Announcing the 2022 Feedback Loop Selected Projects

Juliana Sakae • November 30, 2022

We are excited to announce the projects that were selected to be a part of the 2022 Feedback Loop Program. These filmmakers will be receiving feedback from incredible editors such as M'Daya Meliani (Born This Way), Sunita Prasad (Aftershock; 93Queen), Cecilia Préstamo (Dreams of Chonta), Flávia de Souza (Aftershock; Naila and the Uprising) and Doug Blush (Period. End of Sentence).

Selected Projects & Filmmakers


The film tells the story of indigenous punk rock pastors and women activists in Myanmar who unite to protect a sacred river from a Chinese-built megadam. From Aung San Suu Kyi's broken election promises to a military coup threatening their homeland, activists, and musicians fight back with what they know best: protest, prayer, and Karaoke music videos.

Director | Emily Hong is a Korean American visual anthropologist and filmmaker based in Philadelphia. She is a co-founder of Ethnocine and Rhiza Collectives. Informed by her experiences as a multiracial immigrant with ancestors on both sides of the colonial equation, her work seeks to challenge the colonial legacies of anthropology and doc filmmaking by creating space to honor non-Western ways of knowing and being.


When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Japanese Americans were forced to endure and overcome the injustice of being incarcerated in desolate desert camps, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire. For many, the key to their survival was baseball. The film is about this bitter history told with moments of cheer and laughter as the incarcerees rallied to build ball fields, play ball and even travel long distances, to proclaim their American heritage through their beloved baseball.

Director | Yuriko Gamo Romer is an independent doc filmmaker and multi-media artist with Flying Carp Productions. Born in Japan and raised in the U.S., Romer’s first feature doc, Mrs. Judo, is about Keiko Fukuda, the first woman to attain the tenth-degree black belt in judo, which has broadcast on PBS and traveled to more than 25 film festivals internationally. Prior to filmmaking, she spent ten years as an advertising art/creative director.

AP | Loi Ameera Almeron is an investigative producer and editor of award-winning docs. A few highlights include her work for HBO’s two-time Emmy nominee, Agents of Chaos, which won a Writer’s Guild Award, her editing of Hale, which was the Student Academy Award for Documentary 2017 and an Oscar contender for Best Short Documentary and BAFTA awards in 2018, and of Making The Five Heartbeats, a 2019 NAACP Image Awards nominee for Outstanding Doc.


Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This film documents how expecting Black mothers have turned to ancestral methods of childbirth where modern methods have failed them.

Director | Gillian Goodwin is a director, writer, and producer living and creating in Baltimore. She has worked with Raw Honey Films, JL Media PR, the Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival, and the Diversity in Cannes Film Festival. She holds a BS in Communication and Media Studies from Kennesaw State University and an MFA in Filmmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Lesya Verba, a Brooklyn-based artist and performer, gets through to her older sister in Odessa, Ukraine via FaceTime. Through the frame of this first FaceTime conversation since the day everything changed, Call Anytime, I’m Not Leaving the House is a film about love, memory, and the (im)permanence of home, as the sisters cling to a call that could be their last.

Director | Sanjna Selva is a multilingual doc filmmaker, investigative journalist, photographer, and audio producer based in NYC. Her photography and film have been featured in and recognized by the International Center of Photography (ICP), MediaStorm, Himalayan Geographic, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Project of Saratoga Springs, and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. Before then, Sanjna was the editor-in-chief of The Skidmore News.


Yurok tribal members return Indigenous knowledge of fire to the land toward ecological healing and cultural “survivance”.

Director | Roni Jo Draper, Ph.D. (Yurok) is a storyteller, educator, filmmaker, and activist. In her recent work, she has turned to Indigenous storytelling and other art forms to share stories that center on the lives of Indigenous peoples. Additionally, Roni Jo works as an advocate for social justice in her community where she serves as the Chair of the Board of the ACLU of Utah, the Vice-President of PFLAG Provo/Utah County, and on the National Board of the ACLU.

Director | Marissa Lila is a multicultural documentarian from Thailand based in Salt Lake City. Marissa’s projects have screened on PBS, ABC, Disney+, and featured in The Huff Post, NYT, The Atlantic, People Magazine, and Dazed. Two projects she produced, Transmormon and Oxygen to Fly, went viral with over 160 million total views. Before then, she wrote, produced, and directed docu-reality TV episodes and created educational media centering on equity, diversity, and inclusion.


First Voice Generation is a documentary film that was created to bring awareness to the issues and challenges first-generation Latinx students face and how the pandemic has exacerbated these issues.

Director | Cynthia Martinez is a 2nd generation Mexican-American born in Holland, Michigan. She is a mother, wife, writer, producer, and filmmaker. Her experience includes working for Univision News in Miami. Cynthia is currently producing the film, First Voice Generation, a film that raises awareness of how the pandemic is impacting a generation of minority and low-income students in West Michigan.


In a small city in northern India, unhappy couples seek relationship advice in the most unlikely of places--the local police station.

Director | Shashwati Talukdar, Director/Producer, began working in film and television as an assistant editor for a TV show by Michael Moore. Since then she has worked on projects for HBO, BBC, Lifetime, Sundance and Cablevision in New York, and KBS in South Korea. Being fluent in two Indian languages, and with basic competency in Mandarin Chinese, has allowed Shashwati to work on projects set in East and South Asia. She lives between India, Taiwan and the US.


Through the intimate perspective of the director, Melanie Rosete explores the effects of intergenerational trauma between a grandmother, a mother, and her daughter.

Director | Melanie Rosete is a doc filmmaker, editor, and assistant-editor based in NYC. She is currently producing and directing Texture, a series of 90 second docs seeking the intimacy and nuances of a person, a location, or a collective. She was an editor for Osmosis Films, Let's Breakthrough and the Emmy award-winning viral documentary web series, The Skin Deep. She is passionate about intimate storytelling and influential filmmaking.


As filmmaker Mabel Valdiviezo reunites with her Peruvian family which she had not seen in sixteen years, she must confront secrets from her past that tore her apart from her parents, while battling stage IV cancer. The clock ticking, Mabel must find a way to heal her broken family ties before it's too late. Art may be her only hope. “Prodigal Daughter” explores the nexus of family reconnection, mental health, identity, and belonging during anti-immigrant times.

Director | Mabel Valdiviezo is an award-winning indigenous Latinx filmmaker, multidisciplinary artist and alumna of the Sundance Producers Conference. Utilizing a poetic vocabulary, her work explores transnational migration, gender equality, mental health, and spirituality. Her film credits include Carlos Baron, Poeta Pan (director/producer); The Water’s Muse (director/producer); Sands of Silence (associate producer); River Webs (editor); Women with Altitude (editor).

Editor | Sara Maamouri is an Emmy-nominated doc filmmaker and editor who has explored a diverse range of topics for over 20 years. Her work touches on social, educational, and political issues. She edited “We Are Not Princesses” (2018) and the Peabody Award-winning film “The Judge” (2017). A multilingual Tunisian educated in NY and California, Sara brings cultural sensitivity to her editing, production, and story development, creating impact-focused narratives to attract and engage rapidly evolving audiences.


The untold story of Filipino community activists and multigenerational families in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood claiming a right to the city as they battle displacement caused by urban renewal, real estate speculation and tech booms, and in doing so sustain the cultural heart of the Filipino-American community.

Director | Dyan Ruiz is the Co-Founder of People Power Media based in San Francisco, which works for equity in land use through political education, policy development, and community organizing. A recent project is the award-winning animated short, Priced Out: Why You Can’t Afford to Live in San Francisco. Dyan was born in Quezon City, Philippines, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She has reported for US independent media, Canadian mainstream and ethnic media, and the largest daily newspaper in the Philippines.

EP | Fay Darmawi is an impact producer and founder and ED of the SF Urban Film Fest, an 8-year-old storytelling organization with a focus on festival curation, film production, community engagement, and urban planning. Before she became an impact producer, Fay had 25 years in affordable housing finance and community development experience. She received a master’s degree in city planning from MIT. Fay was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and lives in San Francisco, CA with her college-aged twin sons.


A group of Black Trans sex workers embarks on a journey to rid their profession of police exploitation and violence.

Director | Tavleen Tarrant is a writer based in Culver City who writes about gender, labor rights, politics, and everything in between. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences in International Relations with first-class honors from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and International Relations from the University of Queensland. She has expertise in Southeast Asia, politics, migrant workers, human trafficking and forced labor, gender, and the global economy.


"The Dawn Is Too Far: Stories of Iranian-American Life" is a poetic film that features a startling ensemble of community members of the diaspora whose narratives and accomplishments challenge the pervasive media headlines and stereotypes about their identity in this country.

Director | Soumyaa Behrens is an award-winning director, producer, and scholar whose projects have been screened at festivals across the globe. Her work engages topics complicating human and political landscapes that shape identity and power structures within marginalized communities. Behrens teaches Documentary in the School of Cinema at SFSU and is the Director of the Documentary Film Institute. She was named as one of "10 Bay Area Filmmakers Making a Difference" by Better Magazine in Feb 2019.


When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country.

Director | Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is the ED of the Native American Journalists Association, a nonprofit advocating for accurate coverage of Indigenous people in media. She is an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and former VP of the Mvskoke Media Editorial Board before it was dissolved with the repeal of the Free Press Act in 2018. She is a recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “Native American 40 Under 40” award. She is a Ford Foundation JustFilms and Sundance Institute grantee.

Editor | Jean Rheem is a Korean-American documentary film editor based in LA. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Sundance Institute, IDA and Gotham. Her first feature Save My Seoul premiered and won the Grand Jury Award at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. In 2020, she was awarded the Karen Schmeer Documentary Editing Fellowship and in 2021, the inaugural Brown Girls Doc Mafia Sustainable Artist Grant.

Juliana Sakae
Juliana Sakae

Juliana Sakae (she/her) is a Japanese-Brazilian journalist and filmmaker whose work focuses on social issue documentaries, human rights, and children.