Friday, June 19, 2009

ITVS Blog: Filmmaker Lisa Russell Wins Boston/New England Emmy Award for BI-RACIAL HAIR

Check out the article posted on the ITVS blog by visiting

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And the winner is...

I guess it's true that hard work does pay off.

Two nights ago, I had the honor of walking across the stage of the 32nd Annual Boston/New England Emmy® Awards to accept my first Emmy® Awards in the "Outstanding Advanced Media Interactivity" category for a short film I did called "Bi-Racial Hair".

"Bi-Racial Hair" was one of five films produced for the WGBH Lab and National Black Programming Consortium's "Eviction Notice" Open Call. The five films were to address how slavery and racism still reverberates in the 20th century and asks how do we resolve past wrongs, especially around matters of race?

My film was a satirical look at the racial tensions young people of mixed raced backgrounds face. It took the live spoken word performance of then 13-year old Zora Howard who performed her poem at the 2006 Urban Word NYC Teen Poetry Slam and used it as the thread for the film that included re-enactments with Zora, her parents, and other young poets and then was mixed with archival footage of the civil rights movement.

The interactive element included an online pitch and review process whereby filmmakers posted pitches, then rough cuts for an online audience to review, vote, etc. To check out this Open Call and others, visit

If you would like to view "Bi-Racial Hair", it will be re-broadcasted following "The Order of Myths" on Independent Lens on June 9th. Check your local PBS schedule for details.

Finally, a special thanks to the organization that is close to my heart - Urban Word NYC - who has introduced me to these amazing young people who continue to inspire and impress me with the way they use their words and voice to challenge the social obstacles placed before them. You will be meeting some of them in my independent project, "MYTH OF THE MOTHERLAND" that will be coming out next year. Thanks to Zora for being just an incredible, talented young woman, to Zora's parents as well as Marne, Tahani, Ujjijji and Raquel for their roles in the film. Thanks to Chris Hastings and Brian Retchless from WGBH Lab and Christian Ugbode from NBPC for their help during production. And to all the Open Callers who produced other great shorts. You all deserved to be recognized on the stage that night.

Many thanks,