Migration Documentary Films
March 12, 2013 | Article | Migration, Journalism & Media
The New Americans

MacArthur’s media grantmaking has supported the production of several documentary films on migration and immigration in the U.S. and around the world. From the diverse experiences and journeys of migrants, to the issues facing changing communities, to the personalities and visions behind the process of crafting policy, these films illuminate the multifaceted nature of migration and immigration through the power of human stories.




In Production

The Undocumented

Directed by Marco Williams
Hiptruth Productions
New York, NY

The Undocumented looks closely at the impacts of U.S.-Mexico border policy, through the stories of unauthorized immigrants who lose their lives crossing the deadly Arizona desert. Learn more ›


In the Middle

Directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo
Film2, Inc.
New York, NY

In the Middle examines the human consequences of the huge influx of migrants from Northern Africa seeking refuge on a small Italian island in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Learn more ›


The State of Arizona

Directed by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini
Camino Bluff Productions
New York, NY

The State of Arizona takes a nuanced look at the implications of Arizona’s SB 1070, through the stories of opponents and supporters of the controversial law. Learn more ›


I Learn America

Produced and Directed by Jean-Michel Dissard and Gitte Peng
I Learn America, LLC
Brooklyn, NY

I Learn America follows a year in the lives of immigrant students who attend an international high school in Brooklyn, NY with classmates from more than 50 countries. Learn more ›


2010 - 2013

How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories
Directed by Shari Robertson & Michael Camerini
Epidavros Project / Epidoko Pictures 
New York, NY

The 12-part series How Democracy Works Now tracks how comprehensive immigration reform went from almost assured passage in 2001 to an uncertain future in 2007. Learn more ›



Directed by Catherine Tambini and Carlos Sandoval
Camino Bluff Productions 
New York, NY

Farmingville explores the diverse perspectives of the residents of a Long Island town, in the wake of an act of violence against two Mexican day laborers. Learn more ›

The New Americans

Directed by Susan Aiken, Carlos Aparicio, Jerry Blumenthal, Fenell Doremus, Evangeline Griego, Steve James, Indu Krishnan, Gordon Quinn, Gita Saedi, and Renee Tajima-Peña
Kartemquin Films
Chicago, IL

This 7-part series highlights the diversity of contemporary immigrant experiences through the stories of seven families and individuals from different countries seeking new lives in the United States. 
Learn more ›



The Sixth Section

Directed by Alex Rivera
Rabble Rouser Media Inc. / Second Generation Media
New York, NY

The Sixth Section examines the impact of financial remittances sent by workers in upstate New York to their home community in Puebla, Mexico. Learn more ›



The Spectre of Hope

Directed by Paul Carlin
Icarus Films 
Brooklyn, NY

The Spectre of Hope is a conversation between Brazilian photographer Sebastao Salgado and British art critic John Berger, as they examine Salgado’s photo collection “Migrations.” 
Learn more ›



Senorita Extraviada (Missing Young Woman)

Directed by Lourdes Portillo
Xochitl Productions
San Francisco, CA

Senorita Extraviada is an in-depth examination of the murders of women in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and the forces that have allowed this violence to continue. Learn more ›



Well-Founded Fear

Directed by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini
Epidavros Project
New York, NY

Well-Founded Fear shows an inside view of the complex asylum process that people fleeing their home countries must navigate in order to remain in the United States. Learn more ›




For more documentary films, animation, and media about migration visit the website of American Documentary’s PBS series POV.

MacArthur Awards 13 Documentary Film Grants
Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.

Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.

The privacy of your data is important to us. We've updated our privacy policies in response to General Data Protection Regulation.