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About the Director

Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque

Biography: Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque is a humanitarian aid worker, journalist and filmmaker. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Alexandra co-founded the non-profit organization Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) in 2012. She was awarded the Gordon Global Fellowship in 2006 which enabled her to produce her first documentary film, When Silence is Golden, about the impact of Canadian mining interests […]

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Jason Silverman

Biography: Jason Silverman is an award-winning film producer (Olympia, Opening Night film, SXSW; Closing Night film, Slamdance; Sundance Channel; Shameless, Best Film, Great Plains Film Festival) and longtime festival director. He has produced large-scale events for the Smithsonian, the Lensic Center for the Arts, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Lannan Foundation. He is currently Cinematheque Director […]

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Ingrid Sinclair

Biography: Ingrid Sinclair is a director and screenwriter who moved from England to Zimbabwe and become involved in the liberation struggle. Her pivotal first feature Flame, received prizes and standing ovations world-wide. Flame was selected for Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. Sinclair is widely seen as part of the African Renaissance. In Flame and her previous prize winning documentary […]

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Abderrahmane Sissako

Biography: Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali, his father’s homeland. When he returned to Mauritania in 1980, the emotional and financial difficulties of adjustment made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. Le Jeu (1989), […]

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Cheick Oumar Sissoko

Biography: Cheick Oumar Sissoko was born in 1945 in San, Mali. Having graduated from Paris University in African History and Sociology, he studied film at the Ecole Nationale Louis Lumière. He then returned to Mali and worked as a filmmaker at the Centre National de Productions Cinématogaphiques (CNPC), for which he directed Sécheresse and Exode Rural. […]

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Xoliswa Sithole

Biography: Xoliswa Sithole has acted in such films as Cry Freedom, Mandela, Fools, and Chikin Biznis. She has produced and researched several documentaries such as South Africa from Triumph to Transition and Nelson Mandela for CNN Prime Time, and the hit 13-part South African television series Real Lives. She has also produced and starred in […]

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Llewellyn Smith

Biography: Smith is the president of Vital Pictures, Inc. As a writer/producer, he has contributed to several PBS series as series editor for the PBS history series American Experience. He played a key role in the origination, development, and acquisition of more than 70 programs on American history. Smith was project director for the Peabody and […]

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Yvonne Smith

Biography: Yvonne Smith, a producer, director, and writer, has in-depth experience documenting political, social, and cultural history, bringing her unique cultural honesty to bear on films about the prime movers and shapers of the African American experience. She is best known for her films Mo’ Funny: Black Comedy in America (1993), Motown 40: The Music […]

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Lonesome Solo

Biography: Born in 1986 in Abidjan, Souleymane Bamba aka Lonesome Solo grew up in the poor suburbs of the Ivorian capital. He describes himself as a child from the “ghetto”. A real movie fan, he took correspondence courses and began making movies with friends. He also worked as an assistant director. He made his first […]

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Seke Somolu

Biography: Seke Somolu is an established director, writer, producer and editor in the film industry. He has worked with a range of formats and genres. Seke was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He was educated there and in the United States, earning degrees in International Relations and Filmmaking before returning home to work in […]

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Clio Sozzani

Biography: Clio Sozzani is an anthropologist and a filmmaker. She worked in Ethiopia and Senegal for International Development Cooperation Projects. For the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs she managed a program of Behavioural Change Communication, directing spots and awareness-raising videos. She has been working as a film director for different production companies and non-profit organizations. […]

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Cosima Spender

Biography: Cosima Spender was born in Italy in an artists’ family, and moved to England at fourteen. A university degree in Anthropology and Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies cultivated her interest in local identity and ethnic traditions, whether in Africa, Asia or Europe. Still photography and travelling sparked off a […]

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Pam Sporn

Biography: Pam Sporn is a film maker and teacher. Her documentaries have won several film festival awards. Her work has covered such topics as Cuban cigar rollers, an annual dance, and the story of a family that emigrated from Cuba to the United States, as well as “homelessness, teen pregnancy and police brutality. She has won BRIO […]

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Bert Stern

Biography: Bert Stern was born October 2, 1929. He was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director […]

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Catherine Stewart

Biography: Catherine Stewart attended Columbia University’s MFA Film Program and worked for Tristar/Columbia’s Feature Film Development Office in New York before returning to South Africa in 1993. In Johannesburg, she lectured at Wits University in screenwriting and directing documentaries for SABC. Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:   A Woman’s Place (2000); While You Weren’t Looking […]

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Nantie Steyn

Biography: Nantie Steyn studied journalism and politics at Rhodes University and graduated in 1989. Over the following year she worked in print media, writing movies and theater reviews. She started her film career in 1991 while doing research for documentaries on training and development. Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs: Watercolours (2000). Filmography: Watercolours (1998). […]

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Toni Strasburg

Biography: An internationally recognized documentary director, producer, and writer, Toni Strasburg grew up in South Africa and went to Britain as an exile in 1965 where she earned a degree in Sociology at London University. Her best-known films are the multi-award winning Chain of Tears, about the effects of war on children in Southern Africa, […]

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Mel Stuart

Biography: Mel Stuart, born Stuart Solomon , was an American film director and producer. He directed the fantasy-musical Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), as well as other features, including If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), One is a Lonely Number (1972) and Running on the Sun: The Badwater 135 (2000). Stuart also directed […]

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Dan Sturman

Biography: Dan began his career working under legendary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim, and since then he has gone on to film rock stars, war criminals, Nobel Prize winners, Olympic gold medalists, presidents, and many thousands of ordinary people with interesting stories to tell. Dan’s films include Soundtrack For A Revolution and Nanking, both of which were short–listed for the Academy […]

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Ramadan Suleman

Biography: Ramadan Suleman was born in 1955 in South Africa. He studied at the School for Research in African Theater and continued his career in theater as an actor and director. He also studied film in Paris and London and has worked as assistant director with two of Africa’s legendary filmmakers: Med Hondo on Lumière […]

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