In the Making - Amyra León: Strange Grace

Filmmaker Malika Zouhali-Worrall provides a portrait of Amyra León, the musician, poet, author and activist who channels deeply personal experiences of pain and healing into raw, majestic, and often cathartic performances that celebrate love, Blackness and womanhood.

Artist Biography

Amyra León is a musician, playwright, author, and activist. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, her work fuses music and poetry through powerfully transparent performances focusing on social inequalities and communal healing whilst celebrating love, Blackness, and womanhood.

She has performed throughout the United States and Europe collaborating with the likes of The Apollo, BAM, BBC, Roundhouse, Amnesty International and more.

Amyra composed Una Mujer Derramada in collaboration with Sivan Eldar commissioned by and performed with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Montpellier National Opera, and the Paris Chamber Orchestra. She is the inaugural recipient of the Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Award which led to the 2019 London premiere of her debut play VASELINE.

She is the author of Concrete Kids (Penguin 2020), Freedom We Sing (Flying Eye Books 2020) and Darling (Walker, Candlewick 2022) . Her musical debut, Something Melancholy, led to sharing stages with Common, Robert Glasper, Nikki Giovanni and more. Amyra’s debut album, WITNESS, was released in September 2020.

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Filmmaker Biography

Malika Zouhali-Worrall is an Emmy award-winning director and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her first film, Call Me Kuchu, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, going on to screen at more than 200 film festivals and win 20 awards. Malika’s second film, Thank You For Playing, an ITVS/POV co-production, premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, and broadcast in the U.S. on POV, after a theatrical release in 2016. In 2017 the film was awarded the News & Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary, and was also nominated for Outstanding Documentary Editing and Best Documentary. More recently, Malika directed an episode for the Arte / Upian co-production, Earn A Living (IDFA 2018), a documentary series that examines experiments worldwide in universal basic income. She is currently a San Francisco Film / Catapult Documentary Fellow, and recently received the year-long Chicken & Egg Award fellowship for mid-career filmmakers (formerly known as the Breakthrough Award). Follow her on Instagram.