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Jenn Nkiru

Artist and Director


Jenn Nkiru is a visionary artist and director from Peckham, London. Represented globally by Iconoclast, Nkiru was named as one of the 200 women redefining the creative industries in 2018 by The Dots and one of the 100 global Creative Superheroes shaping culture by Utopia in 2018.

An MFA film graduate of Howard University, her first film EN VOGUE shot by Bradford Young & Arthur Jafa screened internationally to critical success. Last year Iconoclast produced ‘REBIRTH IS NECESSARY’ with Jenn;  a dreamlike art film centred on the magic and dynamism of Blackness past, present and future.  The film went on to win the Canal + award at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Best Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival and nominee of the 2018 best short film award at Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and recently won the 2018 Voice of a Woman award at Cannes.  It has been screened internationally, from The Museum of Modern Art (MOCA, LA) to the ICA in London to Rotterdam Film Festival, and introduced the London premiere of Black Panther at the BFI.

Other credits include Channel 4, the Tate and Redbull. Rankin also selected Nkiru as one of 20 of the industry’s top directors and most creative talent.

Recent collaborators include shooting 2nd unit for ‪Beyonce & Jay-Z’s latest internet breaking video sensation “APESHIT”, shot in Paris’ iconic Louvre, directed by Ricky Saiz, KONG, a music video for pop icon Neneh Cherry and visual films for jazz musician Kamasi Washington, where she created works to accompany the release of his album Heaven + Earth.

As a founding curator of Boiler Room’s new video platform 4:3, alongside Elijah and Wood, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Peaches, Jenn recently curated a season entitled AFROFREQUENCY which features works from John Akomfrah and Flying Lotus amongst others she launching the season in September in London with a special evening and in-conversation with Grammy nominated artist ‪Janelle Monae‪.

Session: Jenn Nkiru – A New Black Renaissance

“One has to choose between engaging in stylistic research or the mere recording of facts. I feel that a filmmaker must go beyond the recording of facts. Moreover, I believe that Africans, in particular, must reinvent cinema.” — Djibril Diop Mambety.

This keynote session through a showcase of work by Jenn Nkiru anchored in the philosophies of the godfather of African Cinema Djibril Diop Mambety, will explore how a new diasporic black renaissance is taking place globally and how artists who fall into this movement are taking up space and reshaping contemporary images of blackness within art, film and culture like never seen before. This session will be rounded off with an opportunity for a Q&A with Jenn.

Jenn Nkiru is an artist and director from London, UK.