Ayoka Chenzira_portrait_small_bw.jpg

Ayoka Chenzira

Black independent cinema pioneer, experimental filmmaker

Ayoka is a pioneer in Black independent cinema.  Her films span fiction, documentary, animation, and interactive cinema and many are included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Schoenberg Center for Research in Black Culture as well as other institutions worldwide.  

 In 2018, Ayoka’s early films were selected to be preserved in the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.  Her animated film, Hair Piece: a film for nappyheaded people, considered the first film by a African American woman animator, was selected as one of twenty five films inducted into the National Film Registry.

 Recently, Ayoka directed an episode of Ava DuVernay’s hit drama, Queen Sugar, for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network that was nominated for a NAACP Image award for Outstanding Directing in Drama.

Ayoka is the Division Chair for the Arts and Chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College.