Now as we round the corner on three years of living with COVID  those in the Black and Latinx communities remain the least resourced and marginalized.   SIFTMedia 215 Filmmakers  explore and bring attention to the cultural tools and spiritual practices that bring us through these times of  isolation.

Our COVID1619 Project is a series of films for broadcast and online screenings which promote new ways of examining the stories from Philadelphia neighborhoods and foster a sense of community while advocating for social change through film & artist workshops, such as Ursula Rucker CRT Popup Poetry Memoir .

The COVID1619 Project is a collaboration between HipCinema Labs and SIFTMedia 215. HipCinema Labs served as the incubator for the SIFT in 2019 and 2020. HipCinema will work with SIFT to supervise post-production and launch COVID1619 Vol. 1 – From Rage to Sadness to Service.


Nikki Harmon HeadshotProducer/Director: Nikki Harmon
Cinematographer: Stephanie Malson
Editor: M.  Asli Dukan
Running Time: 10 Min

Synopsis: This short doc tells the story of a Philadelphia undertaker and the impact the pandemic has had on his business and his life.  Keith Hodges is the director of the Beckett, Brown, and Hodges Funeral Home in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The funeral home services primarily African-American families and has been overwhelmed with the bereaved needing their assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Lois Moses HeadshotProducer/Director: Lois M. Moses
Running Time: 8 Min

Synopsis: This short doc tells the story of a Yogini Nya Patrinos who is incited during the confluence of the pandemic, the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd demonstrations, such that she goes out to march, befriends a group of African American teenage girls, and reflects that she has been playing life too small. Through that experience, she turns her practice of yoga into her activism, following a long tradition of yogini’s who fought in and for revolution.


Melissa Beatriz_2Producer/Director: Melissa Beatriz
Animator : Gabrielle Patterson
Editor: Tatiana Bacchus 
Running Time: 2 Min

Synopsis: A reflection on how Philly artists/cultural workers have been impacted by the pandemic, and how they are envisioning a new future that includes cultural equity. The piece uses a combination of documentary footage, animation, and voiceover.


Eboni Headshot_squareProducer/Director:  Eboni Zamani
Produced by: Pearl’s Girl Productions
Cinematographer/Editor: Stephanie Malson
Running Time: 10 Min

Synopsis: This short documentary takes a look at the impact that the dual pandemics of COVID 19 and racism have had on the lives of Black people in Philadelphia.  We speak with Sanitation Worker and Advocate Terrill Haigler, Community Organizer Shakira King and Nurse Toni T. about their lives during 2020. We discuss what life has been like for them during a year of civil unrest, personal loss, economic crisis, and a global health crisis. 



SIFTMedia #COVID1619, respectfully borrowed from the sentiments and ideology of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ New York Times 1619Project, by creating work that expresses both the inequities & black/brown resilience that happened around the pandemic.

Update May 20, 2022– There are no words to express the horror of what happened in BUFFALO, NY. Our country, as Karen Hunter says, is dying of a TERMINAL CANCER called RACISM. What we must fight for is our very humanity on a daily basis. And we are tired. But we must continue to fight now, so that future generations will have a better tomorrow. Let’s remember the people who were assassinated. They are beloved members of Buffalo’s community. Black Americans all.

COVID1619: From Sadness, to Rage, to Service.

Update May 25, 2022 – Today death by gun violence became the number one cause of mortality for Children/Youth in America. When will we wake up to the slow motion genocide that one of our political parties profits from? If you have a platform, a skill, a voice, use it to make change NOW. Don’t wait until it’s safe, until you get tenure, until you’re financially secure, until the kids are in college. Stand up and protect the children and elders.

Sending light to the community of Uvalde, Texas; Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in California; and to the people of Philadelphia, who struggle to protect their youth from gun violence and political neglect every day.

independence_mediaThis project is funded in part by individual donors and the 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.

sift-mediaSIFTMedia 215 Collective 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.

Originally Published March 2022

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