2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: WHOSE STREETS?

whose streetsWHOSE STREETS?
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis present an on-the-ground look at the Ferguson uprising.

Festival Section:
US Documentary Competition

Sundance Program Description:

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, WHOSE STREETS? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy.

Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance.

Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. WHOSE STREETS? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

Some Background:

  • Sabaah Folayan
    This project marks the activist and organizer’s feature directorial debut. The film was supported by the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.


  • Damon Davis
    This is also the first documentary feature from Davis, a St Louis-based interdisciplinary artist.


  • Jennifer MacArthur
    Borderline Media’s MacArthur has provided media strategy and other support to past Sundance docs, including THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (2014), AMERICAN PROMISE (2013), GIDEON’S ARMY (2013), and DIRTY WARS (2013), but this is her first production credit.

  • Flannery Miller
    Miller previously produced impact campaigns for fellow 2017 Sundance filmmaker Pamela Yates’ Sundance-debuting GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR (2011) and her later film DISRUPTION.


  • Chris Renteria
    This is also the St Louis-based photographer’s debut feature project.

Associate Producer:

  • Jonathan Hall
    Hall is a New York City-based writer and education activist. This is his first film project.


  • Christopher McNabb
    Past Sundance docs:

    {THE AND} MARCELA & ROCK (short) (2015)

Assistant Editor:

  • Simone Varano
    This the Brooklyn-based Varano’s first Sundance project.

Why You Should Watch:
Michael Brown’s murder has inspired several film projects, but Folayan and Davis have themselves been part of the Ferguson story from nearly the beginning. Through profiles of fellow activists immersed in the protests, they capture the raw energy of a community pushed too far for too long. The film premieres as one of this year’s Day One screenings.

More Info:

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance 2017 Twitter list.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.