Life, Animated Director Roger Ross Williams is the first African American director to win an Academy Award for his documentary short, Music by Prudence (2010). Prior to becoming an independent filmmaker, Williams was an acclaimed television journalist and producer for over 15 years for outlets including TV Nation, ABC News, NBC News, CNN, PBS, Comedy Central and the Sundance Channel.
Recently, Williams directed Blackface, a short film on the tradition of Black Pete in the Netherlands for CNN Films. He presently has several projects in development including “Traveling While Black,” an interactive project that will feature a Virtual Reality component; and a feature documentary about the prison industrial complex for The Why? Foundation. Williams serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Sundance Institute, frequently mentoring filmmakers from the developing world and under-represented communities on how to channel personal adversity into their art.