Quick Peek at some SIFTERS at work …

SIFTMedia 215 Latest Instagram Posts:

ERICA HAWKINS has been awarded a grant by #BlackMusicCity to produce/direct a short doc on the history of The Famous Davis Sisters of Philadelphia, entitled “12 Gates to the City.”

Check out More Info Black Music City

Eboni Zamani has been chosen as a Black Public Media 360 Incubator Fellow

“Over the years, we’ve included a few immersive media makers in the 360 Incubator+, but this is the first time we’ve brought our entire cohort of BPMplus Fellows to the bootcamp,” says Leslie Fields-Cruz. “We’re excited to have all our fellows in the same place and look forward to what these interactions will yield.”

The BPMplus fellows who will attend the bootcamp include:

Black Lotus Conversation Series with special guest Nadine Patterson – Sat. Feb 25, 2023

Join us in a discussion about independent Black cinema with Philly Filmmaker Nadine Patterson.   Register HERE  (Pay What You Wish)

Click Image for Full Conversation between Black Lotus Founder Cassandra Bolding & Nadine Patterson

Jos Duncan Asé Chief Storyteller and Founder of LOVENOW MEDIA was honored by The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists with the TRAILBLAZER AWARD during their #PABJAwards Gala 

As the Founder, Executive Producer & Publisher of LOVE NOW MEDIA , an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to amplify acts of love at the intersection of social justice, wellness, and equity, she empowers!

Bettina Escauriza  Philadelphia Artist Spotlight on CineSpeak

 By Gabe Castro

The cinéSPEAK Journal publishes a monthly Philadelphia Artist Spotlight highlighting local filmmakers and moving image artists doing unique and impactful work. 

Bettina Escauriza is a filmmaker, writer, artist, and actor living in Philadelphia. Originally from Asunción, Paraguay, her work is influenced by her culture and experiences dealing with Indigenous knowledge, colonization, immigration, and exile. She is a natural storyteller from a family of “frustrated mystics, spectacular liars, ill-fated thieves, and awful politicians.” Her aim as a filmmaker is to tell stories about Indigenous people and people of color that are “lush, sensual, thrilling, and complex”— she wants to tell the truth about the communities she comes from by “centering narratives of joy, defiance, and resistance in the face of oppression.”

Escauriza’s latest work, Tonight, We Eat Flowers, follows two characters: Luis, a recent immigrant and former doctor who works a soulless job selling phone hold music to corporations while saving money to get certified in Emergency Medical Services, and Jamilah, a brilliant gourmet chef who is stuck working in a cubicle hellscape and dreams of a life of sensuality, color, and flavor… READ MORE

Jos Duncan Asé Chief Storyteller and Founder of LOVENOW MEDIA hosting their last event for 2022 – in-person Sunday, Oct 30th 3-6pm @worldcafelive
for the culmination of “Heart of the Story: Getting to the Heart of Gun Violence with Love”

For the past few months @josduncanase @lovenowmedia has been teaching Black men and boys to tell their love stories to heal from gun violence trauma.
There will be food, performances, storytelling and panel discussion.
Tickets $20.  Use the promo code HEART for a 50% discount ($10 ticket). This is our last event in 2022!
The panel discussion will feature:
🎤 Moderator: Christopher @FloodtheDrummer Norris of WHYY
🎤 Dr. Aaron Smith of The Rapping Professor LLC
🎤 Ameen Akbar of Philadelphia Youth Basketball
🎤 Derrick Cain of Resolve Philly
🎤 Eric Marsh of WHYY
🎤 Reuben Jones of Frontline Dads 


Erica Hawkins is the Videographer on THE RALEIGH PACT (Frame Media) which has been chosen to receive the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Best News Documentary Award 2022 

Click Images below for IG Video Stories about the Doc

Stephanie Malson‘s Short Film SLOW BURN

screening at 2 Film Festivals:
Gary International Black Film Festival (Virtual Screening) 
Sunday, Oct 9, 2022 9pm – Get Tickets ($7)

Baltimore International Black Film Festival (in-Person) Sunday Oct 9, 2022 4pm  – Get Tickets ($11) 

THIS HAS BEEN A 10 YEAR JOURNEY – MY short film SLOW BURN has been accepted into 3 film festivals this year. This is a loooong time dream come true!

SLOW BURN is a meditation on love and memories that linger beyond time and space. It is a 10 minute short film that is a part of a longer script that I have been drafting for many years.

BUT FINALLY! This coming weekend – October 9, you have TWO opportunities to see MY FILM, in person in Baltimore or virtually! (I can’t believe I am actually typing these words!) 

I hope you can take advantage of the opportunity to see this labor of love as I don’t know the next time it will be available in this way. All the details can be found below. – Be Well, Stephanie

Shameka Sawyer‘s 5 Shorts Project Presents: BOUT MINE –
I MATTER  Youth Video Production Program

The Bout Mine I Matter Project is a program developed for youth directly impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia, Pa. Our mission is to teach young people positive methods for processing trauma and to help them develop alternative social action solutions to violence. In addition, our project aims to increase skills in digital media, increase confidence, and achieve career goals in film, television, radio, and other media production fields.  GET YOUR FREE TICKETS to Screening Event Sun. Oct 2, 2022
And LEARN MORE about the Project

Lois Moses Director, Editor and Co-Producer PHILLY JAWNS FOR WOMEN REVISITED Poetry Anthology in Tribute to Nina Simone – screening virtually Black X Film Festival October 22, 2022.

Kristal Sotomayor screened her documentary EXPANDING SANCTUARY at City Hall as part of Hispanic Heritage Month

Nadine Patterson, Founder Hip Cinema Labs and Resource Strategist for SIFT, was interviewed by Fractured Atlas an organization which helps make individual artists and arts organizations creative dreams a reality by providing fundraising tools and educational resources. 

Describe the process you’ve taken to bring your project to life. What’s been involved?

“We build bridges across location, culture, and ability. The goal is to share and to advocate. I am active on Twitter and I speak up about things very frankly. One organization heard my critique about the lack of diversity one year and invited me and members of SIFT to attend. Two years later, one of our members is curating their online film festival.”  READ FULL ARTICLE

Lois Moses is interviewed on the “Mindful on Purpose” Podcast 

Click image to LISTEN

Tatiana Bacchus, Podcast Narrator for CROSSING THE LINE a verite’ style audio documentary series telling stories from the frontlines in the fight for reproductive freedom. 

Erica Hawkins, Facilitators for Scribe’s Documentary History Project for Youth.

The season kicked off in May. The goal, to teach 13 teens how to create documentary films on “A New Philadelphia.” The students will work up until the end of October and premiere 8-10min documentaries to the community.

Click Image for More Info…

Kristal Sotomayor, Programming Director for the
Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

Yolonda Johnson-Young’s film FINDING ELIJAH has been chosen to screen at THE EIGHTH ANNUAL AVFEST May 9th – 15th (Sonoma County CA)

Screening before Women of Slender Means  – Tickets/Info

FINDING ELIJAH will also be rebroadcast on WHYY TV-12
Wed. May 18th 11:00pm
Wed. May 25th 7:30pm

Finding Elijah Synopsis: Told from a mother’s perspective, Finding Elijah follows a young man’s journey from home; into mental illness, to homelessness, and ultimately to suicide. It explores how a search for answers leads a mother to action.

Yolonda would also like to remind everyone that May is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH 

Jos Duncan Ase Founder/Director of LOVENOWMEDIA and partner with PhillyCam

Scribe Video Center’s PRECIOUS PLACES Community History Project 2021 film is being broadcast throughout the Philadelphia region on public television station WHYY-TV12 – presented  every Tuesday at 7:30 pm from April 5th to May 24th.

The Precious Places Community History Project is a community oral history project inviting members of the Philadelphia region’s many neighborhoods to document the buildings, public spaces, parks, landmarks and other sites that hold the memories of our communities and define where we live.

ERICA HAWKINS piece “WHEN A HOUSE IS NOT JUST A HOME” presents the artists sanctuary THE COLORED GIRLS MUSEUM which screens on May 3, 2022 7:30pm –

Resist is a Womanist Word: A Tribute to SONIA SANCHEZ –  Hosts: Arcadia University – Virtual Event Friday, April 29, 2022 7pm ET

This year, poet, activist, and scholar Sonia Sanchez will receive an honorary doctoral degree and address the Class of 2022 at Commencement ceremonies for Arcadia University. Renowned for the messages of freedom and activism in her work, Sanchez once declared that “[r]esist is an ancient word. A holy word. A churchgoing word. A womanist word. A political word. A freedom worker’s word.”

As part of this event, nine incredibly inspiring poets – Angel Hogan, Ewuare Osayande, Greg Corbin, KD Morris, Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, Lois Moses, Nzadi Keita, Pat McLean-Smith, and Ursula Rucker:  who also serve as community activists in Philadelphia will reflect on how the concept of resistance is demonstrated and activated in their lives. Each will share their poetry and engage in conversation about the influence Sanchez’s work has had on their own.  

EVENT IS FREE Pre-registration is required   MORE INFO

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER – Resist is a Womanist Word: A Tribute to Sonia Sanchez

New Member Welcome – Dai Belquer

New Member Welcome – Charlese Hawkins-Hatton

New Member Welcome – Dr. Iliana Pagán-Teitelbaum

Kristal Sotomayor & Shameka Sawyer are 2 of 12 Lenfest Institute for Journalism – Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange Entrepreneurs

Twelve media entrepreneurs of color will participate in a community-grounded accelerator program and receive grant funding and training 

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund are pleased to announce the 12 media founders of color selected to participate in the inaugural Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange, a new community-focused accelerator program. READ MORE

Loses Moses, Dasha “Da Saint”, and Erica Hawkins have films screening March 3, 2022 6pm ET for a Women’s History program at North Carolina Central University click link in PDF to Join 

SIFTER Eboni Zamani of Pearls Girls Production now has a channel on The American Dream Marketplace – the new go-to source for discovering #Blackbusinesses, groups, events, networking opportunities.

ADM is a FREE Social Marketplace app created for black businesses and entrepreneurs. The ADM promotes building #Blackwealth by offering Black businesses cash grants and resources from our Corporate partners.

The Afrikan Poetry Theatre Presents Black History Month Film Festival – Asli Dukan’s RESISTANCE screening

click image for more info

Thank you SIFTER Lois Moses for putting together this fantastic RECAP Video of all SIFT Members have accomplished in 2021:

Tatiana Bacchus @tbacchus20 interviewed on Nèg Mawon Podcast Exploring and adding to the Haitian story, one episode at a time.  Where she shares news of her biographical doc in progress on the Haitian artist ULRICK JEAN-PIERRE: Guardian of History

Nadine’s Lewis Latimer Project Funding Event

click image for more info

SIFTERS Collaborative Effort to Produce 
Memoir Poetry & Performance Intensive Workshop
Part of SIFT’s #COVID1619 Project

See Ursual Rucker Workshop RECAP to hear full-length poems

Shameka Sawyer‘s 5 Shorts Project Produced Washington Film Awards Winning Short – DRIVING IN STILETTOS FIRST 


No one was prepared to practically go back into lockdown after getting our vaccines. SIFT wanted to give members a place to gather, work, collaborate, eat, do interviews, podcast, screen films, get away from distractions at home. To that end, we rented space at KISMET in Germantown. It is still available to all SIFTERS and we hope that despite some COVID setbacks you’ll take advantage of the opportunity when possible. Take a look through at this super cool working space environment…

Kristal Sotomayor named among 10 LATINX FILMMAKERS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

 by –  In 2021, we saw a lot of up-and-coming Latinx talent in the film industry making big moves. Going into 2022 with that in mind, we wanted to make the extra effort to continue supporting Latinx creators in the entertainment industry as they work to break barriers and do incredible work that entertains, informs and perhaps even more importantly, represents for our communities… READ MORE 

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Georgia, 1967

Nadine Patterson was invited to the African American Art & Culture Complex #MLKDay2022  Celebration where she was interviewed by Maria Judice 

Featuring discussions around Nadine’s films “Moving with the Dreaming” & “We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman”

Lois Moses and Erica Hawkins will screen their films as part of Scribe Video Center’s PRECIOUS PLACES Series – Thurs. Jan 20, 2022 Virtually 7pm (Crowdcast) Click HERE to Register

and Coatesville, Pennsylvania. This year’s films document Philadelphia’s historic Black Bottom neighborhood by Black Bottom Tribe in Mantua, the Nidhamu Sasa school by The Black Humanist Fellowship in Germantown, Passtown Elementary School made by the Hayti Historical Society in Coatesville, The Conrail-Anderson railyard by Kenzofish Productions in Fishtown, Fisher Park by Olney Culture Lab, the site of Tabu lounge in Center City by Philadelphia Queer Spaces Project, Philadelphia Freedom Schools by Sankofa Freedom Academy, The Colored Girls Museum in Germantown and The Yes Center in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Kristal Sotomayor‘s film EXPANDING SANTUARY (26 min) documentary about the campaign to end the sharing of the police database with Immigration and Customs Enforcement led by Juntos and the Latinx immigrant community in South Philly) has been granted additional funding as part of the Velocity Fund

Danielle M. Lewis Featured Interview on SoundGirls 

Lois Moses was invited to talk with Tiffany Bacon “The Source” on WURD Radio – progressive Black talk media. On Empowerment Friday. Lois brought the fire with her poem “I Don’t Wanna Die Tired, Like I’m Living”

Click image to watch

Leeway Foundation 2021 Recipients of the IPMF Media Artist + Activist ResidencyKristal Sotomayor & Team are one of 5 grantees  

Leeway Foundation recognizes the longstanding power of media artists and social-justice activists throughout the Greater Philadelphia region with $125,000 in funding to five inaugural Leeway x IPMF Media Artist + Activist Residency recipients. This residency will support women, trans*, and gender nonconforming media artists in documenting, reframing, and/or amplifying the issues and campaigns of their local, collaborating social-justice focused organizations.

Kristal Sotomayor, Daniel DeJesus, and Gabe Loredo will be working in collaboration with Juntos to document and develop an online community oral history archive of video interviews of intergenerational Latinx COVID-19 stories. The interviews and collaboration with Juntos community members and youth will shape the storytelling and impact of the docu-animation film Alx Through The Labyrinth (also part of SIFT’s COVID1619 project) about the effects of COVID-19 on Latinx in Philadelphia. In addition… READ MORE

Congrats Yolonda Johnson-Young on finding a home for FINDING ELIJAH your marathon film festival circuit and wins was phenomenal!  Now this powerful doc, your directorial debut, can be seen on KEMISTRY TV NETWORK 

Shameka S.L. Sawyer is leading Screenwriting workshop for emerging filmmakers with no experience.  Starting November 30, 2021 –  Click HERE for details

Stephanie Malson is leading a three month Screenwriting Working Group aimed at those farther along in the process. 

TIME: 6 -8PM
VENUE: Our House Culture Center  6380 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144

Germantown Info Hub will partner with Phreedom Jawn to bring Germantown a double screening of films from two locals who have been impacted by gun violence.

Shameka S. L.  Sawyer Director & Producer of SOMETIMES ID CRY IN JUNE  presents her film that follows Sawyer and her mother as they struggle to accept the untimely murder of their beloved son and brother. It is credited in the Inquirer and her “love letter” to her brother. (20 minutes)


Lois Moses, Adrienne Dolberry & Erica Hawkins present their short-form documentary films as part of Scribe Videos 14-Week Workshop 

Justice for Matt  by Lois Moses
A heroic journey of a young woman’s quest to bring her brother’s assailant to justice and bring peace to her mother and entire family.

Practice by Adrienne Dolberry
During her practice, she slips between the present and a daydream. Ruminating on challenges from the past, she leans on practice—to process, to reconcile, and to move forward to what’s most important in her life. 

Things We Gathered from the Fire by Erica Hawkins
Film focuses on the impact of racial trauma on children. This film explores the trauma that director Erica has endured due to her father’s racially motivated death and her journey to resilience.


NIKKI HARMON @nikkiharmon19 and ASLI DUKAN @maslidukan (IG) are seeking an ART DIRECTOR for a paid gig on a low-budget series to continue the vision and elevate the look of our second season. Must be local to Philadelphia and available to start in November. Shooting in January 2022.

To apply, please send a brief letter of interest and links to previous work to Nikki at


Asli Dukan will teach a Video Production Workshop at Scribe Video Center

Tuesdays, January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 and Thursdays, January 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24 (12 Sessions)

Cost: $250, $200 Scribe members
Instructor:  M. Asli Dukan

This workshop covers all major aspects of scripting and shooting a short non-fiction film. Over the 6 weeks, participants will refine their idea and shoot it using Scribe’s Sony FS5. The class includes instruction in scriptwriting, production planning, camera operation, basic lighting, and sound recording. Projects should be no longer than 5 minutes. We encourage documentary subjects that explore personal visions, creative expression and/or community life. Participants will work together as a crew on each other’s projects. Participants must submit a brief written description of their proposed project idea and their motivation for taking the class before the start date. The workshop is limited to 8 participants.  REGISTER

CONGRATS Bettina Escauriza on being a Blackstar 2021 Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab  Fellow!!!

PHILADELPHIA FILMMAKER LAB BlackStar Film Festival this year-long fellowship supports and uplifts Black, Brown and Indigenous emerging and mid-career artists and filmmakers in the Greater Philadelphia area by providing access to equipment, funding, and mentorship, over the course of a year.

Shameka S.L. Sawyer has her first short GRWM (Get Ready With Me) premiering October 23, 2021 – part of Film Premiere for #Trending – 5 films part of a social media thriller anthology.

Each of the films featured have horror themes connected to social media.  Q&A with filmmakers follows 

More Info/Tickets

Eboni Zamani‘s film COLD KILL will screen at Ritz East Thurs. October, 21, 2021 as part of 3 Piece Pictures Presents:

A Cold Kill, Hearts to the Sun and Dear Life, You Suck!

3 Piece Pictures A Cold Kill

3 Piece Pictures Presents: is a collective of filmmakers that presents the independent films and media of Black filmmakers in the Philadelphia region at local theaters and arts venues.

We’re offering people in the Philadelphia region or those visiting the city, the opportunity to support independent Black film online or in-person at local venues to support the recovery of artists and small businesses from the impact of COVID-19.

Q&A will Follow  – REGISTER

Also check out the Mini Interviews of all 3 Filmmakers
on Tinsel & Tine 

click image to view

Post Screening Q&A. (sorry terrible lighting)

Kristal Sotomayor latest article for CineSPEAK

At the heart of the Black Community Commitment, announced by Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand in 2020, is a desire to take action where it is needed most. This vision has been supported by a robust partnership strategy, with grants contributing to the areas of social justice, economic empowerment and education and awareness. Today, Jordan Brand is extending the impact of its Black Community Commitment through a total of $1 million in local community grants to 18 grassroots organizations on the front lines of change.

“Happy to announce that @LoveNowMedia is a recipient of a grant from Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand! We are grateful and excited to receive this support for our work amplifying justice, wellness, and equity through love stories.” – Jos Duncan Asé, Founder/Chief Storyteller

Lois Moses w/ TS Hawkins wrote and curated a poetic expedition for The Painted Bride Art Center  – COMMUNITY CAPITAL: AN AFROFUTURISM SOUTH PHILLY WALKING EXPERIENCE

We speak ourselves into existence. But, what happens when others of the world silence your tones to cacophony their worth? As part of the Painted Bride Art’s Center “Power to the Prompt” conversation, Community Capital: an Afrofuturism South Philly Walking Experience, curated and written by TS Hawkins & Lois Moses, illuminates an intersectional poetic expedition of sound and unearthing through the streets of South Philadelphia. Letting ancestors guide permeable possibilities, this walking tour opens multiple dimensions of storytelling that ignite the expansion of mind, body, and spirit! Journeying fixed and beyond, participants will have the opportunity to connect with intergenerational voices searching for an equitable community one neighborhood at a time!

Shameka S.L. Sawyer  of 5 Shorts Project has curated the Short Film Fest part of B.PHL – What is B. PHL? 

An annual three-day innovation celebration to highlight Philadelphia as a fantastic place to live and work; to create meaningful connections locally and globally between people and organizations doing innovative work; and ignite new ideas and inspire changemakers of the future.  Dates: September 29 – October 1, 2021

This year’s festival focus on three pillars: 
Collaboration + Partnerships
Diversity + Perspectives
Rebound + Growth!

B.PHL will present limited  in-person events, plenty of virtual celebrating Philly


Stephanie Malson’s SLOW BURN will screen at cinéSPEAK presents On Love and Joy: Local Film Shorts on Sept 24 & 30, 2021. Cherry Street Pier. 

Dir. Stephanie Malson / 11 min 

SLOW BURN: Two ex-lovers at a crossroad in their lives are confronted with sudden memories of each other. Some memories are too hard to ignore.

We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman

We Are free Because of Harriet Tubman will screen at the 10th Annual Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival on Sept 11, 2021.  

The film directed by Nadine Patterson is a meditation of resistance, history and nature around poetry written and read by Sonia Sanchez, internationally honored poet and scholar, and Professor Emerita of Temple University. The film was shot on location on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, along the UGRR Trail marked by the state, and in Philadelphia, where Tubman found refuge in a community of Free Blacks and Quakers.

Viewers will have the opportunity to stream free Cleveland International Film Festival documentaries, all with an Anisfield-Wolfian flavor, from September 27-October 3. Coupled with each film will be an in-depth interview with the director, hosted by Cleveland State University professor Eric Siler. One new film will be released each day, available to screen from 11 a.m. EDT through 11 p.m. EDT.


Eboni Zamani‘s Short Film RETURN TO… was recently accepted into 2 more Film Festivals and a local Philly Arts Festival – THE BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL
Sat & Sun September 18-19, 2021 

RETURN TO … is a short experimental film that chronicles a young woman’s journey through identity and ancestry, after the passing of her great-grandmother.

 Info/Tickets to Virtual BLACK X FILM FESTIVAL

Marlene and Nadine Patterson Screen ANNA RUSSELL JONES Aug. 12th @7pm with Scribe & AAMP – Anna, Betty and Betye: 3 Women in Craft

Scribe Video Centre in Partnership with the African American Museum in Philadelphia is presenting special screening featuring Anna Russell Jones, Betty Leacraft and Betye Saar, three women of African descent who have led trailblazing and pioneering careers as artists, often using their work to make pointed and powerful political statements.

Anna Russell Jones: Praisesong for a Pioneering Spirit
Directed by Nadine Patterson, Produced by Marlene G. Patterson
(USA, 1993, 26 min)

Meet Mrs. Anna Russell Jones, a textile designer in the 1920s and ‘30s, a member of the Women’s Army Auxilary Corps during World War II, and a nurse in the 1950s, she was a professional career woman ahead of her times.  Narrated by Toni Cade Bambara. Music by Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble.

$5 Suggested Donation | REGISTER

SIFTER Shameka Sawyer @5ShortsProject is a curator for @BPHLFest the deadline for submissions is August 1st
All genres of films are accepted.
Submit! –

Originally tweeted by SIFTMedia 215 Collective (@siftmedia215) on July 27, 2021.

We don’t know how she does it all, but SIFTER @kristalsotomayr is bringing her skills and passion to a new project! #IDADocAwards 👏🏾🤩

Originally tweeted by SIFTMedia 215 Collective (@siftmedia215) on June 24, 2021.


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