Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film The New Black premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline. The film continues to play festivals all over the world and will open at New York’s Film Forum in February 2014. It will air on PBS’s Independent Lens next June.
Yoruba’s previous film Promised Land, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on PBS’s POV in 2010. In 2007, Yoruba won a Fulbright award in filmmaking and traveled to Salvador, Brazil, where she began production on Sisters of the Good Death, a documentary about the oldest African women's association in the Americas and the annual festival they hold celebrating the end of slavery.
Prior to that, Yoruba was the co-producer of Take it From Me, a documentary exploring the effects of welfare reform on New York City women, which was broadcast on POV in 2001. She was also an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News as well as a producer for the independent news program Democracy Now.
Yoruba has received numerous grants including from ITVS, The Sundance Documentary Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Ford Foundation. She won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was also a Sundance producers’ fellow. Yoruba teaches documentary film at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and is a Guggenheim Fellow.
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