Sojourner Truth Festival of the Arts 2023

Fronza Woods

Born (20 October 1943), raised and educated in Detroit, Michigan, BA in Russian and Mass Communications (although her heart was in theatre and dance), from Wayne State University, Detroit.

After a stint as a junior copywriter for a small ad agency in Detroit, she moved to New York City in 1967, where she spent most of her active professional years, first as a junior copywriter at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency; later as a production assistant in the documentary unit at ABC News. She also taught Pilates for a number of years at the Robert Fitzgerald Studio, before coming to the realization that there was a latent filmmaker inside her, desperate to get out.

She got her basic filmmaking training at the Womens Interart Center, New York, under the tutelage of Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer. Later, she enrolled in the graduate film programme at NYU, but dropped out after one semester, for lack of funds.

In addition to her own two films, she has worked as camerawoman on several independent films; was assistant sound engineer on John Sayles’ feature “The Brother from Another Planet”; has been a script reader for HBO; was for a brief period secretary/assistant to screenwriter Waldo Salt, and has taught basic filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she also created and curated the Community Media Project, an outreach film program for the city’s black community.

She lives in the southwest of France with her translator husband, Simon Pleasance, and two radical black cats.

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