Aug. 20

4:00 PM
Live on Facebook


Documentary at the End of the World

Panelists: Brit Hensel, cai thomas, Courtney Staton, Lan Nguyen
Moderator: Darian Henry

This dialogue crystalizes the present transformative moment and features the dynamic perspectives and voices of an all femme-under-30 panel made up of fellows from the NeXt Doc Collective. In this panel, participants will discuss what it means to be a young documentary filmmaker of color right now, their praxis, and visions for a bold, new, radically inclusive, documentary landscape. Nothing about us, without us, is for us!

This panel is free and open to the public. It will stream live with closed captioning on August 20th from this web page as well as BlackStar’s Facebook page.

Panelists: Brit Hensel, cai thomas, Courtney Staton, Lan Nguyen
Moderator: Darian Henry

Posted by BlackStar Film Festival on Thursday, August 20, 2020

Presented by:

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Darian Henry

Co-Founder, Co-Director

Darian Henry is a filmmaker, digital media educator, and founding member and assistant director of the film and media organization Youth FX. She has shot, directed, and produced over 20 short documentary, narrative, and experimental films. As an educator, she uses film as a means to build community, empowering youth from underrepresented communities. She is also the co-founder and co-director of NeXt Doc, an internationally known documentary fellowship that provides access and support to young filmmakers from marginalized communities.


Brit Hensel


Brit Hensel is a writer and filmmaker whose work focuses on environmental justice and indigenous storytelling. Brit belongs to the Giduwa people and is an enrolled tribal citizen of Cherokee Nation. She is co-founder of Selu Productions and is a 2019-2020 NeXt Doc Fellow. She has a BA in History from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Brit currently works as a producer for Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People, an Emmy-winning, documentary-style program featuring the people, places, history and culture of the Cherokee Nation.


cai thomas

documentary filmmaker

cai thomas is a Chicago based documentary filmmaker and dp telling verite stories at the intersection of location, self-determination, and identity about Black youth and elders. She is a leo that grew up in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. In the time of COVID-19, Cai misses Papi Juice and BAM.


Courtney Staton

Documentary Artist

Courtney Symone Staton, from Greenville, NC is an activist who uses poetry and documentary film to celebrate the everyday heroism of protest and black identity. She has served as the lead producer and impact producer of “Silence Sam,” a student-led documentary on the recent movement to remove Confederate monument “Silent Sam” and the resulting silencing of student activism by university administrators, which had its festival premiere at BlackStar in 2019. A 2018 NeXt Doc Fellow, Courtney hopes to push audiences past the point of empathy to the point of action.


Lan Nguyen

filmmaker, educator, community organizer

Lan Nguyen is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and was raised in Long Beach, California. She studied journalism and education at Northwestern University, and earned her Masters degree in Asian American Studies at UCLA. She is active in community organizing with VietUnity-SoCal, a progressive Vietnamese grassroots group. Lan is especially passionate about the issues of immigration, criminal (in)justice, and displacement.