co-directors: lyric cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Unfolding with the drama and intrigue of a spy novel, (T)ERROR follows Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned informant, as he takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI, and invites filmmakers to document his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist - without informing his superiors. As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres’ past, but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, (T)ERROR explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there
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.
David Felix Sutcliffe
David Felix Sutcliffe is an independent documentary filmmaker. His feature-length debut film (T)ERROR, co-directed with acclaimed photojournalist Lyric R. Cabral, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. (T)ERROR 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.