Filmmaker, artist and author, Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Haitian and Panamanian roots to think radically about storytelling and disrupt the imaginary in non-fiction spaces.
She tells emotionally driven personal stories of resistance and identity that are created by, for and about communities of color and the Black diaspora. Her stories intentionally reimagine and provoke thought about how we engage with and dismantle the internalized impact of systems of oppression. She draws on fiction, immersive and hybrid forms of storytelling to build her worlds and narratives. Her feature documentary American Promise was nominated for three Emmys and won the Jury Prize at Sundance. Her current documentary Stateless is nominated for a Canadian Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. Most recently, Stephenson collaborated as co-director on the magical realist immersive series on racial terror, The Changing Same, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival 2021. Along with her writing partners Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, Stephenson won an NAACP Image Award for Excellence in a Literary Work for their book Promises Kept. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, a Guggenheim Artist Fellow and a Creative Capital Artist.