Lyric Cabral is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker based in the Bronx. She, along with her co-director David Felix Sutcliffe, premiered her feature-length film (T)ERROR at Sundance this year in the US Documentary category. (T)ERROR is billed as “the first film to document on camera a covert counterterrorism sting,” but the documentary has been in the works for over a decade. Lyric came across the film’s subject, an FBI informant, when she was only 19, but knew she was too young to tackle the story then. Lyric talks about the uncomfortable situations she’s found herself in as a photojournalist, being inspired by Gordon Parks, spending over a decade covering national security issues, and returning to a story 12 years after discovering it.
Name: Lyric R. Cabral
Current City: New York City
What are you listening to? D'angelo and the Vanguard "Black Messiah"
What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I really appreciate the silent film "Sidewalk Stories" by Charles Lane. I saw the film at a time when I was making the professional transition from still photography to moving images. The film is quite moving for me because each frame is beautifully photographed, and reflects an attention to detail that reveals the sensitivities and struggles of life in New York city.
Who is your career role model? Someone who I admire personally and professionally is filmmaker Shola Lynch. I value that her body of work critically examines the lives of Black women (Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis) in America, as these stories are typically lesser seen on screen. Shola is a meticulous archivist and historian, who researched "Free Angela" for 8 years. I am inspired by the tremendous commitment that motivates each of her films, and by the engaging narratives that she presents on screen.
What is a tool you can't live without? I really appreciate Twitter. I am able to access the perspectives of citizen journalists around the world, and research stories in a unique way.
How do you take your coffee? One sugar and a little whole milk
What’s your spirit animal? A calico cat