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Detroit Narrative Agency

DNA 2017-2018 Fellowship

The following five projects received seed grant funding and additional support through the DNA 2.0 program.

Dangerous Times: Rebellious Responses

Dangerous Times Rebellious Responses

The Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s, was a religious and political campaign—driven by over 500 congregations across 11 denominations in the United States—to provide safe-haven for Central American refugees fleeing civil conflict. Dangerous Times traces its rise in Detroit through the personal accounts of Esther Gálvez, a Latinx Sanctuary advocate, and Sihanouk Mariona, whose family was amongst the most visible Salvadorian exiles in the US.
In partnership with a community of immigrant, DACAmented, and undocumented young Detroit activists

Documentary short
Director: Alicia Diaz
Directed by Alicia Díaz
Produced by Consuela López with Karen Cárdenas


Femme Queen Chronicles

Femme Queen Chronicles

Chanel and her friends Eryka, Amirah, and Shevon all are just trying to make it through the day without getting clocked as trans women — or clocking someone else over the head on the way. Femme Queen Chronicles is a new web series about the lives of four black trans women as they navigate through love, life, trade, and shade in the city of Detroit; written, directed, and brought to life by black trans women themselves.
In partnership with Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit

Web series pilot
Directed by Ahya Simone
Co-Written by Ahya Simone and Paige Wood
Produced by Paige Wood
Impact Producers: Cierra Malone and Bré Campbell


Riding with Aunt D. Dot

Riding with Aunt DDOT

A multimedia art film project bringing together personal narrative, radical imagination, experimental video, and the Detroit city bus. It tells the story of a disillusioned Detroit artist struggling to ground herself in reality or her dreams.

Experimental narrative short
Directed by Bree Gant
Produced by Paige Wood & Honey Cross
Co-written by Paige Wood and Bree Gant


Take Me Home

Person sitting on the front steps of her house

A home foreclosure crisis has gripped Detroit, Michigan for over a decade. In this time, illegally inflated property taxes have caused more than 100,000 working families to lose their homes. The last time Americans experienced anything near this alarming rate of foreclosure was during the Great Depression. While headlines read of the so-called rebirth of Motor City, many Detroit neighborhoods have been devastated with African-American communities hit hardest of all. Take Me Home follows one family as they fight to save their home, and struggle to keep their neighborhoods and communities from being lost.
In partnership with United Community Housing Coalition, The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure and Detroit Eviction Defense

Documentary short
Directed by Orlando Ford
Produced by John Sloan




Sidelots is a love story of Black land reclamation told in ritual between Detroit, Alabama and Kenya. It follows one family on Detroit’s East Side as their story of urban farming unfolds into a spiritual journey of discovery, loss and re-indigenization. By digging up familial and land roots across the diaspora, Sidelots illuminates all that is sacred in the land and encourages a radical reconsideration of how we view the earth immediately below our feet.
In partnership with a team of community members involved in healing justice, land rights, and agriculture work

Documentary short
Directed by Atieno Nyar Kasagam
Produced by Natasha Tamate Weiss

2016 DNA Seed Grant Recipients

The Growers

After five years, it has finally stopped raining in the floating city of Detroit. A young scientist wakes up on this historical day with a strange condition. This is a science fiction film about survival, exploration and preservation in the face of climate change. Developed by Ash Arder with support from Sterling Toles.

Nobody Moves!

This short documentary film explores the reality of displaced Detroit residents, through the lens of Bishop Frank Barnes. Despite being a pillar in his community, Bishop Barnes was forced to leave his home through a fraudulent stipulation involving is property taxes. This short documentary also captures the support that the Detroit Eviction Defense (DED) provides to the people who have to fight for their property, and the work that they do in the community. Developed by Justin L. Ivory and David Brooks of SpaceMonkey Productions.

When It All Changed

An interactive, science fiction short film that incorporates virtual reality to showcase the resilience of Detroit youth. Developed by Sultan Sharrief, Davonte Ford, and Jillian Craighead of Street Cred' Youth Crew.

Raising Voices: D-Town Sounds

D-Town Sounds is a documentary series that highlights the experiences of LGBTQI musicians of color as they navigate the Detroit music scene. Detroit is an axis of music innovation that has given the world Motown, Techno, and Hardcore Punk. The influence of LGBTQI people of color from Detroit on the global music scene has been critically under-recognized and under documented. D-Town Sounds aims to uplift these stories. Developed by Vanessa Reynolds, Bri Wilson, and Jova Lynne.


A science-fiction narrative film that shares the coming-of-age story of Ada, a teen from the westside of Detroit who goes in search of her father and discovers she is of extraterrestrial origin. Developed by Alissa GW