Greetings from the new Executive Director

Happy New Year! Documentary Educational Resources is looking forward to a year of continued productivity and growth. As the new Executive Director, I am delighted by the opportunity to build on the wonderful work of my predecessors, interact with the amazing collection of films and filmmakers associated with DER, and collaborate with the DER community to further our mission.

Particular challenges and opportunities define our moment in time: scholars increasingly incorporate media into their work, yet such efforts often fit awkwardly within existing academic promotion and publishing frameworks; the funding landscape for film continues to shift; distribution technologies are moving toward streaming; and emerging genres and changing viewing behaviors create new opportunities for storytelling and outreach. We continue to believe in the potential of documentary filmmaking for creating new knowledge, communicating understanding of people and cultural processes, enriching our understanding of the human condition, and contributing to a more just and compassionate world. We look forward to continuing to support more traditional forms of documentary filmmaking as well as new directions in which documentary is moving.

Over the months and years ahead, we will be looking at how best to extend the DER mission to promote cross-cultural understanding through film and continue to support filmmakers through fiscal sponsorship, distribution, and outreach. I’d like to hear from you, by phone or e-mail, about your ideas for how we can best meet these goals.

The staff and I wish Cynthia Close all the best as she writes a new chapter of her life; we know that she will make it sparkle. I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce two new staff members: Julia Perciasepe is our new Acquisitions and Distribution Manager, and Kayla Hammond is our new Sales and Outreach Associate. Craig Carpenter, Digital Media Specialist, has now been with DER for over a year, and Frank Aveni, Director of Design and Media, will soon celebrate his five-year anniversary with DER. As a team, we wish you good health, happiness, and inspired filmmaking and film viewing.

Alice Apley
Executive Director


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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