Contessa Gayles

Contessa Gayles is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist, and an Emmy-nominated producer. She tells stories about identity, movement and social change, with a focus on race, ethnicity and gender.  From 2014 - 2018, she was a producer at CNN, where she produced, directed, shot and edited award-winning original series and documentaries, including The Feminist on Cellblock Y, Women Who March, Women Who March: The Movement and This Is Birth with Lisa Ling. She has contributed to VICE, PBS NewsHour, PBS Frontline, CBS, Al Jazeera, Vox, WIRED, and several forthcoming documentary features, including Black Mothers (dir. Débora Souza Silva), Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (dir. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster), Surge (dir. Hannah Rosenzweig, Wendy Sachs) and more. Contessa is currently directing and producing a feature documentary, a collaborative hybrid film that is a visual and musical mediation on Black boyhood, punishment and radical imagination. She currently holds a year-long filmmaker residency with SFFILM.