The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Expert Profile

Tamara Shogaolu

Tamara Shogaolu

2013-2014 Luce Scholar

Placement: Salto Films, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Tamara Shogaolu has spent most of her life living between Panama, the U.S. and the Middle East. She is driven by her goal to tell stories that need to be told and make films and multi-media projects that inspire cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. She has worked in film, research and media in the Middle East, United States, Africa and Latin America on both narrative and documentary projects. Most recently she worked on the biopic film CHAVEZ, directed by Diego Luna about the life of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Her research has ranged from tracking economic trends, to the experiences of migrant workers in the Middle East, and to the Afro-Ecuadorian Civil Rights Movement. In addition to doing research as a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, she worked with project ObjecDEFY, whose mission is to encourage people to defy the sexual harassment of women in order to effect societal and legal reform in the Middle East. In addition to producing and directing various projects, she has worked as a Film and Media for Social Change consultant for various nonprofit organizations, as a development intern with Participant Media, Canana and Warner Brothers Films, and as a production assistant for WE TV. She also co-organized the first annual Cairo Refugee Film Festival, where she designed and organized workshops that built community between refugee and Egyptian youth through the art of storytelling. Tamara is currently producing and directing a short animated documentary film and interactive media project on experiences of Egyptian women during the January 2011 revolution and in this post-Mubarak era. Tamara concluded her work as an MFA candidate in the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

Established in 1998, Salto Films is an Indonesian film company that focuses on producing distinctive films helmed by auteur and talented newcomers. The company's select credits include award-winning international co-productions, The Photograph (2007) and Whispering Sands (2001), directed by Indonesia's leading female director Nan Achnas. With the producer Shanty Harmayn, Tamara works on a film in development on sex trafficking. Harmayn is the co-founder of the Jakarta International Film Festival in 1999, and InDocs, an organization that promotes Indonesian documentary filmmaking and focuses on talent development, information, and education.

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