Ashland Independent FF (2023) – Winner: Rogue Award

Blackstar FF (2023) – Winner: Audience Award: Best Feature Documentary

Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US (2024) – Nominated: Outstanding Original Score, Outstanding Nonfiction Feature

Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US (2024) – Winner: Cinema Eye Honors Award: The Unforgettables, Outstanding Visual Design

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards (2023) – Nominated: Critics' Choice Documentary Award: Best Biographical Documentary

Denver Int’l FF (2023) – Nominated: Maysles Brothers Award: Best Documentary

DOC NYC (2023) – Winner: Editing Award

Film Independent Spirit Awards (2024) – Nominated: Independent Spirit Award: Best Documentary

Fort Worth Gay & Lesbian Int’l FF (2023) – Winner: Jury Award: Best Documentary

Fort Worth Gay and Lesbian Int’l FF (2023) – Nominated: Audience Award

Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ FF (2023) – Winner: Jury Prize: Outstanding Documentary Feature

Freep FF (2023) – Winner: Festival Award: Best of Festival

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (2024) – Nominated: Dorian Award: LGBTQ Documentary of the Year

Indie Memphis FF (2023) – Winner: Best Documentary Feature

Int’l Documentary Association (2024) – Nominated: IDA Award: Best Music Score, Best Feature Documentary

Rochester ImageOut (2023) – Winner: Jury Award: Best Documentary Film

Seattle Queer FF (2023) – Winner: Jury Award: Best Documentary Film

Sundance FF (2023) – Winner: Grand Jury Prize: US Documentary

Trinidad and Tobago FF (2023) – Winner: Festival Prize: Best Documentary

Virginia FF (2023) – Winner: Changemaker Award

Feature International
SA Premiere

going-to-mars_poster_portrait Poster
Film Poster

This masterfully produced look at the life of hugely influential African American poet and activist Nikki Giovanni is made instantly engaging by the presence of Giovanni herself. Profoundly charismatic and with a powerful intelligence, she has taken on the world as a black woman who has lived life very much on her own idiosyncratic terms. Framed by its subject’s famous statement that ‘the trip to Mars can only be understood through Black Americans’, the film fuses a rich archive of historical footage and interviews with the young Giovanni with contemporary access to the poet and her peers. Exquisitely edited and infused with empathy, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project is both a richly detailed portrait of a life driven by a commitment to duty, truth, and community, and an alternative history of the American century and the civil rights movement, rendered from a black perspective.


Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson have crafted an elegant and engaging portrait.
— VARIETY, Lisa Kennedy
An enjoyably impressionistic bio-doc.
Insightful, entertaining
— NEW YORK TIMES, Manohla Dargis
This visually poetic portrait of an enigmatic literary icon masterfully weaves archival materials with observational footage to celebrate Nikki Giovanni and her importance to black artistic expression and American culture today.
— FRAMELINE Jury Statement 2023