UWGB alumna and co-writer of Netflix’s ‘African Queens’ Owino to screen award-winning documentary

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The annual Alumni Awards event at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay features added excitement this year. Rising star, 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and proud Phoenix Peres Owino, Class of ’99 will be screening her documentary “BOUND: Africans vs African-Americans” from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Christie Theater.

The event is free and open to the public and Owino will be on hand to provide an introduction and entertain a question-and-answer session after the viewing of the documentary.

As an award-winning Kenyan-American storyteller, this documentary represented her directorial debut a decade ago and is still relevant today. The narrative focuses on the perceived differences of those born in Africa compared to those African-Americans born in the U.S. “BOUND: Africans vs African-Americans” has played in more than two dozen festivals around the world, winning the Women In Film — Lena Sharpe Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color Award at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York.

Her latest film projects, include the short films “Stray,” produced by 20th Century Fox Digital as part of Hulu’s Best of Huluween and “Glimpse.”

“I’m very excited to show this at UWGB because it is right outside the International Student Center that this film was birthed,” Owino shared.

Owino’s feature credits include her original screenplay, “The Basket Weaver,” winner of the NYWIFT Writer’s Lab supported by Meryl Streep; “Seasons of Love,” produced by Taraji P. Henson, nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie; and “Once Upon A Time in Africa,” currently in pre-production. Her original works for the stage include her one-act play, “Cut,” which premiered at The Walt Disney Concert Hall — REDCAT; and her one-woman show, “Beauty For Ashes.”

The show “African Queens,” which she co-wrote for Netflix, Westbrook and Nutopia, premiered Feb. 15. She is currently developing various TV projects for Warner Brothers, Berlanti, Hartbeat, TinkerToy Productions and Gaumont.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a number of outstanding alumni, including Owino and her two siblings, Rita and David, at the 2023 Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 20, in the Phoenix Rooms in the University Union. The event is open to the public, and tickets can be purchased at UW-Green Bay Alumni Awards.

For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at 920-465-2074 or alumni@uwgb.edu.

“One of our strongest assets as a university is our alumni,” UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander said. “UW-Green Bay graduates make a difference every day in communities across our region, state, nation, and the world. We need their insights and experience to help UW-Green Bay continue to grow and influence the next generation of graduates. We are honored to recognize these alumni for their career achievements and the impact they have made in our community and throughout the world.”

The Alumni Awards highlight UW-Green Bay graduates and other individuals who have made special contributions to UW-Green Bay, their communities and professions. The 2023 Distinguished honorees are Neil Jacobstein, ’76; Laurie Lindborg Parsons, ’80; Eric Lund, ’89; and siblings Rita Owino, ’97, Peres Owino, ’99, and David Owino ’03. Receiving the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for 2023 will be Sarah Beckman, ’08. Terry Fulwiler, retired CEO and chair of the board of WS Packaging, who has worked tirelessly to advocate for UW-Green Bay and has extensive community involvement, will receive an Honorary Alumni Award.


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