Cara Mertes

Director, JustFilms, Ford Foundation


Cara Mertes’ career focuses on supporting and connecting independent film communities globally as a public television executive, independent executive producer/director, funder, curator and teacher. Currently Director of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, she funds content, networks and leadership fostering independent film/digital storytelling. She has served as Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund and Executive Producer of the POV documentary series on PBS, where she was awarded with multiple Emmy, George Foster Peabody, and duPont-Columbia awards. She has executive produced several Oscar-nominated films, including Street Fight, My Country My Country and The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) and led major Ford Foundation funding and support for Academy Award winner CITIZENFOUR. She served as executive director of American Documentary Inc., and has taught and written about the independent documentary movement. Mertes is a member of NATAS, WGA and AMPAS.