Shatara Michelle Ford

2020 PEW FELLOW
Updated
5 Feb 2021

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Pew Fellow Shatara Michelle Ford on the set of the film Test Pattern, 2018. Photo by C. Pereira. 

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Pew Fellow Shatara Michelle Ford (center) with Eloise Ayala, Ludovica Isidori, and Brionna Rowe on the set of the film Best, 2017. Photo by Ilene Squires.

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Still from the film Test Pattern, 2018, directed by Pew Fellow Shatara Michelle Ford, featuring Amani Starnes.

“As a filmmaker, I'm invested in revealing what is internal and unspoken…I want my audience to witness and interrogate aspects of their ideology, lifestyle, and worldview.”

Filmmaker Shatara Michelle Ford’s films convey the separate yet intersected experiences of being both Black and a woman in America. Experimenting with narrative structure and uses of music and color, their work examines class, power, identity, and memory through characters that defy dominant stereotypes. Their feature film Test Pattern portrays the experience of a Black woman who is sexually assaulted. Ford says they created the film “to provoke a meaningful conversation about consent, to incorporate a Black female point of view and to spark debate while we create more nuance in the current discourse surrounding #metoo and feminism.” In 2019, the film received the Lionsgate/STARS Producer Award at the BlackStar Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the New Orleans Film Festival. Ford has an MFA in screenwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London and a BA in political studies and sociology from Pitzer College.