Daphne Pinkerson is an Emmy-Award winning filmmaker and the long-time documentary film partner of Marc Levin. Throughout her career, she has worked on a range of critically acclaimed social and political documentaries for almost every major media outlet. She directed Triangle: Remembering the Fire, which won the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award, and premiered on HBO in March of 2011. The US Secretary of Labor hosted a screening of the film at the White House to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire. In 2001, NARAL presented their Courageous Advocate Award to her for Soldiers in the Army of God, a film she produced and co-directed for HBO.
She has produced 17 films in total to date for HBO, most recently Stockton on my Mind, a film that looked at the work of millennial mayor Michael Tubbs and One Nation Under Stress, with Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. She is the supervising producer on two more HBO documentaries currently in production.
Her work includes an HBO trilogy looking at the effects of global economic forces on working people. It began with Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, a film about what happened to manufacturing in America through the emblematic story of the Garment Center in Manhattan, then Hard Times: Lost on Long Island, which looked at the fallout of the 2008 recession on upper middle-income people, and finally Class Divide, which profiled hypergentrification in one NYC neighborhood as a microcosm of what was happening in major cities throughout the world.
She was the Supervising Producer on Brick City, a five-hour docu-series on Newark, NJ, which premiered on the Sundance Channel. In 2007, she was the Supervising Producer on Mr. Untouchable, a film about heroin kingpin Nicky Barnes, which was theatrically released by Magnolia Films. In 2006, she was the Supervising Producer on Protocols of Zion, Levin’s personal look at 9/11, which aired on HBO/Cinemax and was theatrically released by ThinkFilm. Heir to an Execution, a film she produced about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO in 2004. In 2003, she produced Godfathers and Sons, a film on Chicago Blues for Martin Scorsese’s PBS series on Blues music. In the year 2000, she produced two PBS films, Speak Truth to Power, a special on human rights activists and Twilight Los Angeles, Anna Deavere Smith’s performance film on the riots in South Central. For The Execution Machine, which also aired on HBO, she was able to secure unprecedented access to Death Row in Texas. She was the Supervising Producer for the critically acclaimed Discovery Channel series, CIA: America’s Secret Warriors. Her other HBO films include Mob Stories, Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock and its ten year follow-up Back in the Hood, Prisoners of the War on Drugs, Gladiator Days, and Baltimore Rising. For Bill Moyers she produced The Home Front, The Politics of Addiction, Oklahoma City: One Year Later, and three parts of his series on youth violence. In addition to producing, she shoots stylized film and video with small format cameras. She has captured some cinematic firsts, filming a gang drive-by shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas (HBO’s Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock) and inmates injecting drugs in prison (HBO’s Prisoners of the War on Drugs.) She was also the Associate Producer and additional shooter on the dramatic feature SLAM. In 1988, during the press restrictions in South Africa, she launched South Africa Now, a weekly half-hour news program which commissioned pieces from inside South Africa for broadcast on Public Television, CNN World Report and ITN.
She holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University where she did a combined program with the School of Journalism. Before that, she graduated cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in political science.