TWN Evening Seminars: Ayoka Chenzira with Ann Bennett
Ayoka Chenzira - filmmaker and pioneer, speaks with producer Ann Bennett in a conversation that covers how she got into film and her trajectory - her moves into feature film, animation, scii-fi and gaming and now, television with an Emmy nomination for her directing on Queen Sugar.
Ayoka Chenzira, PhD, is an award-winning filmmaker whose work includes writing, producing and directing for features, documentaries, animation, experimental films and interactive transmedia projects.
Ayoka Chenzira is one of the first African American women to write, produce, and direct a 35mm feature film, Alma's Rainbow, and is noted as the first African American woman animator with her films Zajota & the Boogie Spirit and Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People, which was inducted into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. HERadventure, pushed the boundaries of filmmaking with its film/gameplay format and led to her TEDxAtlanta talk on diversity in sci/fi fantasy films. Most recently, Chenzira has been directing television for shows such as Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, Trinkets, Dynasty, and the new Oprah show, Delilah. Her recent awards include an Emmy nomination for Queen Sugar and the Cultural Innovator Award from Black Women Animate and the Cartoon Network for her body of work as an animator. Her films are currently being restored and archived at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
Ms. Bennett is an award-winning transmedia producer, filmmaker, journalist, archive researcher and educator.She has worked on films and documentaries for public and cable television,websites, museums, and non- profits often focused on hidden African American stories in American history. Her credits include: PBS, WGBH,HBO, Harpo Films, History Channel, National Civil Rights Museum, and the Apollo Theater, Firelight Media. She was the multimedia producer of the award-winning documentary THROUGH A LENS DARKLY, by Thomas Allen Harris and its Digital Diaspora follow up, and directed digital engagement for
BLACK WOMEN IN MEDICINE. She is currently producing the documentary Raising Liberty Square, a documentary on climate gentrification in Miami.