A night for storytellers and changemakers

Our third AmDoc Annual Gala successfully raised over $100,000, and followed with our first ever Doc Prom, the biggest afterparty for indie documentarians.

2019 Recap

Annual Gala

2019 AmDoc Annual Gala

On Wednesday, October 2 we threw the third AmDoc Annual Gala, one of the year's biggest celebrations of the indie doc community. Storytellers, changemakers and supporters gathered at PUBLIC Arts in Manhattan to keep bold, public storytelling alive.

Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and former VP of development and business affairs at AmDoc, opened the night, followed by remarks from Asad Muhammad, vice president of impact and engagement strategy; Sophia Nahli Allison and Miatta Kawinzi, residents of POV Spark's African Interactive Art residency; and Justine Nagan, executive producer/executive director of POV and America ReFramed/American Documentary.

“In a city where documentary filmmaking has been an integral part of our creative and cultural DNA, now more than ever, we are proud to be home to American Documentary and the award winning series, POV and America Reframed,” said NYC Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Anne del Castillo. “As the producers of the longest running independent documentary showcase on public television, AmDoc brings to light powerful stories that bring us closer to understanding and enlightenment about our shared humanity.”

During his remarks, Asad highlighted his long-running connection to AmDoc and its series' films, recalling bringing POV Season 16 film Love & Diane to his students. For Asad, it wasn't a huge leap going from public education to public media. "Both abide by a mission in servicing the people."

POV Spark's African Interactive Art residents Sophia Nahli Allison and Miatta Kawinzi followed, outlining their projects diving into the archives of the Smithsonian's Museum of African American History and Culture and experiencing the vanguard of interactive media at Venice Film Festival.

For Sophia, POV Spark created an opening for interactive artists found in few other places: "Within POV Spark, I’ve found a community of mentors and friends, who take risks and speak a powerful spiritual and artistic language—who are not afraid to disrupt colonized documentary methods and create room to reimagine new forms of storytelling."

Justine closed the night, highlighting the urgency of the moment in supporting public media.

"We are all here because we believe that documentary can change the world," she said. "It can open hearts, start conversations, make social change. But only if people see it. In these times of unprecedented income inequality and societal divide, our films reach not just the coasts and urban hubs, but the entirety of our America."

The gala was followed by an afterparty for the ages: Doc Prom, where creators wore their boldest looks and danced to beats by DJ Rekha, the creator behind the famed Basement Banghra parties in New York (and a former AmDoc employee!).

If you missed the gala, you can still contribute to AmDoc's mission at the link.

Special Thanks


Patron: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Fork Films, Spotify

Supporter: PBS, Sage Foundation, Vulcan

Friend: Chicago Media Project, Cinetic Film, Doc Society

Special Thanks

Host Committee

Abigail Disney

Abby Pucker & the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation

Ann Tenenbaum & Thomas H. Lee

Anjali Kumar

Carolyn Strauss

Cindy Meehl

Chris Plaut & Nancy Plaut

Elizabeth Hemmerdinger

Fred Dust & David Young

Gini Reticker & Jerry Kupfer

Ken Pelletier & Amanda Lao

Kimberly & Matt Cantor

Marc Weiss & Nancy Meyer

Marie Therese Guirgis

Maxyne Franklin

Margaret Drain

Neal Shapiro

Pierre & Anne de Villeméjane

Samantha Abrams

Sarah Masters

Simon Kilmurry

SJ Murray

Steve Whisnant

Susan Margolin & Neal Smith

Wendy Ettinger


Special Thanks

Inaugural Doc Prom Committee



The D-Word

Doc Society

Special Thanks

American Documentary Board

Margaret Drain, Chair

Michael Isip, Vice Chair

John Bredar, Secretary
Chris Plaut, Treasurer

Zain Habboo

Anjali Kumar

Danielle Lee

John Limotte

Carolyn Strauss

Neal Shapiro

Joi Thomas

Beth Viner

Ann Tenenbaum, Emeritus