Chimpanzee Productions is an independent film and multimedia company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences that illuminate the human condition and the search for identity, family and spirituality. Chimpanzee’s innovative and award-winning documentary films, installations, and experimental videos have been featured in venues across the international landscape on television, at festivals, museums and galleries.
Chimpanzee is currently in production on Through A Lens Darkly, the development of which was the genesis for DDFR. Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People is a two-hour film that will explore the role of photography, since its rudimentary beginnings in the 1840s, in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present. The story amplifies the testimonies revealed in forgotten and underappreciated treasure troves of Black photographs. Through A Lens Darkly is a journey of affirmation that begins by invoking the memories found in the images contained in our extended Black family’s hidden photographic archive, while trying to reconcile the shame of a history that our forebears would rather forget.
Chimpanzee’s most recent film, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, premiered at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the Pan-African and the Santa Cruz Film Festivals, the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking – Roxbury Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award before being broadcast nationally on the POV documentary series as well as Swedish and New Zealand Television.
É Minha Cara/That’s My Face (2001), premiered at the Toronto, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals and won seven international awards, including the Best Documentary at Outfest and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury of Christian Churches at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. The film was broadcast on the Sundance Channel as well as on ARTE, the CBC and YLE.
Vintage Families of Value. premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, Planet Africa program, MIX 95: 9th NY Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film and Video Festival, San Francisco International Film and Video Festival; Outfest (Los Angeles),The New Festival (New York) and was the first Black gay film to premiere at the 15th Pan African Film Festival, Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso. The film was shown at festivals all over the world, including: Semana De Cine Experimental, Madrid (Spain); the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival (England); Festival Internacional De Arte Negra De Belo Horizonte (Brazil); 11th Black International Cinema, Berlin; Festival Cinema Africano, Milan; and Turin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Italy). In addition, the film was nationally broadcast on Free Speech TV in the United States.