Colleagues of Bay Area TV icon Belva Davis are working to honor her remarkable life and career in a feature documentary, “Belva Davis, Reporting.”
Now in the development stage, the documentary’s core team includes Herbert Bennett, producer/editor who edited with Belva at KRON; Jon Dann, senior producer, who produced stories with Belva at KQED and KRON, and George Osterkamp, producer/director who won 3 area Emmy Awards with Belva and produced with her at KPIX and KQED.
George has written a letter seeking support from TV Academy members and inviting all to join the “Friends of Belva Davis”–to help make this production happen.
Dear TV Academy Members–
As you may know, a small group of her fans has embarked on producing a feature documentary on the life and times of our friend–Bay Area news icon Belva Davis. It is the untold story of a TV pioneer, who broke color and gender barriers to become the first Black on-air newswoman west of the Mississippi.
We are writing you in the hope that you will permit us to use your name publicly as a member of our group of supporters “Friends of Belva.” As such, your name could appear on the website of our documentary, “Belva Davis Reporting,” as well as stationary letterhead in appeals to corporate sponsors, non-profits, and potential donors – along with other public venues. Our goal: to show the wide range of people who support our effort to tell Belva’s story–an effort which requires significant additional financing.
Despite being born during the Depression in the segregated South and hobbled by limited formal education, Belva changed the way millions watch TV news. She paved the way for new generations of journalists and focused attention on major issues in the Black community. One example: before “Black Lives Matter,” she exposed police brutality and paid a hefty personal price.
To date, we have a commitment from KQED-TV to air our program in primetime, and help us achieve an airing nationally. Our on-air reporter is 60 Minutes Correspondent Bill Whitaker – who like so many of us — was helped and inspired by Belva.
This is NOT a request for your financial aid. At a later time, we may ask individuals for aid in the amount they feel comfortable contributing. The budget for our 90-minute feature documentary is $802,000 so we have a mountain to climb.
Right now, we are only requesting your public support for the Belva project, and also–very importantly–to please share contacts you may have in the donor community. Timing is critical, so we request you email your support, ideas, contacts and your willingness to join “Friends of Belva” as soon as possible to me at the address below.
“Friends of Belva” will have an opportunity to provide input to the film as it is being made and will be invited to an advance screening of the finished documentary. We are eager to welcome you to the “Friends of Belva.”
Email address: email@example.com
P.S. Recently the prestigious International Documentary Association became the non-profit fiscal sponsor for “Belva Davis, Reporting.” For details on this exciting news and on how to make a tax-deductible contribution, please see our website: https://belvadavis.today/