Thomas Allen Harris is the founder and President of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences that illuminate the Human Condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. Chimpanzee’s innovative and award-winning documentary feature films - VINTAGE – Families of Value, E Minha Cara/That’s My Face, and Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela - have received critical acclaim at International film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, FESPACO, Outfest, Flaherty and Cape Town and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, as well as CBC, Swedish broadcasting Network and New Zealand Television. Mr. Harris’ video and installations have been featured at prestigious museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia and London Institute of the Arts.
Harris began his career producing for public television, for which he received several awards including two Emmy nominations (in 1991) for his work as a staff producer at WNET (New York’s PBS affiliate) on THE ELEVENTH HOUR. In 1990, Harris curated the first New York/San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Town Hall meeting, a three-hour public television event, which culminated in the broadcast of Marlon Riggs Tongues Untied. Since then, Harris has received numerous awards and fellowships including a United States Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Fellowship, as well as CPB/PBS and Sundance Directors Fellowships. A graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Biology, Harris was a tenured Associate Professor of Media Arts at the University of California San Diego.
Harris is presently in production on his fourth feature documentary Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People and a multimedia community engagement project, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR.tv) is where individuals are invited to explore the rich and revealing historical narratives found within their own family photograph collections.