IN THE CINÉMA CLUB OF… JESSICA BESHIR
Born in Mexico City, raised in Ethiopia, and educated at UCLA, Jessica Beshir made her assured feature debut in 2021 with Faya Dayi: a sensory exploration of the khat crop’s cultural significance in Ethiopia. The documentary’s stream-of-consciousness style—anchored in striking black-and-white cinematography—also distinguished her earlier short, Hairat, as a clear Sundance standout in 2017. Beshir’s award-winning shorts have screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hot Docs, and New Directors/New Films; she has also received fellowships from the Sundance Institute and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Currently based in Brooklyn, Beshir recently won the Truer Than Fiction prize at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards.