2018: DER’s End-of-Year Review

DER 2018 Year in Review

2018: Revisited

This past year had us busy as ever as we celebrated our 50th anniversary all while we released new films, restored classic DER works, launched a brand new website, and so much more. We’re so proud to share with you everything we’ve accomplished in 2018.


We celebrated our 50th Anniversary with screenings, panels, and celebrations aimed at reflecting on our past and planning a vision for our future. Be sure to check out our upcoming series of blog posts about each event here.


After months of planning and hard work, the new DER website went live! Visit our new online store before February 15th, 2019 and use the coupon code NEWSITE to get 10% off your next purchase of any DER film.


In 2017, we launched our Yanomamö films preservation fundraiser and were met with incredible support from the DER community. Check out our work-in-progress!


  • We released 15 new titles ranging from a look at contemporary Asian American identity (Good Luck Soup), an up-close view of the delicate negotiations surrounding the writing of a new constitution in Zimbabwe, (Democrats), to the sights and sounds of the vibrant Ghanaian jazz music scene (Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra Series).
  • DER films screened at over 60 museums, art houses, universities, and festivals around the globe. Highlighted venues include the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the International Gombey Festival in Bermuda.
  • Digital streaming brought DER films to students at over 425 colleges and universities around the globe.

Check out our latest releases!

DER's 2018 New Releases


  • DER accepted twelve new projects — from veteran filmmakers and new talent — into our fiscal sponsorship program. Nearly a dozen sponsored films were completed and are now finding their way out in the world including Recovery Boys by Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Power Struggle by Robbie Leppzer, and Councilwoman by Margo Guernsey.

  • In July, we hosted our first annual Filmmaker Services Open House, featuring presentations by DER filmmakers Margo Guernsey, James Rutenbeck, and Robbie Leppzer. We’re excitedly looking forward to FSOH2019!
  • In September, we hosted our first rough-cut screening of James Rutenbeck’s upcoming film, Minds on Fire in our brand new community screening space. Get in touch with us if you’d like to schedule a screening of your film.


  • In February, we brought 2017 John Marshall Award winner Tala Hadid to Cambridge to screen her film, House in the Fields, as part of the DocYard at the Brattle Theatre. Thanks to our partners at the Harvard Peabody Museum, DocYard, the Brattle Theatre, and Harvard Museums of Science and Culture for this great event.
  • In September, DER presented the 4th annual John Marshall Award for Contemporary Ethnographic Media to RaMell Ross at the Camden International Film Festival for his film, Hale County This Morning, This Evening


  • Restoration work on the Yanomamö Series and The Village is almost complete. We can’t wait to begin distributing new copies of these films in 2019.
  • We’re still exploring film archives around the globe in search of 16mm film materials related to Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson films from New Guinea and Bali.
  • Work is ongoing for Cinepedia Ethnographica, a worldwide, open access, union catalog of ethnographic and folklore films which received an NEH Foundations grant in 2017.

DER continually works to support, safeguard, and maintain access to our growing collection of films documenting diverse communities and identities, promoting greater cultural sensitivity and understanding, and amplifying underrepresented voices.

Thank you for your support – we’re so excited for the next 50 years of sharing the stories of people, culture, and tradition! 

Donate to DER


Marshall Exhibit at !Khwa tuu San Cultural Center

Exhibition in South Africa featuring the Marshall films: Bringing Back the Archive

We are delighted to announce an exhibition featuring John Marshall’s films and Marshall expedition photos now open at the !Khwa ttu San Heritage Center outside Cape Town, South Africa. The exhibit opened in September 2023, following a multi-year collaboration between !Khwa ttu, Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and DER.

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N/um Tchai (1969)

DER Receives 2023 Preservation Grant from NFPF

DER is excited to announce that we are recipients of a 2023 preservation grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to restore two of John Marshall’s films – BITTER MELONS (1971) and N/UM TCHAI (1969).

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