We had the pleasure of attending the inaugural edition of the DC/DOX Documentary Festival earlier this month in Washington, D.C. Two films stood out for their noteworthy depictions of the importance of public interest media and journalism: Bad Press and Breaking the News. “Bad Press” follows journalist Angel Ellis of Mvskoke Media as she battles corruption in the Muscogee National Council and works to restore freedom of press in the Muscogee Nation. “Breaking the News” traces the launch of the digital nonprofit news start-up, The 19th*, a women and LGBTQ+ led organization that reports on gender, politics and policy. We’re not in the business of giving spoiler alerts, but both films had us on the edge of our seats with their suspenseful representations of what it’s really like to challenge antiquated, patriarchal norms in the newsroom and beyond. We also saw two film’s by director Pete Nicks, Anthem and Stephen Curry: Underrated, before attending a panel in which Nicks spoke alongside fellow documentary filmmakers about the state of the industry. He illuminated an innovative funding opportunity: building equity pipelines back to the communities featured in documentary films. This idea reminds us of “The Territory,” a documentary film that was co-produced alongside the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people at the center of it. “The Territory” Director Alex Pritz shared about the film’s funding structure at the Media Impact Forum in 2022, noting that profits from the film’s sale to National Geographic were split equally between all production companies, including the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people. This serves a call for funders to continue implementing innovative funding practices to create lasting impact. We’re already looking forward to attending next year’s DC/DOX Festival, and hope to see you there. Learn more about DC/DOX.