LAURENS GRANTRokia: Voice of a New Generation
Rokia: Voice of a New Generation is a personal story that explores gender, race, borders, and an African woman’s struggle to create music that transcends them all. Laurens traveled extensively around the world with Rokia Traoré, a musician from Mali, and was granted rare access to the singer’s family, recording sessions, and rehearsals including those with the critically-acclaimed Kronos Quartet.
Laurens has received funding from NBPC, NYS Council on the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. The trailer for the documentary was accepted into the IFP Market Spotlight on Documentaries; WOMEX, the world’s largest music expo; and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. The film has been edited into an hour-length rough cut and is heading into final edits. The website is in progress.
Laurens is a talented filmmaker and in addition to her own project, she directed a film on Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for American Experience and Firelight Films which aired on PBS in May 2012. She also served as producer for the Emmy Award-winning film Freedom Riders which aired on PBS in May 2011.