Anne Macksoud & John Ankele

Anne Macksoud spent 17 years as a teacher (English literature, photography, and music) before transitioning to film and video production. Once she discovered the “eye-opening” power of the documentary medium, she brought rented documentaries into her classroom on a regular basis. Eventually, she began helping her students make their own films and slide shows on the issues of the day (civil rights, the Vietnam War, and global poverty, to name a few). She approaches filmmaking from the perspective of an artist as well as an educator.

John Ankele, as a producer of radio and TV programming in the 1960’s, used mass media to empower faith communities advocating for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. During the struggle for independence in southern Africa, he worked with and trained political activists in the use of media to bring about social change. Before teaming up with Anne Macksoud, his documentary subjects covered: African “prophet healers” in marginalized communities, who blend “spirit-based” Christianity with indigenous African beliefs & practices; the rise of the underground church in China against the backdrop of state suppression of religious beliefs and practices; the impact of women’s empowerment on health care and living standards in India.  As an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church and as a student in the zen and Shambhala Buddhist traditions, he has been involved for many years in interfaith dialogue around contemplative practice and social justice.