An honest, at times absurd, conversation about being a Black woman in America, “The Mirror” is a short animated film that weaves the personal stories, experiences and reflections of nine Black women talking about their interactions with white people. On the subject of swimming, “Black people have no buoyancy,” says one white woman with assurance. “Your people have an inability to master the proper use of the English language,” says another. “The Mirror” is a revealing take on what it is like to be a Black woman in America.
Summary info for schedule – will be hidden on film page
- Oct 21 (Sat): Block 2 - 11:10am
- Oct 26-29: Virtual Encore
Mimi Chakarova grew up in a village in southwest Bulgaria. When Communism collapsed, she and her mother immigrated to the United States. Chakarova picked up her first camera in Baltimore – no one back home believed the harsh reality of poverty in America. By 8th grade, Chakarova was working three jobs that didn’t require English. Four years later, she graduated early from high school and, at 17, moved to San Francisco. She rented a tiny studio in the Tenderloin for $525 a month and enrolled at City College of San Francisco. Without the resources to study filmmaking, she chose documentary photography instead. Chakarova eventually found her way to making films and hasn’t stopped since.
As an independent filmmaker, Mimi Chakarova covered global issues examining conflict, corruption and the sex trade. Her first film “The Price of Sex,” a feature-length documentary on the trafficking of women, was awarded the Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York. She was also the winner of the prestigious Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting and a Dart Awards Finalist for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma.
Chakarova went on to direct, shoot and produce five other feature-length documentaries and over 30 award-winning short films, completed by her own production company, A Moment in Time Productions. “Men: A Love Story” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival; “Letters,” a collaboration with Grammy-winning artist Kris Davis, premiered at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Chakarova is the founder and creative director of “Still I Rise Films,” a documentary series about resilience and rising above the odds. In 2021, she set up a fellowship program for women filmmakers and visual artists in need of support and mentorship.
Mimi Chakarova is the recipient of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship for outstanding work in documentary photography and the Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her work on sex trafficking. Other awards include a People’s Voice Webby and a nomination for a News and Documentary Emmy Award.
Chakarova’s work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, London, CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” CNN World, BBC World, Al Jazeera English, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., PBS’ FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting among others.
Capitalism, God, And A Good Cigar: Cuba Enters The Twenty-first Century, published by Duke University Press, features over 75 of Chakarova’s documentary photographs of Cuba.
Mimi Chakarova taught visual storytelling at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism for 14 years. She also taught reporting classes at Stanford University’s African and African American Studies and Comparative Studies for Race and Ethnicity and has lectured extensively in universities throughout the world.
Mimi Chakarova received her BFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and her MA in Visual Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.