from Netflix, Conde Nast, Sundance programming team, Fork Films, and Creative Capital in attendance), and a private strategic planning session. Forty BGDM members attended the True/False Film Festival, and over 125 members attended the Tribeca Festival. Looking ahead, BGDM will organize presence at the Getting Real Conference in September, as well as the IDFA in November.
As we continue to build and create opportunities to engage with the public, please feel free to contact us here. We are especially interested in hearing about job postings, collaboration opportunities, and funding initiatives. Brown Girls Doc Mafia is a fiscally sponsored project who has been funded by The Ford Foundation, The Dobkin Family Foundation, and 21st Century Fox.