Co-Director, How We Get Free
Samantha (Sam) Knowles is an award-winning Brooklyn-based filmmaker. Most recently she won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Documentary Series, and the Gracie Award for Best Director of a National TV Program for the HBO docuseries Black and Missing, which brings attention to black and missing persons cases that are routinely neglected by the police and the media. The series also won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Series, a Television Academy Honors Award, an AAFCA TV Award for Best Documentary, and was nominated for a Black Reel Award for Outstanding Documentary. In 2021, she partnered with Hewlett – Packard to direct Generation Impact: The Coder, which was featured in the inaugural “Brand Storytelling” event at Sundance Film Festival. In 2018, she directed The Blue Line which examined the controversy that erupted when a small town painted a blue line on the street in support of police in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was featured in NBC’s “Meet The Press” Film Festival, and is now part of the prestigious New York Times Op-Doc series. Samantha also directed and produced the award-winning short documentary Why Do You Have Black Dolls? which is inspired by a question asked of an 8-year-old girl and examines the history and significance of the black doll.