The Griot Chronicles
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The Griot Chronicles: A celebration of Black storytelling from the Independent Lens of ITVS.
JOIN US, as we celebrate the contributions of a stellar group of filmmakers who have all been a part of the ITVS funding and distribution process and are alumni of the Firelight Doc Lab.
This event will be hosted by ITVS featuring Sharese Bullock-Bailey, the Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at Ghetto Film School, Sherry Simpson Dean, the Senior Director of Engagement and Impact at ITVS and Noland Walker the Vice President of Content at ITVS.
The program will feature discussions with award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson, Loira Limbal, Jacqueline Olive, and Yoruba Richen.
We invite you behind the curtain to be a part of this digital engagement experience as we celebrate Black History Month.
Hear from critically acclaimed African-American filmmakers as they share the stories of their films, the experience of finding funding and navigating the public media space as a minority independent filmmaker in partnership with ITVS.
The Griot Chronicles
- Nora Mohamed
- Sharese Bullock-Bailey
Sharese Bullock-Bailey is the Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer at Ghetto Film School. Sharese has funded, distributed, and curated independent media globally for the past 16 years. She has led service and international education programs in over 20 countries, including filmmaking exchanges for young producers and educators throughout the UK and India. She is an Emmy-nominated producer, strategic consultant, and leader in social impact storytelling. Sharese recently served as Director of Tribeca Teaches, a filmmaking residency at Tribeca Film Institute, and was selected by the Ford Foundation as a 2015 Rockwood JustFilms Fellow and as a 2016 New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow. Sharese is an Executive Board Member of ITVS (Independent Television Service). Sharese received a BA in Communications at The University of Pennsylvania, then participated in the Financial Analyst program at Goldman Sachs. She also served as a Teach For America Corps Member, earning an M.S. in Education while teaching in her hometown of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
- Sherry Simpson Dean
Sherry Simpson Dean is the Senior Director of Engagement and Impact at ITVS and has over fifteen years of experience bridging social action and the film and television arena. Her film AMANDLA a Revolution in Four-Part Harmony is the culmination of a seven-year journey documenting the role of song in South Africa's struggle for freedom As an Emmy Award and Sundance Award-winning producer, she has led local and global United Nations’ initiatives including media campaigns for The Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Development Program and most recently documenting entrepreneurial endeavors of Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
- Noland Walker
Noland Walker is the Vice President of Content at ITVS where he develops a portfolio of programs while providing editorial and production support to a broader slate of ITVS films. He co-programs the Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens series and was an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker prior to coming to ITVS.
- Stanley Nelson
Stanley Nelson is the foremost chroniclers of the African American experience working in nonfiction film today. His films, many of which have aired on PBS, combine compelling narratives with rich and deeply researched historical detail, shining new light on both familiar and under-explored aspects of the American past. Mr. Nelson’s film, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2016), is the first comprehensive feature length historical documentary portrait of that iconic organization, as well as an extremely timely look at an earlier phase of black activism around police violence in African American communities. The film won the 2016 NAACP Image Award. Nelson’s two previous films, Freedom Riders (2010, three Primetime Emmy Awards) and Freedom Summer (2014, Peabody Award), took a fresh look at multiracial efforts to register black voters and desegregate public transportation facilities in the Jim Crow South, critical events in the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s. Nelson’s 2003 film The Murder of Emmett Till (Sundance Special Jury Prize), about the brutal killing of a fourteen-year-old African American boy in Mississippi in 1955, an event that had a galvanizing effect on the mid-century civil rights movement, uncovered new eyewitnesses to the crime and helped prompt the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen the case. In 2000, Mr. Nelson, along with his wife, Marcia A. Smith, founded Firelight Media, a nonprofit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes, and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to advancing underrepresented stories. Nelson, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, was awarded an individual Peabody for his body of work in May of 2016. His latest film, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, examines the impact HBCUs have had on American history, culture, and national identity. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, and aired nationally on the acclaimed PBS series, Independent Lens in February of 2018.
- Loira Limbal
Loira Limbal currently serves as the Vice President + Documentary Lab Director for Firelight Media. Limbal is also a Latina filmmaker and activist who directed and produced Estilo Hip Hop, a documentary that chronicles the lives of three hip hop activists from Brasil, Chile, and Cuba. Estilo Hip Hop was an official selection of the Tribeca All Access Institute and it aired nationally on PBS in June 2009. For the past decade, Limbal has dedicated herself to fusing arts and activism. She has worked at various community-based organizations in New York City including The Point Community Development Corporation, The Dominican Women’s Development Center, and Sista II Sista. In 2006, she founded The Reel X Project, a social justice and creative filmmaking space for young women of color in the Southwest Bronx. Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She has received awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Lisa Sullivan Fund.
- Jacqueline Olive
Jacqueline Olive is an independent filmmaker and immersive media producer with more than a decade of experience in journalism and film. Her debut feature documentary, ALWAYS IN SEASON, premiered in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She also co-directed and produced the award-winning short documentary, BLACK TO OUR ROOTS, which broadcast on PBS WORLD. Jacqueline has been a Sundance Documentary Edit & Story Lab Fellow, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow, and Sundance Music & Sound Design Lab fellow. She also received the Emerging Filmmakers of Color Award from International Documentary Association and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. Jacqueline has been a immersive media fellow with the Bay Area Video Coalition Institute for New Media Technologies and Mediamaker Fellows, the Black Public Media New Media Institute, and most recently, the Open Immersion VR Lab sponsored by the Ford Foundation, National Film Board of Canada, and the Canadian Film Centre. She is currently producing a VR companion to ALWAYS IN SEASON that uses 360° video and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to explore themes of dehumanization and violence, offering strategies for moving confidently through the racialized public spaces that black women navigate daily. Jacqueline has an MA from the University of Florida Documentary Institute and previously worked on the production team of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary series, Independent Lens.
- Yoruba Richen
Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website -The Cut, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her latest film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom will be broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel in February. Yoruba’s last feature documentary, The New Black won multiple festival awards and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. It was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. Her previous film Promised Land, won the Fledgling Fund award for social issue documentary and was broadcast on POV. Yoruba won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day. She has also won Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. Yoruba is a featured TED Speaker, a Fulbright fellow, a Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She was chosen for the Root 100s list of African Americans 45 years old and younger who are responsible for the year’s most significant moments and themes. Yoruba is director of the documentary program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.
The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.