The Original Voices Fellowship, Presented By NBC News Studios and NBCU Academy, Provides Commissioning Opportunity to Documentarians
Studio To Commission ‘Love Birds’ from Directors Angel Morris & Elliot Kennerson and Archival Producer Katy Garrity
November 14, 2023 — NBC News Studios and NBCU Academy announced yesterday the winner of their Original Voices Fellowship at DOC NYC 2023 – Love Birds, a development project directed by Angel Morris (they/them) and Elliott Kennerson (he/him).
Love Birds explores the story of George Hunt and Molly Warner, pioneers in science and LGBTQ+ advocacy, whose 1972 discovery of homosexuality in seagulls had significant implications for both scientific research and the LGBTQ+ movement in America. Alongside archival producer Katy Garrity, Morris and Kennerson have received an investment and commission deal from NBC News Studios.
The Original Voices Fellowship, presented by NBCU Academy and NBC News Studios, received an overwhelming response to its national open call for journalistically driven short documentaries addressing social issues. Six projects were selected to compete for a $100,000 investment from NBCU Academy and commission deal from NBC News Studios. Each team, including the creators of Love Birds, received a $6,000 grant to further their documentaries and support their participation in the pitch event.
The pitch session included a panel of judges made up of Sarah Amos, President of Development & Production (Non-Fiction TV, Documentaries) at Condé Nast; Keesha Boyd, VP of Entertainment Emerging Products at Comcast; Robert Chang, Coordinating Producer at POV; Alexandra Garcia, Supervising Producer at New York Times Op-Docs; Molly O’Brien, Head of Documentary at NBC News Studios; Paul Moakley, Executive Producer of Video at The New Yorker; and Amanda Spain, VP of Longform Acquisitions at MSNBC Films.
“We are thrilled to select Love Birds for the Original Voices Fellowship,” said Molly O’Brien, Head of Documentary at NBC News Studios. “This captivating project exemplifies the power of documentary storytelling in driving timely conversation, and we are excited to support Angel Morris and Elliott Kennerson in bringing this fascinating story to audiences.”
Previously, Morris has worked on numerous broadcast and digital productions for companies like PBS, Smithsonian Channel, World Wildlife Fund, and more. Kennerson is the recipient of three Regional Emmys for his work on Deep Look, a co-production of KQED and PBS Digital Studios, and the originator of Animal R&R, an Emmy-nominated wildlife rescue series for KPBS San Diego.
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NBC News Studios