A Movement Larger Than Us
At BGDM, we directly support our members with community and opportunity—but we’re also committed to transforming the documentary industry together with our allies.
How can I be a better ally?
Thanks for asking! Here are our thoughts on ways to be a better ally:
Everyone has privileges that they should interrogate and process. If you are white and working in documentary, we ask that you please interrogate and process your understanding of privilege, but do so away from people of color. It is incredibly difficult, exhausting, and often traumatizing for people of color to be called upon to facilitate this exploration for white people. Please do the work to seek out helpful resources, and build conversations with other white folks who are also actively engaging with their identities and are looking for ways to improve their impact on the culture of the documentary field and society overall.
Actively seek out friendship, collaboration, and professional services amongst women and non-binary people of color on a consistent basis, not only when you need diverse candidates.
Find ways to uplift the voices and visions of women and non-binary doc professionals of color in all creative and professional contexts. Note that uplifting may need to manifest itself as you step back or aside, or relinquish your power, access, or opportunity to someone else.
Once you’ve made some progress in interrogating your privilege and when you’ve organically cultivated friends and work colleagues of color—and once you’ve gained their trust and mutual respect—then you can seek their counsel and talk to them about the diversity challenges you’re seeing on your set, in the office, or on your tracking list. It’s important that you learn how to recognize the issues yourself, take the step to speak out against them, and do the work to create meaningful change that is informed by the needs that people of color have expressed.
Don’t leave it up to people of color or women and non-binary individuals to question why an event, conversation, or pool of applicants isn’t diverse, and don’t leave it up to us to do something about it. Please be accountable for your/the field’s intentions, actions, and mistakes. Please step up to take responsibility when it’s the right thing to do, find a genuine way to apologize and reduce harm, and collaborate with this community to move forward. Then keep engaging—consistency and honest organic connection over long periods of time is key.
Note that the work of radical change and true shifts in culture require everyone to be patient, flexible, and, at times, uncomfortable. Please be energetic, focused, and excited to meet these challenges. Listen deeply!
Overall: Check your privilege, be genuine, be mindful, plan ahead, do the work, be outspoken for this community, be flexible, seek counsel, and hold yourself and others like you accountable!
How can I support BGDM?
Invite BGDM to your film festival or documentary event! Offer support for our members with pass discounts, travel and accommodation stipends, ask us to be on panels—and not just the one’s about diversity! Connect us to your industry delegates on the ground, and make us feel welcome. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner With Us
Reach out to us to build a mutually beneficial partnership or custom program. If you are a funder, distributor, programmer, or other industry stakeholder, make yourself available to meet with our members to build relationships and offer them access, resources and support they might not otherwise receive. Please reach out to us at email@example.com.