Joanne Burke

Joanne Burke is a documentary film and video producer with long years of top-level experience. She has directed nine documentaries, including an hour-length film on jazz great Mary Lou Williams, MUSIC ON MY MIND (1990), broadcast on PBS, CBS, LaSept/Arte and other European channels.

She produced and directed a series of half-hour video documentaries entitled NEW DIRECTIONS on innovative women in developing countries. WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE was completed in 1996, WOMEN OF THAILAND in 1998, WOMEN OF GUATEMALA in 2000, and SPEAKING OUT: WOMEN, AIDS, AND HOPE IN MALI in 2002. She has also produced two short documentaries on the history of Americans in France during the First World War, THE LAFAYETTE ESCADRILLE (1995) and ANNE MORGAN: AN AMERICAN IN FRANCE (1997). Joanne Burke has edited more than twenty long-form documentaries for CBS, NBC and PBS, many of them winners of major awards, such as Tom Spain's multiple Emmy-winning ANY PLACE BUT HERE and Harry Morgan's FATHERS AND SONS for CBS News. She has also edited three feature films for Sidney Lumet, including THE ANDERSON TAPES with Sean Connery, and co-edited GIMME SHELTER, the Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerin's documentary feature on the Rolling Stones. She also taught film editing for five years at NYU and eight years at the School For Visual Arts.

Her latest production is a compilation of six short documentaries, WHEN AFRICANS AMERICANS CAME TO PARIS, released in 2012. She is now working on PARIS NOIR, AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE CITY OF LIGHT, an hour-length documentary about African American writers, artists, jazz musicians, and Josephine Baker in France in the period from 1918 to 1940. All the films of the Paris years have been independently produced in partnership with her writer/cameraman husband David Burke. (03/19)

Available Title(s):


Speaking Out: Women, AIDS and Hope in Mali


A film by Joanne Burke, 2002, 55 min, Color

The fourth installment of Joanne Burke‚Äôs critically acclaimed NEW DIRECTIONS series on women's empowerment in developing countries, SPEAKING OUT presents a compelling case study on the impact of AIDS on women from Mali and the devastating effects the epidemic is having in Africa today. This critically acclaimed documentary profiles a remarkable HIV and AIDS support…

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New Directions


A film by Joanne Burke, 1997, 145 min, Color

NEW DIRECTIONS is award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries. Each one spotlights the critical role women are playing as community based leaders: providing education, inspiration and practical assistance to other women in their countries. WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE (1997, 30 minutes) focuses on a group of five daring women who have…

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New Directions: Women of Guatemala


A film by Joanne Burke, 2000, 26 min, Color

Part of the new generation of Mayan women, Maria Del Carmen Chavajay and Micaela Chavajay, are two sisters who head the Health Promoter Group of San Pedro La Laguna, a group of seventy-five women that provides health education and treatment in remote areas of rural Guatemala. In a region where doctors are few or non-existent…

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New Directions: Women of Thailand


A film by Joanne Burke, 1997, 26 min, Color

In Klong Toey, Bangkok's largest slum, Duang Prateep, a foundation created and run entirely by women provides empowering choices and role models to the area's residents. Part of Joanne Burke's NEW DIRECTIONS series about innovative women in developing countries, this compelling documentary closeup of the women who carry out Duang Prateep's mandate centers on Rotjana…

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New Directions: Women of Zimbabwe


A film by Joanne Burke, 1997, 145 min, Color

From award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries, WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE focuses on a group of five daring women who have taken up the challenge of creating their own future in the traditionally male field of carpentry. At its center is Fatima Shoriwa, an inspiration to many of her countrywomen. Owner…

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Mary Lou Williams Music on My Mind


A film by Joanne Burke, 1990, 60 min, Color

Pioneering Black American composer-arranger-pianist Mary Lou Williams is one of the most remarkable figures in the history of jazz. In this authoritative film, lively interviews with Williams, Dizzy Gillepsie and Buddy Tate interweave the musical and personal elements of her dramatic life. At the height of her career, she dropped out of music to help…

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