Chicago, IL


Iyabo Kwayana is a transnational filmmaker born in Guyana, South America to a Guyanese father and African-American mother.  Throughout her childhood, she traveled throughout cultures in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States; she became intrigued by culture and both the distinctiveness and universalness that exist simultaneously within the human experience.  

Though much of her interest takes her into international spaces, Iyabo has also worked domestically.  Her goal, to produce narrative and documentary films that speak to vast richness and poetic vibrancy of human beings, mammals, and small creepy crawlies alike.  Above all, she is interested in moments of insight and magic.  

Iyabo received her BA from Spelman College, holds an MFA from UCLA's graduate school of film production where she was awarded BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY for her work on All Men are Flowers.  She is currently getting a second MFA in Documentary Media at the school of Radio, Film and Television at Northwestern University and was Northwestern's nominee for Kodak's Student Scholarship Award .  She is a past recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in Tanzania, the U.C. Cuba Fellowship, and the FLAS fellowship for Portuguese language and the implementation of her youth film curriculum in Bahia, Brazil. Recently, she was nominated as a finalist for the Student Academy Awards and is a BAFTA shortlisted filmmaker.



Featured Works


Holy Chicken


Macarrão, the kid whose name means “Spaghetti”, is an awkward skinny boy with a slight lisp.  Trying to fit into a world of constant ridicule, it’s not until he is taken under the local butcher’s wing, that Macarrão learns his sting is as sharp as any bee.