DocFilm Institute Director Soumyaa Kapil Behrens Among 15 Bay Area Filmmakers to Watch

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

MAKE IT BETTER (SAN FRANCISCO) -- As the movie-going public continues to thirst for authentic stories, Bay Area filmmakers are rising to the call. From big-scale documentaries tackling the realities of climate change to short films focused on underrepresented members of our communities, the days of the Bay Area’s cinematic legacy consisting mostly of disaster movies destroying the Golden Gate Bridge, or the cinematic work of Alfred Hitchcock, are fading. Instead, a new generation of directors, producers, and visionaries are leading the charge to make a difference on the silver screen.

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Soumyaa Kapil Behrens, Documentary Film Institute director

Soumyaa is an award-winning director, producer and scholar whose projects have screened at festivals across the globe including Raindance, Montreal International Animation Festival, Mill Valley, SF Black Film Festival, International Images in Harare, LadyFest, Rome International, Santa Fe, Oaxaca, Phoenix Melbourne, Polish Film Fest, Boston International, Harlem International, San Francisco Film Society, Toronto Black Film Festival and on KQED. Her work engages issues that influence the human condition and the political landscapes that shape identity and power structures within marginalized communities. Recent awards include Abina And the Important Men, which won Best Animation at SF Black Film Festival, Best Feature at Montreal International Animation and Best Short Documentary for Con Moto at the Classical Arts Festival.  She produced the feature narrative Redemption Trail which garnered an Audience Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival, distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures. She launched Pluralities, a nonfiction symposium and journal exploring expanded media and regularly presents work at conferences including Visible Evidence and the Center for Documentary Research (Ireland). She has appeared on CNN Dialogues in conversation about film, representation and social justice and presented work at the Tides | Thoreau Center series, Righting Wrongs: Celebrating Human Rights in Action. Behrens is the Director of the Documentary Film Institute at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and serves on the Board of Directors for Bay Area Women In Film and Media.  She holds an MFA in Cinema from SFSU and teaches in the School of Cinema.