PYLE Broad Street Review

Kathryn Smith Pyle


BSR Contributor Since January 23, 2014

Kathryn Smith Pyle is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and photographer whose former career as a grantmaker in the U.S. and Latin America was dedicated to grassroots development. Her most recent film is a five-minute documentary, “Apple Forecast: Immigration Reform." She lives in Center City Philadelphia.

Kathryn Smith Pyle is a documentary filmmaker and a Sundance Institute Fellow (2011 Documentary Edit and Story Lab; 2009 Creative Producers Lab) whose former career as a grantmaker in the U.S. and Latin America was dedicated to grassroots development and giving voice to marginalized communities. Her concerns as a filmmaker continue that commitment, working in partnership with human rights groups and social movements.

Her most recent film is “Apple Forecast: Immigration Reform” (2013, 5 minutes), part of a larger project under construction: Farm Labor.

She writes for PhilanTopic, is on the board of the Flaherty Film Seminar, and has a doctorate in public policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

I grew up near a small town with a sleepy movie theater, but a boyfriend from Philadelphia took me to the Bandbox in the city’s Germantown neighborhood — where people brought their dogs and someone sold gingerbread and cider at intermission — and introduced me to Jules and Jim and Juliet of the Spirits. Then, when I saw Don't Look Back and Titicut Follies, both about subjects that I cared intensely about, I saw the potential of documentary to be all the best of fiction — but with real life on top of it. That’s stayed with me: That a great documentary film can give us all that we crave from story, can bind us to our communities, whether electric Dylan or a social justice movement, and can reach beyond the limitations of language to affect us deeply and inspire us to action.

By this Author

19 results
Page 1
Philadelphia’s Chinatown has been squeezed by redevelopment projects since the 1960s. (photo by Beyond My Ken, via

Documentaries about gentrification

Telling neighborhood stories

Some urban neighborhoods under pressure from the forces of gentrification document their battles through documentaries. Filmmaker Kathryn Smith Pyle singles out some worth your consideration.
Kathryn Smith Pyle

Kathryn Smith Pyle

Articles 6 minute read
Titus Kaphar's 2014 'Jerome XVI.' Copyright Titus Kaphar. (Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.)
Shirley Clarke's 1967 'Portrait of Jason' will screen at Bryn Mawr on March 15.
A still from Julie Dash's 'Standing at the Scratch Line.' (Image courtesy of the BlackStar Film Festival.)
A sign at Hog Island recruiting center, circa 1918 (southeast of modern-day Tinicum). Source: The National Archives.
A crowd at the 2014 Festival. Photo by David Evan McDowell.
A sheep rancher in Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's 'Sweetgrass' takes a nap.
A newly decorated statue at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Matt Wisniewski.
Five films from cinematographer Bradford Young, including 'Mother of George,' will get Philly screenings.
"Sin by Silence" will screen at Taller Puertorriqueño. Photo by Gabriela Sanchez.
BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes and filmmaker Spike Lee pose at the 2013 festival. Photo by Jati Lindsay.
Cesar on the 1966 march from Delano to Sacramento. (Photo by John Lewis)
Image courtesy of the Penn Museum and Video in the Villages.
Damage in Port-au-Prince after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (image via Wikimedia Commons)