LAURENS GRANT | ROKIA: VOICE OF A NEW GENERATION
LAURENS GRANT is a Peabody and three-time Emmy Award- winning documentary filmmaker who has produced and directed films all over the world. Rokia: Voice of a New Generation is a personal story that explores gender, race, borders, and an African woman’s struggle to create music that transcends them all. Grant traveled extensively around the world with Rokia Traoré, a musician from Mali, West Africa and was granted rare access to the singer’s family, recording sessions, and rehearsals including those with the critically-acclaimed Kronos Quartet. Currently, Grant is producing a feature length documentary on the history of the Black Panther Party called The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution for PBS. She is working with director Stanley Nelson. Most recently, Grant directed the film Jesse Owens about the African-American sprinter and his defiance of Hitler’s Aryan beliefs at the 1936 Olympics. The documentary won an Emmy for Outstanding Research, and received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Historical – Long Form and Outstanding Music and Sound. Grant also produced Freedom Riders, about the 1961 protest movement called ‘freedom rides’, which won 3 Primetime Emmys and a Peabody. Both films aired on PBS’ American Experience series. Grant has also produced and directed projects for A&E, The History Channel and for non-profit organizations in the Caribbean and several African countries.