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Thomas Allen Harris, Critic

Thomas Allen Harris, Filmmaker

Mr. Harris received a B.A. in biology in 1984 from Harvard. He lectures widely on the use of media as a tool for social change and is the founder and President of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences that illuminate the Human Condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. Chimpanzee’s innovative and award-winning documentary films have received critical acclaim at International film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, FESPACO, Outfest, Flaherty and Cape Town and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, as well as CBC, Swedish Broadcasting Network and New Zealand Television. Mr. Harris’ experimental videos and installations have been featured at museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia, London Institute of the Arts and the Long Beach Museum of Art. His latest film, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, was awarded the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary Film, an Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Diasporic Documentary, and Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award. In 2009, Mr. Harris and his team launched the transmedia community engagement project, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) (1world1family.me) which is a touring Roadshow and virtual gathering space where individuals are invited to explore the rich and revealing narratives found within their own family photo albums. He is currently working on a new film entitled, Remember Me: The Family Album Project – a documentary exploring how the family album shapes our humanity and the way we see others. Mr. Harris has received numerous awards and fellowships including an upcoming Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth University, a United States Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as CPB/PBS and Sundance Directors Fellowships. He has served on a variety of Juries including the Independent Spirit Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Mr. Harris has taught as an Associate Professor of Media Arts at the University of California San Diego, a Visiting Artist at the International Center of Photography and was appointed critic at Yale School of Art in 2016 to teach a special seminar around DDFR.

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