Meet the 3 Black Women Named Roger Ebert Fellows

By Sameer Rao Dec 21, 2018

The Sundance Institute and, a film criticism platform run by the late writer’s family, named three Black women as the recipients of their joint Roger Ebert Fellowship yesterday (December 20). 

rntPublisher Chaz Ebert writes that the fellowship, named after her husband, gives critics and artists an opportunity to write reviews and network at the Sundance Film Festival. "One of my specific goals of the program is to connect the fellows with the core values of empathy, kindness, compassion and forgiveness," she says. “I am ever mindful of Roger’s mission of connecting us all to our humanity through the medium of film."

The fellows are: 


  • Niani Scott, a student journalist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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  • Whitney A. Spencer, a visual storyteller and masters student at DePaul University who studies the cultural and intellectual practices of Black communities
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  • ReBecca Theodore-Vachon, a film and television critic who hosts The Spectrum Lounge, a podcast focused on artists of color
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