Maggie Zhu and Eseoghene Obrimah

Maggie Zhu is a director, writer, cinematographer from Baoding, China. She received her MFA in Cinema Directing from Columbia College Chicago, BA in Video Production from Webster University and BA in English from Beijing Language and Culture University. Her work in filmmaking focuses on the experiences of real human emotions in surreal settings. Often from a female point of view and sometimes autobiographical, her films construct distinctive worlds with stylized visual images to explore the intricacies of human interaction and the private emotions it evokes surrounding themes such as nostalgia, loss of identity, grief and isolation. Eseoghene Obrimah (or Ese) is a writer and producer from Lagos, Nigeria who believes that until the lion has its own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story. Her experiences as an international student and advocate for Black students and survivors of sexual assault informs her choices as a filmmaker. She focuses on stories that analyze social issues within the genres of horror, fantasy, mystical realism, science fiction and africanfuturism. She has produced short films including, Bullies, which highlights the issues students of color face at a predominantly white institution and 35, a social thriller about the short life expectancy of Black transwomen. In 2019, Ese received the Movie Magic Producer Award. In 2020, she was awarded the Alfred P. Weisman Award.