William Greaves
Documentary Filmmaker
New York, NY
2008 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.

William Greaves has worked as an independent filmmaker since 1964 and is considered the dean of African American filmmakers. He began his career as an actor in the late 1940s but, frustrated by the lack of substantive roles for black actors, decided to work behind the camera to change that. He has produced and directed four feature films and produced scores of documentary films and television programs. His films have won more than 70 international film festival awards, 4 Emmy nominations, and an Emmy. His experimental 1968 film Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One won critical acclaim and is a film buff favorite. Greaves’s 2008project uses rare archival footage to craft a comprehensive document of the unseen history of the art and artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

Portrait photo courtesy International Film Seminars.

  • Artwork by William Greaves
    Black Power in America: Myth or Reality?, 1987; photo courtesy William Greaves
Artwork by William Greaves