Kiersten Dunbar Chace
... capturing the essence of our humanity, our suffering, our struggle and to present the belief in unity and the interconnectedness that is in all of us.
Kiersten Dunbar Chace
Kiersten Dunbar Chace is a human rights activist/advocate and an award-winning indie film producer and director with Mondé World Films. For 27 years, she focused her camera lens on South Africa. In 2009, Chace produced her first feature-length film ‘I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured - Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope’ which explored the legacy of apartheid from the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured/Khoe community. The film won an Audience Choice award at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival in Bermuda and has screened at many US and International Film Festivals and at over 70 Universities worldwide. In September 2014, Chace's film was one of two selected to present at the prestigious academic conference Migrating the Black Body: Visual Arts and the African Diaspora in Hanover Germany. Kiersten was also featured in the academic book by the same name.
In March of 2017, Kiersten served as a human rights advocate and stakeholder at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review working session in Geneva, Switzerland and with a small team of South Africans, shared their human rights concerns. Her latest film Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela's Promise was screened at the Palais des Nations before members of the Int'l Human Rights Council. Chace also served as an observer in 2015 at the United Nations in Geneva when a Shadow Report was presented/submitted to the Int'l Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This report cited South Africa as being in violation of the UN CERD Treaty/Convention. The film I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured was used as a supplemental piece to help educate UN members on the history and struggle of the Khoe/Coloured communities of South Africa.
Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela's Promise is an introspective look into South Africa's young democracy as well as a meditation on what may be looming on the horizon for the Coloured people of South Africa. It has featured at the Human Rights Film Festival in Barcelona, NYC and Paris, Twin Cities Film Festival, Vancouver South Africa Film Festival, United Nations in Geneva, and the Critical Mixed Raced Conference at USC.
Kiersten's latest project 'Munguía' was produced for the descendants of Tomás Munguía and the Arizona Archaeology Site Steward Conference 2022. Supported by Arizona State Parks, State Historical Preservation Office, and the Bureau of Land Management Tucson. In 2005, preservation archaeologist Jacquie Dale, submitted the Munguía homestead to the Arizona Site Steward program for protection and monitoring. 17 years later, filmmaker and site steward Kiersten Dunbar Chace, visits the Munguía site to monitor and document the home and learns of Munguía's rich Arizona ancestry, dating back to the 18th century.
In 2011, she released the documentary 'Solveig - The Life and Artwork of Solveig Arneng Johnson' which was also featured at several US festivals and was the first documentary film about a Saami American.
2013 - Kiersten consulted and helped filmed on the upcoming Bio Doc 'Conspiracy to Be Free: The Russell Means Story' (American Indian Movement). a short film Tami Tushie's Toys which she produced with Melody Gilbert and a great team of filmmakers from Minnesota as part of an international competition. The film won the Audience Choice Award at Int'l Doc Challenge (Hot Docs Toronto), featured at the Minneapolis Int'l Film Festival, and appeared on the Documentary Channel.
Future projects include a book on her 24-years of experience in South Africa and finishing a screenplay based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Chace's grasp of her subject is not just the result of experience and research alone, but an unusual understanding of the complexity of human dynamics. This gives her the capacity to present complicated issues in a clear and simple way that is immediately comprehensible to the viewer. "Understanding of all the players, whether victim or perpetrator, is important in my storytelling. To search deeper into the mindset and motivation behind a difficult situation, whether it is right or wrong, justified or not."
When watching Kiersten’s films she calls us to consider what a transcendent state of consciousness might be like and recognizes the deep underlying similarities we all share vs superficial differences capturing the essence of our humanity, our suffering, our struggle and to present the belief in unity and the interconnectedness that is in all of us.
Film ethos statement:
A commitment to creating safe spaces for communities and individuals to tell their stories without condemnation by other racial groups. If anything negative is to be said about a community it must come from within their own community/ethnic grouping.
A commitment to allowing people/communities to tell their stories without an American narrative attached.
A commitment to understanding that freedom in any country should be measured only by those who have been historically or currently marginalized.
Member of Critical Mixed Race Studies - Global Caucus
Inaugural member of the Hanson Film Institute Producer's Club - University of Arizona and former member of FilmNorth.
2007 - On set - Hout Bay
1996 - Joseph Stone Auditorium / Cape Town
Chace with James Bergmann
Chace with Actress Lesley Ann Brandt
Kiersten Dunbar Chace