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    Message Pictures, founded by Sam Pollard, Geeta Gandbhir, and Alisa Payne, is dedicated to cutting-edge storytelling by and about BIPOC and underrepresented communities.

We push artistic boundaries in both scripted and non-fiction content, recognizing the importance of diverse perspectives.

    With our collective experience, we curate premium projects that prioritize diversity, equity, and access for all audiences.


Sam Pollard


    Sam Pollard is a renowned film and television editor, documentary producer, and director. Between 1990 and 2010, he collaborated with Spike Lee on various projects, including editing several films such as "Mo' Better Blues," "Jungle Fever," and "Bamboozled." Their documentary work together includes "Four Little Girls" and "When The Levees Broke," which earned critical acclaim and awards.

    Since 2012, Pollard has focused on producing and directing. He created documentaries like "Slavery By Another Name" for PBS, "August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand" for American Masters, and "Two Trains Runnin’," which premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival. He's also worked on projects like "Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me" and the series "Why We Hate" for The Discovery Channel.

    In 2020, Pollard received the International Documentary Association’s first Career Achievement Award. The following year, Film at Lincoln Center honored him as one of "cinema’s most dedicated chroniclers of the Black experience in America." He also contributed as a director to the HBO series "Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children" and completed "MLK/FBI." Recently, he formed Message Pictures with collaborators Geeta Gandbhir and Alisa Payne, focusing on sharing stories that amplify unheard voices and shed light on important issues.

Geeta Gandbhir



    Geeta Gandbhir began her career in narrative film, learning from Spike Lee and Sam Pollard. Transitioning to documentary filmmaking, she directed notable works such as "Born in Synanon," "Eyes on the Prize," and "Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power," which received acclaim and awards.

    Gandbhir directed the series "Black and Missing" for HBO, winning a NAACP Award and an Independent Spirit Award. Her film "Apart" earned an Emmy Award nomination and a win. She's been recognized for her short film "Call Center Blues" and her work on "The Asian Americans," both receiving prestigious awards.

    As a co-director and co-producer, Gandbhir has been involved in various projects, including "A Conversation on Race" series and the HBO film "The Sentence," which won a Primetime Emmy. Her editing work has contributed to films earning multiple Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, and an Academy Award.



Alisa Payne


Alisa Payne's producing career spans over 25 years, boasting a diverse array of credits. Her most recent credits include the Academy Award shortlisted feature documentary Stamped from the Beginning based on Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s eponymous book, the critically acclaimed HBO film special Between the World and Me and The Conversation: Revolution based on The NYTimes Op Doc series A Conversation on Race. 


She is the Co-Executive Producer of Harlem Ice a forthcoming 5-part docu-series for Imagine / Disney+ and is the Producer of the short film Women Count (Sundance / Times Studios).


Her work has garnered prestigious recognition including a Gracie Award and an African American Film Critics Association Award and several nominations including: an Emmy, Critics Choice Award, NAACP Image Awards and Cable Positive Award. 


Alisa is married with two children and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Our collaborators

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