cai thomas


Cai Thomas is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer based in Chicago telling stories at the intersection of location, self determination, and identity about Black youth and elders. She grew up in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood and is deeply interested in stories rooted in place. Her film Change The Name which follows young activists organizing in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on BET. Her previous film Queenie about a Black lesbian elder in Brooklyn’s Bed Stuy neighborhood premiered at NewFest in 2020 winning the NY Short Grand Jury award and is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel. Cai recently completed Beneath The Surface which documents data scientist and journalist Trina Reynolds Tyler investigation into gender based violence at the hands of the Chicago Police Department. Cai is a proud NeXt Doc Fellow.


Participating Sessions

Decoding Police Records

A project of the Invisible Institute, Beneath the Surface consists of a team of data analysts, journalists, artists, organizers, and survivors in Chicago who investigate state violence against Black women, working to expand conversations about police violence beyond fatal shootings. This project is led by data scientist trina reynolds-tyler who last year collaborated with filmmaker cai thomas on a film. Join trina and cai in a workshop on how to...