Débora Souza Silva

Débora Souza Silva is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work examines systemic racism and inequality. Her work has been featured on PBS, BBC, Reveal News, KQED, and Fusion. She received the Les Payne Founder's Award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and was selected for a New York Times Institute Fellowship. Débora is a recipient of the 2021 Creative Capital Award, a member of the 2020 Chicken & Egg(celerator) Lab and the 2019 Firelight Media Documentary Lab. Her work has also been funded by Sundance, Glassbreaker Films, the Investigative Reporting Program, the Tribeca Film Institute, Fork Films, Perspective Fund, Catapult Film Fund, The Center for Investigative Reporting, Berkeley Film Foundation, DocPich, Sisters in Cinema, California Humanities among other organizations.


Wanda Johnson and Angela Williams, mothers of young Black men victimized by police brutality, come together and build a network of community-led support, mutual aid, and healing in this documentary spanning Oakland’s Fruitvale to the American South. Long before George Floyd’s murder and the BLM protests in 2020, Oscar Grant’s 2009 fateful encounter with law enforcement on a BART platform seeded public awareness and cultural consciousness of systemic racism and its discontents. Paying forward lessons learned and advocating against anti-Black violence in memory of her son, Oscar, Wanda Johnson holds space for Angela Williams, whose teen son, Ulysses, survives a police encounter in Troy, Alabama, living to tell his story.


For Our Children (Documentary Lab)
Fractured (FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship)

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
Spark Fund
Impact Campaign Fund
FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship

Cohort Year

2018-2020 (Documentary Lab)
2022 (Spark Fund)
2022 (Impact Campaign Fund)
2024 (FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship)





Documentary Lab
Spark Fund
Impact Campaign Fund
FRONTLINE/Firelight Fellowship

Other Filmakers