Anjanette Levert is a journalist and an award-winning filmmaker dedicated to creating, and supporting the creation, of diverse images showing the humanity of peoples of color in media.
Originally from Atlanta, GA, she studied journalism in the suburbs of The Windy City in Evanston, IL at NorthwesternUniversity’s Medill School of Journalism. She later studied documentary filmmaking in Harlem’s City College of New York where she earned a Masters in Fine Art.
In her senior year at Northwestern she took a graduate level Social Anthropology class and was introduced to ethnographic films. Intrigued by what she saw, and a little research, she discovered documentary film making. She had found her calling, documentary filmmaking the perfect way to combine her love of photography (she had been taking pictures since she was 12) and journalism. But it would be almost 10 years before she made her first film.
Not knowing how to get started as a documentarist, she spent the first couple of years of her career as a print journalist. Writing for such newspapers as: The Jacksonville Times-Union, Atlanta Daily World, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Between Chicago and her return to Atlanta, she spend a hot and sweaty year in the Dominican Republic working as a reporter, and later Managing Editor, for the Santo Domingo News, an English-language newspaper.
Once back in Atlanta, a high school friend introduced her to video production where she worked as a production assistant during Atlanta’s Black music boom. The combination of video production and journalism enabled Ms. Levert to join CNN. There she had the opportunity to work for all its news networks: Headline News, CNN, CNN International, CNNEspañol and the defunct CNNFinancial News. There she assisted in news coverage for over a decade of notable events. Ones that were most memorable for her are: The OJ Simpson Trial, The New Millennium, 9/11, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes’ Death from TLC, CNN’s 25th Anniversary, Hugo Chavez’ Coup, The U.S. Military’s Shock and Awe Campaign-Baghdad. She has also worked for Turner Private Networks, Cartoon Network Latin America, The Gospel Network, ESPN, BET News, ABC and CBS.
As a filmmaker, Ms. Levert made her first short film in 2000, “Shake It Up, Shake It Down” about Atlanta’s Black College Spring Break, also known as Freaknik. Her film focused on the perspectives of the students and alumni of the AtlantaUniversityCenter where the event originated in 1982. The film showed a divergent view of what was seen in both the local and national news media. It screened at festivals throughout the Southeast.
Her second short film, “The Wedding Proposal” is a personal journey film that explored Ms. Levert’s marriage options as a professional African-American woman and those like her. The film has screened at over 30 film festivals including, the Pan African Film Festival, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival (twice, included a Best of Festival screening) and Hot Springs Film Festival. It aired numerous times on the BET Jazz Network as part of a short documentary program called “Black Voices.” It is distributed to the educational market by Filmakers Library.
Ms. Levert is currently developing other media projects, as well as, “The Marriage Game” the feature-length version of “The Wedding Proposal” and “Swim Freaks” a narrative film about a suburban teenage girl becoming a lifeguard and the summer that ensues after she’s assigned to the ghetto pool.
Ms. Levert is also the co-founder of Cinema Sisters, an empowerment group for women of color documentary filmmakers in New York City. She also organizes a Just Write Now series, where people meet and write in the company of other writers. She is a contributor and editor for BlackandBrown News.com. She is a member of the Black Documentary Collective and the Harlem Arts Alliance Screenwriters Workshop.