Home Directors Michèle Stephenson

Michèle Stephenson

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Michèle Stephenson, film director,
Photo of Michèle Stephenson by Ayana Enomoto-Hurst courtesy of NFB.

Michèle Stephenson, a co-founding member of the Rada Film Group, is a filmmaker, artist, and author who draws from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and international experience as a human-rights attorney to tell provocative stories in a variety of media that speak to personal and systemic liberation. She attended Montréal’s McGill University and the Columbia School of Law in New York, where she makes her home with Joe Brewster, her husband and partner in Rada Film Group. Her work has appeared on numerous broadcast and web platforms, including PBS, Showtime, and MTV. Her film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, including Best Documentary and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The film also won the Jury Prize at Sundance, and was selected for the New York Film Festivals’ Main Slate Program. Stephenson was also awarded the Creative Capital Fellowship and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, as well as the inaugural Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She is also a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Her current feature-documentary work in progress is supported by the National Film Board of Canada and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Her community-engagement accomplishments include the PUMA BritDoc Impact Award for a Film with the Greatest Impact on Society and a Revere Award nomination from the Association of American Publishers, and she is a fellow of the Skoll Stories of Change initiative. Her recent book, Promises Kept, written with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. We list her credits as a director first.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Faces of Change (2005, short, documentary)
Slaying Goliath (2008, documentary)

Coming Home: The Dry Storm (2010, short, documentary)
American Promise (2013, documentary)
A Mother’s Dream (VR-2016, short)
The Changing Same (2018, short, documentary)
Drawn to the Mat (209, short, documentary)

Stateless (2020, documentary)
Elena (2021, short, documentary)
Going to Mars (2022)

TV Series:
Op-Docs 2015)
POV Shorts (2019)
PBS American Portrait (2021)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Slaying Goliath (2008, documentary)
The Changing Same (2018, short, documentary)
Stateless (2020, documentary)

Credits as a Producer:
The Keeper (Associate Producer, 1995)
The Killing Zone (2003)
Faces of Change (2005, short, documentary)
Slaying Goliath (2008, documentary)

A Mother’s Dream (VR-2016, short)
The Changing Same (2018, short, documentary)
Drawn to the Mat (2019, short, documentary)

Stateless (2020, documentary)
Elena (2021, short, documentary)
Going to Mars (2022)
The Age of Water (2022)
Freddie Gray Documentary (announced)

TV Series:
P.O.V. (2014)
Op-Docs (2015)
PBS American Portrait (2021)

Stateless, movie, poster,