David Felix Sutcliffe is an independent documentary filmmaker. He is a 2017 Soros Equality Fellow and a 2017-2019 Pew Fellow. His feature-length debut film (T)ERROR premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. (T)ERROR, co-directed with Lyric R. Cabral, is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Variety Magazine praised the film as "a vital exposé" and Newsweek said it was "astounding", declaring it one of the best documentaries of the year. The film received widespread critical acclaim, and was profiled on NPR's This American Life, CNN, and in a New York Times Magazine feature article. (T)ERROR received a national theatrical release in the fall of 2015, and was broadcast on the Emmy Award winning PBS series Independent Lens. (T)ERROR was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, a Cinema Eye Honor, and has screened at more than 50 festivals around the world, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and a Special Jury Prize at CPH:DOX.
In 2015, David and (T)ERROR co-director Lyric R. Cabral were honored by the International Documentary Association with the Emerging Filmmaker Award. He has been a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Edit and Story Lab, their Creative Producing Lab, and also at IFP's Documentary Lab. In 2015, he was named by Indiewire as a Director to Watch. In 2013, he was included in Filmmaker Magazine's annual list of "25 New Faces of Independent Film." His work has been supported by the BBC, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Bertha BRITDOCS Journalism Fund, the NEA and the Open Society Foundation. David has been a featured guest on Democracy Now, Huffington Post Live, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show and his writing has been published in the Guardian, Filmmaker Magazine, and The Talkhouse.
David first came to filmmaking when one of his students, a 16-year-old girl named Adama Bah, became the youngest known person arrested in a domestic terrorism investigation in 2005. The FBI accused Adama of being a "potential" suicide bomber, but failed to provide any evidence to substantiate this claim. David spent three years documenting her and her family in the wake of her arrest, capturing their experiences in an hour-long film called ADAMA. The film was broadcast on PBS in 2011, and re-broadcast on America Reframed in 2016. David studied at Simon's Rock College of Bard, and holds a BA in Film Studies from Vassar College where he was awarded the departmental prize for cinematography. He is consulting on a number of projects and developing a documentary musical about Islamophobia.
He also likes to dance.