Roger Ross Williams

Roger Ross Williams

Known For: Directing · Birthday: 1973-04-13 (48 years old) · Gender: Male

13 Movies · 4 TV shows

Biography

Roger Ross Williams (born September 16, 1962) is an American director, producer and writer and the first African American director to win an Oscar, with his short film Music by Prudence.Williams has directed a number of acclaimed films including Life, Animated, which won the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Emmys in 2018, including the award for Best Documentary. He also directed God Loves Uganda, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award and American Jail, which examined the U.S. prison system and premiered on CNN. Williams’ directed Traveling While Black, a VR documentary made for Facebook’s Oculus, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. His most recent film, The Apollo, a documentary about Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater, was the opening night film of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and he is currently in pre-production on his first narrative feature film for Amazon Studios.His production company, One Story Up, is producing a variety of projects including two limited documentary series for Netflix. Since 2016, Williams has been on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving as chair of the Documentary Branch and the documentary Diversity Committee. Williams serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Sundance Institute, the Advisory Board of Full Frame Festival, and the boards of the Tribeca Film Institute, Docubox Kenya, None On Record and the Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art Africa. He resides in New York and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 TV show
TV
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America

2021
Black food is American food. In this docuseries, chef and writer Stephen Satterfield traces the delicious, moving throughlines from Africa to Texas.

2020.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
TV
One Story Up

One Story Up

2020
Some of the most talented filmmakers are shown.
Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

2020
This special combines elements of the original Apollo Theater production, including powerful readings from the book, with documentary footage from the actors' home life, archival footage, and animatio...
TV
The Innocence Files

The Innocence Files

2020
The personal stories behind eight cases of wrongful conviction that the Innocence Project and organizations within the Innocence Network have worked to highlight and overturn.

2019.

4 Movies
After Maria

After Maria

2019
Strong Puerto Rican women forced to flee the island after Hurricane Maria have bonded like family in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart.
The Apollo

The Apollo

2019
The history of New York City's Apollo Theater in Harlem is given the full treatment.
The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion

The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion

2019
The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion highlights the hidden female figures that have curated and shaped hip-hop’s dynamic streetwear and ultimately swayed the entire fashion industry.
Traveling While Black

Traveling While Black

2019
An immersive virtual reality documentary experience about the risks faced by blacks on the road in mid 2Oth Century America, and the safe spaces as listed in the famous guide, The Green Book, where th...

2018.

3 Movies
American Jail

American Jail

2018
In this deeply personal film, director Roger Ross Williams sets out on a journey to understand the complex forces of racism and greed currently working in America's prison system.
Take Back the Harbor

Take Back the Harbor

2018
On New York's Governor's Island, an unprecedented program has the ambitious goal of restoring oysters and their environmental benefits back to New York Harbor. This documentary highlights the teenager...
The Rachel Divide

The Rachel Divide

2018
When she was exposed as a white woman passing for black, Rachel Dolezal became the head of her local NAACP. There is a chapter. The portrait cuts through the controversy to reveal Dolezal's motives.

2016.

1 Movie
Life, Animated

Life, Animated

2016
Owen was three years old. Owen got engaged to a Disney film. When Owen's father asked what it was like to be him, Owen replied with dialogue from the movie. Owen was able to understand the world in Li...

2015.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter

Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter

2015
Some of this year's most talked about talent open up about the challenges and triumphs of creating critically acclaimed series and performances.
blackface

blackface

2015
A week before the Sinterklaas festivities on December 5, global news channel CNN is digging into the Zwarte Piet controversy with a short documentary. Blackface was made by Oscar-winning documentary m...

2013.

1 Movie
God Loves Uganda

God Loves Uganda

2013
The evangelical campaign to bring values from America's Christian Right to Africa was explored. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting sexual immorality and missionaries tryi...

2010.

1 Movie
Music by Prudence

Music by Prudence

2010
Music by Prudence tells a self-empowering story of one young woman's struggle who, together with her band, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and, in her own voice conveys to the world that disab...

Unknown Year.

1 Movie
The Empire of Ebony

The Empire of Ebony

A documentary film following the rise of Ebony and Jet and their growth into a brand with a readership base in the millions which has had an effect on American culture.
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