Debora Souza Silva

Débora Souza Silva is a documentary filmmaker whose work examines systemic racism and inequality. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, on PBS, BBC, Reveal News, KQED, and Fusion. She is a recipient of the Les Payne Founder's Award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the NYT Institute Fellowship. She started her career as a TV reporter in Brazil before moving to California to pursue a Master's in Journalism at UC Berkeley. In 2016, Silva was awarded a fellowship with the Center for Investigative Reporting; in 2018, she was a filmmaker in residence at SFFILM.  Silva is a recipient of the Garrett Scott Documentary Development grant, the Glassbreaker Films grant, a Tribeca Film Institute  grant, fellowships with the Investigative Reporting Program, Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab, Chicken and Egg’s (Egg)celerator Lab, and Athena Works-in-Progress. Her work has also been funded by Sundance, the International Documentary Association, Fork Films, Perspective Fund, Catapult Film Fund, Berkeley Film Foundation, DocPitch, Sisters in Cinema, and California Humanities.


Black Mothers is the first feature-length documentary to examine the “Mothers of the Movement,” a growing, nationwide network of mothers whose African-American children have been killed or attacked in acts of racist violence. With unprecedented access, the film is a character-driven exploration of these Black mothers’ efforts to heal through solidarity and sustained organizing. The film is also a journalistic investigation of the strategies employed by the mothers to bring their children’s attackers to justice and the political pathways that have opened up as a result of their organizing.


Black Mothers

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
Spark Fund

Cohort Year

2018-2020 (Documentary Lab)
2022 (Spark Fund)




Documentary Lab
Spark Fund

Other Filmakers