Tracy Strain

I am based in Middletown, Connecticut, and though I am interested in many things, I spend much of my time making films. I am drawn to individual stories that reveal the ways that race, gender, ethnicity, class and sexuality work to shape lives and reflect and challenge society’s historical, artistic, political and cultural narratives. My films in the series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, Race: The Power of an Illusion and I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts serve as early exemplars. In January 2023 Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space, premiered. With Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, the first feature film about Lorraine Hansberry, I incorporated my 35+-year practice, rooted in discovering, researching and directing new and often unknown stories to advance social justice, build community and empower the marginalized into a documentary described by Robin D. G. Kelley as “a gorgeous visual love letter…in its brilliance, honesty, and vision.” After its premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the documentary subsequently won several awards including a Peabody and NAACP Image Award for directing. I make my documentaries through The Film Posse, the production company I co-founded with my partner and colleague Randall MacLowry. My next independent project is Survival Floating, a poetic essay investigating African-descended peoples’ relationships with swimming and water and a documentary about John Henry. A faculty member at Wesleyan University, I am the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Associate Director of the College of Film and the Moving Image and Co-Director of the Wesleyan Documentary Project.