Meet the 2020 Docs in Progress Fellows

Docs In Progress is elated to announce our 2020 Fellows. Now in its eighth year, the Docs In Progress Fellowship provides selected filmmakers from across the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area monthly facilitated meetings where they come together to share progress with their projects and receive feedback and advice on issues related to the documentary landscape, work/life balance, and the creative process. 


Images of our ten 2020 Fellows


Headshot of Amanda Buntag

Amanda Bantug
Annandale, VA

Tanaw (working title) is a feature length documentary that takes us into remote Filipino villages, shining a light on one of Southeast Asia's poorest and most populous countries. It features intimate conversations with indigenous peoples who will enlighten us to the ways in which they cope and rise above their community crises.

Head shot of Jeff BarkerJeff Barker
Silver Spring, MD

The Great China Baseball Hunt
China has 1.4 billion people — a tantalizing number for Major League Baseball, which is investing millions to unlock the marketing potential of a nation that barely plays the sport. This is a story of the hunt for 1 in a billion — the first Chinese player to make the U.S. major leagues. It's about young Chinese kids leaving their homes to learn baseball. And it's about Ray Chang, who came achingly close to making the big leagues and is now trying to find a kid who will succeed where he did not.

Headshot of Eric BondEric Bond
Takoma Park, MD

Positive for Life 
Stigma remains a huge issue and AIDS is the leading cause of death for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Positive for Life follows several young people in East Africa and Southern Africa as they explain how they came to terms with their HIV diagnosis and how it has changed them. The stories of young people in Africa will be contrasted with those of young people living with HIV in the United States where HIV prevalence is lower, but support networks are harder to find.

Headshot of Marjee ChmielMarjee Chmiel,
Hyattsville, MD

The Stuff You Can’t Find Anywhere 
Popular media is filled with images of the conventionally beautiful, able-bodied, wealthy, straight, & white. It is no wonder that independent comics have been growing in popularity over the past few decades. Here, individual artists provide readers with intimate experiences through stories of anxiety, police brutality, racial tension, sexuality, motherhood, & more. This short documentary looks at the artists of the indie comics community & the narratives they introduce into popular culture.

Headshot of Nivedita DasNivedita Das 
Washington, DC

To Return
The complex portrait of a young Tunisian activist and the family she counsels just days before the return of their child who left home to join ISIS. The film witnesses the power of redemption and the endurance of one woman trying to unite a family and heal herself after one of the biggest shocks of her life.

Headshot of Gabrielle EwingGabrielle Ewing 
Washington, DC

Yojana’s Story
Hundreds of refugees flood over the US-Mexico border every day. It was fate for Amy to represent Yojana’s asylum plea. Though they couldn’t be more different, they connect as mothers--and in an instant, that bond transcends the barriers of culture, language and law. By fighting to save her from certain death, Amy isn’t just fighting a broken legal system, she’s fighting for all the mothers separated from their children. Their shared humanity reveals a complex portrait of the immigration crisis.

Headshot of Kanika HarrisKanika Harris 
Baltimore, MD

Listen to Me is the story of four women and the cost of motherhood. These women stand at the frontlines of the Black maternal health struggle as birth workers and public health experts while walking the delicate tight rope through pregnancy. This is a story of the deep complexities and troubling challenges black women experience when attempting to birth children in the United States. Beyond dismal statistics, Listen to Me centers the voices and spirit of Black women.

Headshot of Karen HardyKaren Hardy 
Upper Marlboro, MD

The ERM Story (working title)
This short documentary is a story about the commitment and dedication of public servants challenging the status quo to champion the implementation of risk management public policy that will change the way government works. A handful of unassuming public servants come together to share their passion for policy change. With their backs against the wall and facing an uphill battle with bureaucracy they come together to start a movement that will impact generations to come.

Headshot of Lynn HughesLynn Hughes 
Silver Spring, MD

Gerrymandering is the topic of the day, but few know how our politics came to be so broken. In 2010, an unorthodox approach to baseball and $30M redefined our electoral map — leading to minority rule and the most blatant voter suppression campaign since Jim Crow. MONEYballot explores how a decade later, data that was weaponized has become a primary tool in reversing gerrymanders. The race is on: those who control that data will control state legislatures, and US policy, for decades to come.

Headshot of Shantay RobinsonShantay Robinson
Manassas, VA

Model Women: Changing the Gaze is a documentary that seeks to explain how black women navigate an artworld that does not readily acknowledge their contributions. Highlighting the advancement of a black woman artist and cultural producers creating their own paths will provide evidence of the determination of black women in visual art.  Contextualizing black women artists in the larger artworld by interviews with noted scholars will reveal the exigence with which black women artists work.



National Endowment for the Arts' ArtWorks Program

This program is made possible in part through support
of the National Endowment for the Arts.