Joanne Burke

Joanne Burke is a film and video director-producer-editor with long years of high level experience. From the late 1960s to 1986 she was a top documentary film editor in New York, with more than twenty long-form documentaries for CBS, NBC, PBS and HBO on social, political and cultural themes to her credit. Burke was also the editor on “The Anderson Tapes” for director Sidney Lument, and served as a co-editor on “Gimme Shelter” a film about the Rolling Stones produced by Albert and David Maysles and Charolette Zwerin.



Her award-winning film on jazz great "Mary Lou Williams,Music on My Mind".


Women, AIDS, Hope in Mali, about the particular problems of women in West Africa in dealing with their status as HIV positive.

2012 - 2014

When African Americans Came to Paris followed by a second compilation in 2014.


Series of documentaries entitled New Directions on innovative women in developing countries: Women of Zimbabwe, Women of Thailand, and Women of Guatemala.


When African Americans Came to France for Best Director


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In 1986 Burke moved to Paris with her husband David, where they began to produce independent films with their company Blue Lion Films Inc. In 1990 “Mary Lou Williams: Music on My Mind” was broadcast on PBS in the United States. It was also broadcast on CBS in Canada, Arte TV in France and several other channels throughout Europe.


In the 1990s she created “New Directions”, a series of half-hour video documentaries about innovative grassroots women in Zimbabwe, Thailand, Guatemala, and Mali with a personal commitment to help them raise funds, that resulted in both private and public support.


In 2012 Blue Lion Films Inc. released a compilation of six short video documentaries, “When African Americans Came to Paris’ followed by a second compilation in 2014. This two-part educational series won the Best Director award at the Berlin Black International Cinema in 2015.


“Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light” was completed in 2016 in English and French. It has been shown at festivals, schools, universities and museums. In 2017 it was shown at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and at the Hotel de Ville in Paris. The same year it won the Henry Hampton Award at the Roxbury International Film Festival in Boston.

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