Award-winning American Filmmaker best known for the feature documentary FREE ANGELA & All Political Prisoners and the Peabody Award winning documentary CHISHOLM ’72: Unbought & Unbossed. Her independent film body of work and her other collaborative projects feed her passion to bring history alive with captivating stories of people, places and events.
Her feature documentary FREE ANGELA & All Political Prisoners is a first hand account of the events that thrust Angela Davis into the national spotlight from a young college professor to a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The film recieved critical acclaim and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Excellence for Best Documentary.
In 2013, She was named the Curator for Film, Moving Image and Recorded Sound at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Shola holds a Master’s in American History and Public History Management from the University of California, Riverside as well as a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is also working on a book based on her film Free Angela.
Her first independent documentary, CHISHOLM ’72 – Unbought & Unbossed, follows Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s historic run for president in 1972 and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS’s POV series. The film won two Independent Spirit Award nominations and a prestigious Peabody for excellence.
From age 2 to 6, Shola Lynch was one of the kids on Sesame Street in the early 1970s. She would later be reunited with Kermit the Frog in the 1989 special Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting. She was also a nationally ranked track athlete in high school in NYC and while at the University of Texas at Austin. She credits the lessons she learned as a competitor to her success as a filmmaker.
She has produced and scripted stories that have aired on BET, CNN, ESPN, HBO Sports, TV One, and PBS. In 2013, The Sundance Institute selected Shola as one of five women who show great promise to be mentored in their prestigious Women’s Filmmaker Initiative. Shola was also recently awarded a prestigious Creative Capital Award for her next film, a narrative on the great liberator Harriet Tubman. In 2016, she was selected to the Documentary Jury of the Sundance Film Festival.
As a filmmaker and curator, Shola has become a highly respected public speaker, lecturer and panelist on the subject of film and film history for universities, film festivals and corporations. She has recently screened and/or presented to groups including Harvard University, The University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, University of California at Los Angeles, The Guggenheim Museum, The Tribeca Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival and The Toronto International Film Festival.