NYWIFT 2020 Women Who Dared Documentary Series

The NYWIFT Women Who Dared Documentary Series is presented in partnership with International Documentary Association (IDA) and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A six-week screening series of captivating documentaries by women filmmakers starting on Friday, October 23, 2020 and every Friday to follow.

This screening series is part of NYWIFT’s Creative Workforce Summit scheduled October 20-23, 2020. This year’s theme celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote and recognize the contributions made by Women Documentary Makers that document creators of social, cultural and economic change in history.

Learn more and watch the 2020 Summit



Week 1: Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed

Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the highest office in the land.

Following Chisholm from her own announcement of her candidacy through her historic speech in Miami at the Democratic National Convention, the story is a fight for inclusion. Shunned by the political establishment and the media, this longtime champion of marginalized Americans asked for support from people of color, women, gays, and young people newly empowered to vote at the age of 18. Chisholm’s bid for an equal place on the presidential dais generated strong, even racist opposition. Yet her challenge to the status quo and her message about exercising the right to vote struck many as progressive and positive. Period footage and music, interviews with supporters, opponents, observers, and Chisholm’s own commentary all illuminate her groundbreaking initiative, as well as political and social currents still very much alive today.

Watch the film: starting Friday, October 23rd throughout the weekend

Then join us on Monday, October 26th at 4 PM EST for a conversation with Director Shola Lynch.

Moderated by Easmanie Michel, NYWIFT’s Special Projects Associate

Free to watch and attend.

Watch Q&A Here


Week 2: RBG

At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation’s highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG  explores Ginsburg’s life and career.

Directed and produced by Betsy West and Julie Cohen. 

Watch the film: starting Friday, October 29th throughout the weekend provided by Magnolia Pictures.

Then join us on Monday, November 2nd at 4 PM EST for a conversation with Editor, Carla Gutierrez.

Moderated by Marcia Rock, Director of News and Documentary, NYU Journalism

Free to watch and attend. 

Watch Q&A Here


Week 3: And She Could Be Next

In a polarized America, where the dual forces of white supremacy and patriarchy threaten to further erode our democracy, a game-changing transformation is happening at the grassroots. As demographics shift toward a non-white majority, elections will be decided by Americans inspired to vote for the first time. Many of these voters, who are often black, brown, immigrant or poor, are ignored by politicians and journalists alike. And She Could Be Next a two-part documentary series directed by Peabody Award-winner Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) and Iranian documentary filmmaker Marjan Safinia (Seeds), tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics from the ground up. The documentary series, filmed from 2018 through 2019, follows forward-thinking candidates and organizers across the country, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved —and made stronger— by those most marginalized. The series is centered on individuals at the heart of the movement behind the New American Majority.

Watch the film: starting Friday, November 6th throughout the weekend provided by PBS.

Then join us on Monday, November 9th at 4 PM EST for a conversation with Co-Directors Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia, and producer Jyoti Sarda.

Moderated by Anna Pasztor 

Free to watch and attend.

Watch Q&A Here


Week 4: Without A Whisper – Konnon:Kwe

Without A Whisper – Konnon:Kwe, uncovers the hidden history of the profound influence Indigenous women had on the beginnings of the women’s rights movement in the United States. Before the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, European colonial women lacked even the most basic rights, while Haudenosaunee women had a potent political and spiritual voice and authority in all aspects of their lives. The contact that the early suffragists had with Haudenosaunee women in New York state shaped their thinking and had a vital impact on their struggle for equality that is taken for granted today. The film follows Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner as they seek to correct the historical narrative about the origins of women’s rights in the United States.

Watch the film: starting Friday, November 13th throughout the weekend via Women Make Movies

Then join us on Monday, November 16th at 4 PM EST on Facebook Live for a conversation with Director Katsitsionni Fox, Mohawk Clan Mother Louise McDonald Herne and Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner

Moderated by Carey Graeber 

Watch Q&A Here


Week 5: Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks to Me

Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me tells the complex story of Representative Barbara Lee, a steadfast voice for human rights, peace and equality in the U.S. Congress for over two decades, who raised two sons as a single mother on food stamps and was the lone vote in opposition to the broad authorization of military force following the September 11th attacks.  An all-star cast including Senator Cory Booker, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commentator Van Jones, actor Danny Glover, and author Alice Walker all share insights about what makes Barbara Lee unique as a public servant and as a truth-telling African American woman. 

Watch the film: starting Friday, November 20th throughout the weekend

Then join us on Monday, November 23rd at 4 PM EST for a conversation with Director Abby Ginzberg.

Moderated by Cynthia Kane.

Free to watch and attend.

Watch Q&A Here


Week 6: All In: The Fight for Democracy

All In: The Fight for Democracy is a riveting examination of voter suppression in the United States of America. The film weaves rich archival storytelling with the personal experiences of experts, activists, and would-be voters deprived of their rights. Current activism as well as historical insight expose what corrupted our democracy from the moment it was founded. Every time we the people take a step toward a more just and equal nation — granting rights to the disenfranchised, from women’s suffrage to desegregation — new forces and obstacles emerge that require us to fight for the right to vote once again.

Watch the film: starting Friday, November 27th throughout the weekend. Film will be sent to you.

Then join us on Monday, November 30th at 1:30PM EST for a conversation with  Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus.

Moderated by Marcia Rock, Director of News and Documentary, NYU Journalism 

Free to watch and attend.

Watch Q&A Here



Tell Us about Your Favorite Suffragette

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, let’s continue to highlight all the women that have pushed for women’s rights and for the Equal Rights Amendment. Which suffragette is an inspiration to you? Tell us about your hero and it may be included in our upcoming publication summary of the 2020 Creative Workforce Summit.

Submit Your Suffragette



Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for funding for the
NYWIFT Summit Screening Series


Thanks to our series distribution partners:



A special thank you to our Summit supporters: