November 13, 2022

Beyond Resilience: Editing While BIPOC

This Beyond Resilience panel, presented by Firelight Media and BIPOC Doc Editors at DOC NYC PRO, explores how authorship plays out in complex, often messy ways during the creative process in the edit room. While there is a widening understanding of the importance of diverse teams, the reality is that BIPOC editors are sometimes brought in to mostly white productions to fill a checkbox for funders and streamers, or the editor is tasked with providing “authenticity” and expertise based on their identity. This panel will shine a critical light on these problematic dynamics, and in response, ask: What does a fruitful, creative collaboration look like when issues of voice, power, and authorship are navigated? Taking an unfiltered approach, panelists will share their struggles and triumphs of working in the creative documentary space.



  • Carla Gutierrez, Co-Founder, BIPOC Doc Editors and editor, Julia


  • Rebecca Adorno Dávila, Editor, Homeroom
  • Jason Pollard, Editor, Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues
  • Gerardo del Valle, Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum and member of BIPOC Doc Editors

Participant Bios:

Carla Gutierrez is co-founder of BIPOC Doc Editors and is an Emmy and ACE Eddie-nominated documentary editor. She is the editor of Julia, about the great American cook and television personality Julia Child for CNN Films and Imagine Entertainment, and she cut the Oscar nominated film RBG, about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her fight for gender equality. She also edited the Oscar nominated film La Corona (HBO) and the Emmy nominated documentaries Reportero (POV), Kingdom of Shadows (SXSW Premiere, POV) and Farewell Ferris Wheels (America Reframed). Other credits include: When Two Worlds Collide (Special Jury Award at Sundance and Cinema Eye Honors nomination); Chavela (Berlinale Premiere and winner of both the Audience and Grand Jury Awards at Outfest). Carla recently edited the feature documentary Pray Away, which tells the story of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement, for Multitude Films. Carla has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit Lab, and a mentor for Firelight Media, The Karen Schmeer Diversity Program, and the Tribeca Film Fellows program. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the American Cinema Editors. Carla received a Masters in Documentary Film Production from Stanford University.

Rebecca Adorno-Dávila is an award winning video editor born and raised in Puerto Rico. As an editor, her strength and passion reside in crafting character-driven stories by means of archival and/or fly-on-the-wall type footage. She was an editor on the nine part HBO documentary series The Vow and worked on three seasons of the Emmy-award winning series VICE on HBO. Among others, she edited feature length documentaries Residente, which was an official selection at SXSW’s Film Festival in 2017 and Homeroom, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Adorno received a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico (2008) and an MFA in computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2010). She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for her documentary work on VICE on HBO (2016) and is one of the the recipients of Sundance Film Festival’s 2021 Inaugural Jonathan Oppenheim Documentary Editing Award for her work on the documentary film Homeroom. She was also a 2022 nominee for Cinema Eye Honors’ Outstanding Achievement in Editing award and for IDA’s Best Editing Award. She currently works between New York, Puerto Rico, or anywhere where there is a good story that needs to be told.

Jason Pollard’s involvement in the film industry began when he was a young child accompanying his father, acclaimed film producer/editor Sam Pollard, to different edit rooms and watched as his father magically turned strips of celluloid into complex and wonderful stories about people across the world. He has edited several acclaimed documentary films including 2007’s Pete Seeger: The Power of Song; Sing Your Song, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; and Slavery By Another Name, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. His most recent work includes the Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, and Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues.

Gerardo del Valle is a video producer from Guatemala currently based in New York City. He studied Communications and Media at Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala and has a Master’s degree in Journalism from the City University of New York. He was a New Media Narrative Director Fellow at the International Center for Photography (2020), a UnionDocs’ Summer Documentary Lab Fellow (2020), and an IDA Enterprise Development grantee. Starting his career working as a video journalist in Plaza Pública, the first online newspaper in Guatemala, he’s gone on to work on long-form documentaries, web-based projects and has collaborated with Vice, Univision, the BBC, Agencia Efe, and NBC’s Left Field. His work has been recognized by the Inter-American Press Association (2014) the Fundación Gabo (2019) and the National Press Photographers of America (2019). He is currently a Firelight Media Documentary Lab fellow working on the feature documentary The Past is Waiting Up Ahead.

Program Notes:

  • Learn more about the BIPOC Doc Editors group and view their database here.

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