Navigating the Business, Art and Challenges of Film & Mediamaking

POST UPDATE: 12/22/2022

POST UPDATE: 11/1/2022
We published and distributed the below “LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY” Report  – Now it’s time to discuss its meaning in a virtual forum…


Click “Listen To What I Say” Report to View on ISSUU

Published July 27, 2022

SIFTMedia 215 Collective is presenting its first survey of film professionals in the Philadelphia and Mid Atlantic Region funded by the Philadelphia Assembly and the Independence Public Media Foundation.

This Analysis Survey Project aimed to examine the landscape of navigating the business, art and challenges of film & mediamaking, affecting Women of Color (WOC). The survey looks specifically at the experiences of black and brown women and gender fluid filmmakers in Philadelphia and the surrounding area; including those who may currently reside in other parts of the country but had original roots in Philadelphia.

Filmmaker and Producer, Eboni Zamani was hired as the Survey Architect and Researcher. The first step in her process was to develop survey questions which would accurately collect pertinent arts and culture data, reflecting each participant’s own experience regardless of the stage of their careers.

“In the past two years, we’ve heard a lot about the challenges, successes and frustrations of Philly Black and Brown Women Filmmakers. SIFT wanted to better understand how to move the conversation forward.”

 – Eboni Zamani, Study Architect

 Over 40 women participated in the Survey. A three-hour long, moderator led, hybrid (virtual conferencing and in-person) follow up focus group was held in May 2022. These five participants took a deep dive into the issues of the survey, agreeing to share more of their personal and professional experiences.

“If 50% of the people who filled out the survey make between $15,000 and $49,0000 per year and over 60% have graduate degrees that is horrendous! In Philadelphia we need to make systemic change in our economic and arts ecosystem to improve Black and Latinx lives in a material way. Regardless of educational attainment, WOC filmmakers must have access to opportunity at every turn. Our entire society is less democratic, less safe, and less prosperous  for that exclusion.”

– Nadine Patterson, Study Producer

“I didn’t realize how impactful the survey would be until I started working with the compiled data and realized nothing like this has been documented on WOC in my city; those who work steadily and create without complaint, despite the many obstacles.”

– LeAnne Lindsay, Study Designer

The above “Listen To What I Say” Report results have been compiled into an easy read and discernable 21 page digital document. Including heartfelt quotes from the participants, graphs, charts and recommendations for action steps. The aim of this report serves as an invitation to funders, stakeholders, allies and supporters to come to the table prepared to listen, partner and strategize on plans with women of color film and media makers to enhance and sustain their lives, so as to enhance the sector and the region as a whole.

About SIFTMedia 215 Collective: SIFT means Sisters in Film & Television. SIFTMedia 215 is a cooperative that centers Black and Latinx women-identified independent media artists who work in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. As filmmakers, we seek to educate ourselves and the wider community by creating socially conscious, culturally relevant work that challenges mainstream narratives and structures. Our mission is to use our collective strength to amplify the work of and create meaningful opportunities for Black and Latinx Women content creators by providing a community of support to share resources, skills, and creative space.

About Independence Public Media Foundation: IPMF seeks to build power with communities across Greater Philadelphia by investing in community-owned media and community-led media-making. We support work that amplifies voices, ideas, and solutions rarely heard in mainstream media.

About  Philadelphia Assembly: Formed in 2019, The Philadelphia Assembly is a collective of culture bearers who share a commitment to the practice of arts, culture, and equitable community development and reflects the people who are here, committed, and doing the work to “keep the place.”


SIFTER Eboni Zamani has taken on the creation and collection of Arts and Culture Advocacy Data. This Analysis Survey Project looks specifically at the experiences of black and brown female filmmakers in Philadelphia and the surrounding area, or those who may reside in other parts of the country but had original roots in Philadelphia.

EZ_headshot2In the past two years, we’ve heard a lot about the challenges, successes and frustrations of Philly Black and Brown Women Filmmakers. SIFT wants to better understand how to move the conversation forward.

I have created the survey and am in need of 40 participants. I will be confidentially collecting the information submitted. I will create a report on the findings and present it digitally via SIFT at a later date. Please take a moment to complete the survey and share it with others who may be willing to participate. It is comprehensive and will give us the information we need to support advocacy for all of us throughout the region and abroad. 
Eboni Zamani Strategy & Research Consultant for SIFT

Examples of Survey Questions


Thank you.  The aim of collecting this data is to have tangibles to present when talking to Funders, Foundations and the City while advocating for support. 


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