Terrance Pitts

Terrance Pitts believes strongly in multi-pronged advocacy tactics to shift narratives, build community power, disrupt systemic racism, and transform the conditions which allow violence to cause harm in communities of color. His nonfiction film Heaven: Can You Hear Me? – which premiered on the WORLD Channel and local PBS affiliates in 2022 – addresses the impact of gun violence on families in Philadelphia.

Terrance is an alumnus of the Firelight Media Documentary Lab – an intensive fellowship for documentary filmmakers of color. His most recent nonfiction film, Heaven: Can You Hear Me? (“HEAVEN”) follows the stories of a group of women in Philadelphia who have lost loved ones to gun violence. In weaving together stories of survivors of violence and community advocates, the film paints an intimate portrait of loss, grief, and resilience. In 2021, Terrance was recognized by Firelight Media’s Impact Campaign Fund to support impact and engagement screenings for HEAVEN.  During the same year, he was a finalist in consideration for the Netflix Nonfiction Directing and Producing Fellowship.  

In the fall of 2021, Terrance joined the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU School of Law as a Senior Research and Advocacy Fellow. Terrance began his advocacy career focused on disrupting racial bias in the criminal legal system as a Project Director at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. After graduating from law school in 2008, he worked at Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Vera Institute of Justice, and in organizational consulting roles – all to support transformation of the U.S. criminal legal system. 

Terrance received an undergraduate degree in political science from Stanford University, a master’s from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He also studied photography, editing, and film production in New York City at the International Center of Photography, School of Visual Arts, and The New School.


Heaven: Can You Hear Me?

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab 

Impact Campaign Fund

Cohort Year

2016-2018 (Documentary Lab)

2021 (Impact Campaign Fund)

Documentary Lab
Impact Campaign Fund

Other Filmakers