2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient



Tracy Heather Strain smiles wearing black glasses and a geometric-patterned blouse.Tracy Heather Strain, a two-time Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, explores stories about the ways diverse peoples have experienced life in the U.S. In 2019 she won an NAACP Image Award for Motion Picture Directing for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and aired on American Masters

Her directing debut, Bright Like a Sun and The Dream Keepers, in Blackside’s series I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts, “leaps off the screen” noted The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter praised her first film for American Experience, Building the Alaska Highway, as “dynamic” and “truly great storytelling.” Other credits include Race: The Power of an Illusion and Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

Tracy’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Brother Thomas Fund at The Boston Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, CPB/PBS Producers Academy, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Black Public Media, Ford Foundation, ITVS, and Color of Film Collaborative. 

She also teaches documentary filmmaking at Wesleyan University. 


Sparked from the director’s childhood witness of a near-drowning experience at a northern Black suburban swimming pool, Survival Floating is an essay film that weaves historical and contemporary African Americans’ relationships to swimming as a metaphor of the centuries of Black struggle for survival.