About the team
Joe Brewster (Director and Producer) is a Harvard trained psychiatrist who uses his psychological training as the foundation in approaching the social issues he tackles as an artist and filmmaker. Brewster has created stories using installation, narrative, documentary and print mediums that have garnered support from critics and audiences internationally. He is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the Sundance Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute, BAVC, MacArthur Foundation, and most recently the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Brewster is a Spirit Award and three-time Emmy Award nominee. His documentary film American Promise was awarded the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking at Sundance and the African American Film Critics’ Association Award. Brewster’s outreach accomplishments include a Revere Award and the 2013 NAACP Image Award for the best selling companion book Promises Kept and a BritDoc Prize for developing one of the most innovative outreach campaigns in 2014.
Michèle Stephenson (Director and Producer) pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and international experience as a human rights attorney to tell compelling, deeply personal stories in a variety of media that are created by, for and about communities of color and resonate beyond the margins. Her work has appeared on a variety of broadcast and web platforms, including PBS, Showtime and MTV. Her film American Promise was nominated for three Emmys including Best Documentary. The film also won the Jury Prize at Sundance, and was selected for the New York Film Festivals’ Main Slate Program. Her collaborative film series with New York Times Op-Docs, A Conversation on Race, won a 2016 Online Journalism Award. Stephenson was awarded the Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Breakthrough Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her community engagement accomplishments include the PUMA BritDoc Impact Award, and she is a Skoll Sundance Storytellers of Change Fellow.
Amilca Palmer (Producer) is a New York-based producer and researcher. She has worked on numerous critically acclaimed documentary projects, including the celebrated PBS series African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Emmy Award-winning film The Murder of Emmett Till. Her documentary work has taken her as far as Angola, Central Africa to film with comedian Chris Tucker, and into the personal archives of Yoko Ono. As Archive Producer she has researched a range of historical periods and figures and has been responsible for uncovering rare footage, photography and ephemera for award-winning films, including the Emmy-nominated The Great Invisible and the Peabody Award winning LENNONYC. Other recent credits include Koch, Deep Web and The Trials of Spring. Amilca has a degree in U.S. History and African American Studies from Brown University.