Press Release

May 11 2023

‘POV’ Opens 36th Season With Director Jon-Sesrie Goff’s Captivating Documentary After Sherman


New York, N.Y. – May 11, 2023 – POV, America’s longest running non-fiction series, opens its 36th season with After Sherman, a gripping film about inheritance, landscape identity and tensions within Black Belt communities that define America’s collective history. The film marks director Jon-Sesie Goff’s (Out in the Night) feature debut, and is produced by Goff, blair dorosh-walther, and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich. In After Sherman Goff returns to the coastal South Carolina land that his family purchased after emancipation. His desire to explore his Gullah Geechee roots leads to a poetic investigation of Black inheritance, trauma, and generational wisdom.

After Sherman, a co-production with ITVS, Black Public Media, and Hedera Pictures, LLC, makes its national broadcast premiere on POV Monday, June 26, 2023 at 10pmET/9C (check local listings) and will be available to stream free until July 26, 2023 at, and the PBS App.

In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

In After Sherman, filmmaker Jon-Sesrie Goff visits his ancestral hometown Georgetown, South Carolina, a community deeply rooted in Gullah Geechee customs to investigate the cultural and spiritual rituals that bind people together in that region. Through talks with family, friends, and neighbors, and watching archival home videos, Goff comprises intimate accounts of the lives of the Black community to showcase the history of the African people on the land.

The film also delves into his relationship with his father, Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr. to learn about his personal connection to land that has been in his family for 150 years, where they were once enslaved. Dr. Goff, a survivor of the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, 2015, served as Mother Emanuel’s interim pastor following the killing of the church’s pastor, Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney.

Jon-Sesrie Goff’s After Sherman is ultimately a film about being present in a corner of the American South that is often forgotten except in moments of violence. The film speaks to intergenerational questions between the post-civil rights and civil rights generations. Rather than depicting Black subjects as at the whim of violent forces, Goff documents the imparting of wisdom between generations of African Americans on how to survive not just materially, but spiritually.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to share this film with public television audiences,” said Jon-Sesrie Goff. “As development and tourism seek to reimagine the landscape of the coastal south, it’s increasingly important to highlight the efforts many have undertaken in the preservation of Gullah Geechee culture and the protection of black owned land, many of the properties purchased by the formerly enslaved. Working with my collaborators, we handcrafted something that we hope honors the spirit of community and reflects the richness of the region. It was important for us to make visible a living history, where all the complexities of the past and present inform our understanding of home.”

After Sherman, Jon-Sesrie Goff’s personal story about belonging, is an arresting film to open POV’s 36th season,” said Erika Dilday, Executive Director, American Documentary and Executive Producer, POV and America ReFramed. “Every year American Documentary renews its commitment to provide seasoned and emerging filmmakers the opportunity to share their stories via public media’s national platform. In return, we ask our filmmakers to be fearless; to go to difficult places, and ask difficult questions to deliver to audiences the truths that inform us, enlighten us, and hopefully lead us toward real change.”

After Sherman won 2022 Best Documentary Feature awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival, and Fists Up! Film Festival. The film was nominated for a 2023 Cinema Eye Honors, and was a recipient of the 2022 Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence at the Tallgrass Film Festival. After Sherman was an official selection of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, True/False Film Festival and Camden International Film Festival.

After Sherman is produced in association with ITVS, Black Public Media, and Hedera Pictures LLC. Jon-Sesrie Goff is the director, screenwriter and cinematographer. The producers are blair dorosh-walther, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich and Goff. The executive producers are Erika Dilday, Chris White and Justine Nagan for American Documentary I POV, Leslie Fields-Cruz and Sally Jo Fifer. The editor is Blair Seab McClendons and the composer is Tamar-Kali.


[Download photos here]


After Sherman

Director: Jon-Sesrie Goff

Producer: blair dorosh-walther, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, Jon-Sesrie Goff

Composer: Tamar-kali

Editor: Blair Seab McClendon

Associate Producer: Lauren Waring Douglas

Consulting Producers: Elijah Heyward III & George A. Peters, II

Cinematographers: Jon-Sesrie Goff, Eric Branco, Jerry Henry, Arshley Emile

Languages: English, Gullah

Country: USA

Year: 2022


About the Filmmakers

Jon-Sesrie Goff, Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Cinematographer, After Sherman

Jon-Sesrie Goff is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator. With extensive experience in media and film production, Jon has offered his lens to a variety of projects spanning many genres including the recently released and award-winning documentaries, including Out in the Night (POV, Logo 2015), Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens 2015) and Spit on the Broom (2019), among several other projects. He is the director of the award-winning feature-length documentary, After Sherman (POV 2023). .

He studied sociology, economics, and theater at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), completed his BA at The New School (New York, NY), along with an MFA from Duke University (Durham, NC) in Experimental and Documentary Arts. He is a 2023 Guggeheim Fellow. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Flaherty Film Seminar and was the Museum Specialist for Film at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Jon-Sesrie’s personal practice includes extensive institutional, community, and personal archival research, visual documentation, and oral history interviews in the coastal South on the legacy of Black land ownership and Gullah Geechee heritage preservation. Jon engages with his work from the paradigm of a social change instigator.

blair dorosh-walter, Producer, After Sherman

blair dorosh-walther is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, activist, artist, and social worker focusing on social justice. Their first documentary feature, Out in the Night had its international premiere at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and has screened in over 100 festivals around the world, winning over dozen awards, including the audience award for Best Documentary at the New Orleans Film Festival. Out in the Night kicked off the 2015 POV season with an unprecedented simultaneous broadcast on the Logo Network. blair’s commitment to social justice extends off the screen as well. They partnered with the United Nation’s Free and Equal campaign adding to an international dialogue about criminalized LGBQ and TGNC survivors. blair is a Guggenheim Fellow and was recently awarded a Commitment to Justice award from HER for co-authoring the report, Reinvesting in Economic Justice, Equity, and Solidarity in NYC. blair is excited to continue to be a part of the POV family.

Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich, Producer, After Sherman

Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich is a filmmaker and artist who has completed projects in Kingston, Jamaica, Miami, Florida and extensively in the five boroughs of New York City. Her work has screened all over the world including at the 2022 La Biennale di Venezia, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. Her films have been awarded special jury prizes for Best Experimental Film at the 2022 Blackstar Film Festival and the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival. She was named on Filmmaker Magazine's 2020 "25 New Faces of Independent Cinema List'' and is the recipient of a 2022 Creative Capitol Award, a 2020 San Francisco Film Society Rainin Grant, a 2019 Rema Hort Mann Award, a 2019 UNDO fellowship and grant, and a 2014 Princess Grace Award in film.

Tamar-kali, Composer, After Sherman

Brooklyn born and bred artist Tamar-kali is a second-generation musician with roots in the coastal Sea Islands of South Carolina. As a composer, Tamar-kali has defied boundaries to craft her own unique alternative sound.

2017 marked her debut as a film score composer. Her score for Dee Rees’ Oscar-nominated Mudbound garnered her the World Soundtrack Academy’s 2018 Discovery of the Year Award and has been classified by Indiewire as one of the 25 Best Film Scores of the 21st century.

2019 was a hallmark year for her work as a composer. In addition to debuting her first symphonic commission, she scored four films, three of which were featured at the Sundance Film Festival 2020. They include Dee Ree’s The Last Thing He Wanted, Kitty Green’s The Assistant and Josephine Decker’s psychological drama Shirley; the latter's soundtrack was named The Guardian’s Contemporary Album of the Month in June 2020. The fourth film was the documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter.

About the Protagonist

Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr., Protagonist, After Sherman

Born in Georgetown, South Carolina, currently oversees 37 churches in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as Presiding Elder of the Edisto District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.


About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise, Minding The Gap and Not Going Quietly, and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 46 Emmy Awards, 27 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirm that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Chasing the Dream and Peril and Promise public media initiatives of The WNET Group, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers.

POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

About Dicapta

Dicapta Corporation is a communications technology company focused on making media accessible for people with visual and hearing disabilities. It has been offering high quality audio description, captioning, and language customization services since 2004. Dicapta has served the TV industry, media companies, educational institutions, and variety of organizations in making communications accessible to everyone. Dicapta has also been funded by the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Health and Human Services to work in the creation of accessibility assets and the development of technology to improve access to media for people with sensory disabilities.

About All4Access
All4Access is a global repository that stores media accessibility assets such as captions, audio description, and American Sign language. It simplifies the way assets are shared and used while protecting the rights of media creators. All4Access is a technology created by Dicapta and the Universidad Carlos II de Madrid, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.