Where young women become global leaders

Sadé Clacken Joseph ’07 premieres film at Tribeca Film Festival

Sadé Clacken Joseph ’07 is transforming her passion for storytelling into a successful and inspiring career in the media world. She is a filmmaker, music video director, photographer, and singer-songwriter whose most recent film was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Sadé attended Sacred Heart Greenwich for nine years and said that the school “shaped her into who she is” and was the place that first nurtured her love for filmmaking. She was a member of one of the earliest Broadcast Journalism classes at Sacred Heart.

She visited the Creative Filmmaking students at Sacred Heart on April 24, 2019. Sadé showed the students a short film that she was commissioned to write, direct, edit, and produce for Spotify called “Knight” as well as a music video, “Holy,” that she directed and edited.

After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from Columbia University in 2011, Sadé joined the production team for the ABC talkshow The View, where she worked for four years.

Sadé told the students, “My anthropology background informs my filmmaking today. Learning to be an observer and to study people and how they relate to one another” are skills that translate into being an empathetic storyteller. She said, “Successful filmmaking simulates real-life situations.”

Despite the prestige and stability of a full-time job in television, Sadé realized that she had a passion for filmmaking and wanted to tell her own stories. She wanted to focus on shining a light on underrepresented groups. Her vision, voice and sensitivity to socially conscious storytelling is evident in her work.

After leaving The View, Sadé decided to pursue filmmaking at the graduate level at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Sadé earned an MFA from USC’s Film Production program in 2018. The three years she spent working on her MFA gave her the opportunity to try every aspect of production. She said the facilities and people at USC were outstanding.

“The network and mentors I found at USC are irreplaceable,” Sadé told the students.

Sadé emphasized how important collaboration is to making any project a success. She said, “I try to surround myself with people know more than I do in their given field. It’s all about communication and collaboration.”
 
Studio Director and filmmaking teacher Ms. Ellyn Stewart said, “It is incredibly inspiring to see the success that Sadé has had in the filmmaking world at such a young age. From USC to the British Film Institute to the Tribeca Film Festival, she is being recognized around the world for her talent. On a personal note, Sadé is a student who always exuded joy, and I can see that her positive attitude has opened many doors for her. I know her future is very bright.”

Sadé's most recent film, Ponyboi, was accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival and has the backing of Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson. Forbes magazine rated her film as one of “five not to be missed short films” from this year’s festival.
 
Sharon Badal, Vice President of Filmmaker Relations and Shorts Programming, introduced Sadé's film at the festival. She said that only 63 shorts out of 5,100 submissions were selected for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
 
Ms. Stewart attended the Tribeca Film Festival to see Sadé's screening.

“It was exciting to see one of our own alumna’s films on the big screen at Tribeca Film Festival and to walk the red carpet with Sadé,” Ms. Stewart said.

The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place in lower Manhattan from April 24 to May 5. The two remaining screenings of Sadé’s film are sold out.
 
Currently, Sadé is the videographer, photographer and content producer for the award-winning hip-hop artist Common and his social justice based non-profit organization, Imagine Justice. Her work on Common’s Hope and Redemption Prison Tour over the last two years has been featured on VICE, Variety and Rolling Stone.

“Social change is really important to me. Working on films about social justice and doing meaningful work" is a focus of Sadé's filmmaking, she said.

Sadé splits her time working on both coasts, although she said that New York will always be home.

She is directing an upcoming short film based on Common’s next album and book Let Love Have the Last Word (2019) as well as a feature length, Atlanta-based, music documentary entitled Trap Jazz (2019).

Sadé is a Director's Guild of America John Frankenheimer Fellow and Inaugural 30 under 30 Caribbean-American Emerging Leader and Changer Maker Award recipient for which she was honored at the White House.
 
 
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Convent of the Sacred Heart

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