Ayoka Chenzira

Ayoka Chenzira is an award-winning filmmaker and a recognized pioneer in Black independent cinema. She is part of a generation of African American filmmakers who helped create a genre of filmmaking now identified as Black independent cinema. Her distinctive body of work spans fiction, documentary, animation, performance, experimental narratives, interactive cinema and television. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and is one of the first African American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, Alma’s Rainbow (developed at Sundance Institute), and noted in Billboard Magazine’s top forty home video sales list. She is considered the first African American woman animator with her animated satire, Hair Piece: a film for nappyheaded people and later Zajota and the Boogie Spirit. Hair Piece was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2018. There have been many international retrospectives of Ayoka’s films and several of her them are in permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ayoka’s episode of Queen Sugar was nominated for a 2019 NAACP Image Award.