Avril Z. Speaks


Avril has over eighteen years of experience as a filmmaker to include credits as a producer, writer, director, and editor. She earned her M.F.A. in Film Directing from Columbia University in New York City, her B.S. from the University of Maryland in African American Studies and studied film production at Howard University. Upon graduating from Columbia, Avril worked in development for USA Films (currently Focus Features), then went on to work for the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers in NYC. She has directed two award-winning feature films, and has directed and edited numerous short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. As an advocate of film education and training, Avril has shared her passion for the arts by serving on several film-related panel discussions, festivals, and juries, and as a full time professor at Howard University in Washington, DC. She is currently teaching film at Azusa Pacific University in California and Greenway Arts Alliance, all while working on her second Masters degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Her ultimate goal is to diversify the film market by educating and empowering aspiring artists; thereby creating a movement of media that represents the true, multi-dimensional qualities of people and speaks to the world. For more information or for collaboration, see the links below.

  • Education
    • Columbia University - M.F.A. Film Directing
    • Fuller Theological Seminary - M.A.T. Theology & the Arts
    • University of Maryland, College Park - B.A. African American Studies