Chinonye Chukwu made history in February 2019 becoming the first black woman to win the festival’s biggest prize, the Grand Jury Prize for her U.S. Dramatic entry.
Chukwu both wrote and directed the death row drama, which stars Alfre Woodard as a prison warden struggling with the emotional demands of her job.
She joins Desiree Akhavan, Ryan Coogler, Debra Granik, Damien Chazelle, and many more big names as winning the Grand Jury Prize for their U.S. Dramatic entries.
An English (writing) major at DePauw, Chinonye Chukwu was a 2009 recipient of the Princess Grace Award.
Her debut feature film, AlaskaLand, was screened at the Chicago International Film Festival and the New York African Festival at Lincoln Center. Her short film, The Dance Lesson, was a regional finalist for the 2010 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Academy Awards.
Her ‘A Long Walk’ is an adaptation of a short story by DePauw English Professor Samuel Autman.
Chukwu has served as an assistant professor of motion pictures at Wright State University, where she began the research that resulted in Clemency.