Penn Professor Tukufu Zuberi’s ‘African Independence’ Wins Two Top Awards at San Diego Black Film Fest

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460February 7, 2013

PHILADELPHIA –- Tukufu Zuberi, a University of Pennsylvania sociology and Africana studies professor, has won the 2013 San Diego Black Film Festival Best Director award for his documentary film African Independenceand the film won the Best Documentary Film award.  The film’s world premiere was Jan. 31 when it opened the festival held at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp in San Diego.

“I make films as an extension of my desire to educate, so being awarded the Best Documentary Film and Best Director at the film festival came as a surprise,” Zuberi said. “I decided to submit the film to several festivals, and I could not have anticipated the buzz that it is generating.”  

Zuberi produced the film – his first documentary -- in association with TZ Production Company, which he founded in 2007.  

African Independence is a feature-length documentary covering the history of the African continent since enslavement and colonization by Europeans.  The film highlights the birth and realization of and the problems confronted by the movement to win independence in Africa.  The story is told through the voices of freedom fighters and leaders who achieved independence and justice for Africans.  It seeks to enlighten and provide audiences with African insights into the continent’s past, present and future through the lens of four watershed events: World War II, the end of colonialism, the Cold War and the era of African republics.

Zuberi is known by public television viewers in the United States for his 10 seasons as a host on the popular PBS series “History Detectives.” 

At Penn he is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations and professor of sociology and Africana studies.  He is known for his international work, research and collaborations regarding Africa and the African Diaspora.

More information is available at or by contacting Marcus T. Wright at 215-573-5169 or