Thomas Allen Harris – Project Director
Raised in the Bronx and Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, Thomas Allen Harris is an award-winning filmmaker and cultural warrior, whose documentary films, installations, and experimental videos have been featured in venues across the international landscape on television, at festivals, museums, and galleries. For over 6 years, Harris produced for public television, which included two Emmy nominations (in 1991) for his work as a staff producer at WNET (New York¼s PBS affiliate) on THE ELEVENTH HOUR and THIRTEEN LIVE. His documentary programs CRISIS: Who Will Do Science? and CRISIS: Urban Education aired nationally on public television in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
Harris’ most recent film “Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela” is the third film to make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on POV/The American Documentary Series. The film made its theatrical premiere at the BAM Cinematech and won over five international awards and honors including the Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award Nomination, Best Documentary Awards at the Pan African and Santa Cruz Film Festivals, and the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking from the Roxbury Film Festival.
For the past 20 years, award-winning documentary filmmaker and artist, Thomas Allen Harris has been mining his family archive to create compelling narratives that engage, entertain and illuminate the intersections of personal family history with the historical sweep of our culture and times. History, according to Harris, is the collection of our individual stories into the meta-narrative. “Why leave your photographs stored in boxes when you can use them to educate and empower new generations about Who we are and Where we come from?”
Digital Diaspora Family Reunion is a completely unique and innovative project, which engages communities in a very intimate way while connecting to a larger context of social engagement, legacy, history through the lens of the personal. As far as we know, no one else has or is doing anything like this.