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A still from By Water. It shows an animation of a man all in gold and a woman all in black standing side by side.
By Water directed by Iyabo Kwayana.
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‘America ReFramed’ Announces Addition of BlackStar-supported film By Water

The Animated Experimental Short Film, directed by Iyabo Kwayana, is also an Official Selection of the Animation Short Film Program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

America ReFramed, the award-winning series produced by WORLD Channel and American Documentary, announced today the addition of the short film By Water, directed by Iyabo Kwayana and produced by BlackStar Projects’ founder and Chief Executive & Artistic Officer and former American Documentary board member, Maori Karmael Holmes. The film is an official selection of the Animation Short Film Program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of WORLD Channel and BlackStar Projects, By Water will debut as part of the 11th Season of the television and streaming series launching February 2023 on WORLD Channel.

“America ReFramed has a long legacy of supporting, showcasing, artist-driven films spanning American culture, race, healthcare, politics, civil rights and religion,” said Erika Dilday, executive director/executive producer of American Documentary | POV. “With the addition of Iyabo Kwayana’s visual work, By Water to our catalog, the series has another form of storytelling to present to our audience.”

“Presenting By Water in America ReFramed is an exciting opportunity that enhances WORLD’s partnership with Iyabo Kwayana and BlackStar Film Festival,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer for WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston. “Ten years ago, WORLD Channel partnered with American Documentary to create America ReFramed, shaped by a desire to tell the many stories of a diverse and changing America. By Water is a proof point for this success, as recognized by Sundance. We are thrilled to be able to share this film with audiences across the country.

By Water, will be the first animated experimental film to appear on America ReFramed. This short film follows an unlikely hero’s journey into his own memories and becomes a vehicle for reconciliation and healing for himself and his sibling. Based on a true story, the film was written and inspired by Iyabo Kwayana’s personal experience. After an unexpected voicemail 3 years after his disappearance, Kwayana made the decision to heed the instructions of her brother’s message and create By Water as a way to ‘complete’ her brother’s story.”

In 2020, WORLD Channel partnered with BlackStar Film Festival for the second annual BlackStar Pitch, an annual grant focused on documentary short projects. Kwayana’s By Water won the top prize and a $25,000 co-production deal from WORLD Channel. The award was handed out at a ceremony held during the festival.

Iyabo Kwayana is an independent filmmaker and cinematographer who uses sensorial and immersive techniques in cinematography, directing and editing in order to amplify the more discreet, often hidden aspects of film narratives, compelling viewers towards an immersive, supra-sensorial, and transformative experience.

A tentpole program of public television’s WORLD Channel, America ReFramed brings to life compelling stories, personal voices and experiences that illuminate the contours of our ever-changing country. Since 2012, the anthology series has premiered 179 films from more than 380 filmmakers, including works from established artists like Shola LynchDeann Borshay Liem and Marshall Curry and featured broadcast debuts of Nicholas BruckmanUrsula Liang and PJ Raval. More than half of these documentaries were helmed by female filmmakers and a third are credited to BIPOC filmmakers. The series has centered the stories of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, veterans, seniors, immigrants and people from a myriad of backgrounds.

America ReFramed, a series co-produced by WORLD Channel and American Documentary, airs every Thursday at 8pmET/7C on WORLD Channel. America ReFramed is available on worldchannel.orgamdoc.orgWORLD Channel’s YouTube Channel and on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. Episodes of America ReFramed also roll out weekly on-air and online on Link TV (Direct TV channel 375 & Dish Network channel 9410).

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