KNIGHT HEROES: Short Documentary Development Fund and Consultation


Celebrating its fourth edition in 2022, Knight Heroes is a program funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where bright and bold filmmakers share their insights, observations, and advice about their creative paths and future outlooks through conversations about their own creative heroes. In 2022 this initiative embarks on a new direction as Miami Film Festival collaborates with Field of Vision’s IF/Then Shorts.

Knight Heroes 2022 provides development grants of $500 each and direct mentorship to eight local filmmakers. Projects are required to be original, standalone short documentaries (between 8-30 min in duration) in development or pre-production; be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and designed for a U.S. audience The selected projects explore a range of socially, politically and culturally relevant topics that are rooted in the region, in the form of community-inspired, short-form storytelling coming from South Florida, with filmmakers interested in building their Southern creative collaborative community.

The eight selected filmmakers, all living and working in the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and/or Monroe, are:

  • James Cotton, for project “Fudge It”
  • Cathleen Dean, for project “Water is Our Medicine”
  • Jayme Kaye Gershen, for project “The Melting Pot”
  • Akiel Griffith, for project “Dembow: The Birth of Reggaeton”
  • Isaac Mead-Long, for untitled Exchange for Change project
  • Quincy Perkins, for project “We Eat the Land and the Land Eats Us”
  • Florencia Portieri, for project “You Were Never Really Here”
  • Jose Zaragoza, for project “Black Snow”