The Team

Pamela Sherrod Anderson
Writer, Director and Producer

Pamela Sherrod Anderson, a Kartemquin Films and Community Film Workshop Diverse Voices in Documentary Fellow, is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, playwright, journalist and educator.

Her award-winning film projects have received funding from Independent Television (ITVS) and have been chosen for fiscal sponsorship by Chicago Filmmakers. Her works have been funded with grants from the Illinois Humanities Council, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The work she has created through her Graceworks Theater and Film Productions has been shown at film and art festivals across the country, national teacher conferences co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, school districts from Connecticut to California, selected for the City of Chicago’s Movies in the Parks program and the Best of the Black Harvest Film Festival program.

Her documentary The G Force was accepted in the 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago. Her previous documentary The Curators of Dixon School won the Black Harvest Film Festival Best Feature Award in 2012, received a Three Star review from film critic Roger Ebert, was featured on Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Fox-TV and CBS-TV. Pamela’s research also is included in the Emmy-award winning PBS documentary: Paper Trail: The First 100 Years of the Chicago Defender.

As an educator, she is an adjunct professor at DePaul University, where she has taught Documentary Producing, Film Distribution and Exhibition, Feature Writing, Introduction to Media and Journalism, and developed the Special Topics Course on Race and Community Conflict.

In encouraging teen girls of color to see the power of story, Pamela has mentored and helped to create curriculum on story development for the DePaul/Chicago Housing Authority Teen Filmmaking Summer Program.

She has also taught Preproduction, Development and Film Production at Chicago’s Columbia College in the Cinema Art + Science Department and a Creativity Workshop on building story with music at University of Illinois-Chicago with award-winning jazz musician Orbert Davis.

Pamela was among those writers honored at the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards in October, 2012.

She was selected to be in Kartemquin Film’s and Community Film Workshop’s Diverse Voices in Documentary program in 2013.

Sharon Zurek

Post-Production Supervisor and Producer

Sharon Zurek is the owner of Black Cat Productions in Chicago and enjoys working on independent features and social issue documentaries, especially those focusing on strong women and queer content. She edited and produced the award-winning LGBTQ+ feature, Hannah Free, as well as, many other features and short films. With solid technical skills in postproduction and years in production, Sharon understands what it takes to get the material from the written page to the screen and the importance of nurturing successful creative collaborations.

Sharon is a Professor of Instruction in the Cinema and Television Arts department at Columbia College Chicago. Her primary interest has been working with students during the postproduction phase of filmmaking where the final story is told. Her strengths are in preparing her students for a professional career in the film industry by mentoring them as their skills and talents evolve.

Sharon is also the Board President of Chicago Filmmakers, a not-for-profit media arts organization formed in 1973 that fosters the creation, appreciation and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact.

Derek Grace

Additional Camera

As president of GRACE Media Group, Derek Grace has produced documentaries and promotional videos for the past 20 years. Before pursuing a career in video production, Derek spent 10 years as a computer programmer and systems engineer with IBM Corporation. Derek received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from UCLA, and a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He served on the board of directors for Chicago Access Network Television for 5 years. He currently serves on the Community Council for the Black Harvest Film Festival.

Derek has been passionately involved and deeply committed to youth programs for many years. He has produced several video projects dealing with day-to-day issues facing teenagers. He is committed to programs and ideas that bring about positive social change particularly those aimed at youth.

Derek won a hometown video award for his documentary, Long Live the SPIRIT! The documentary chronicled the historic “Million Man March.” He also co-produced an award-winning documentary about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Chicago. Along with his cousin, David Grace, Derek was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement Award for a Documentary” for Pirate Pride by the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. The documentary examined the winning basketball tradition at Proviso East High School in Maywood, IL.

Derek is the producer and director of ON THE FRONTLINE: Taking Back Our Streets, a documentary which addresses some of the causes, effects and solutions to the senseless gun violence that continues to plague the Chicago metropolitan area. This documentary won the “Audience Award” at the 16th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.

Derek is a recent Diverse Voices in Docs fellow, a partnership between Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop.