Penelope Jagessar Chaffer
Penelope Jagessar Chaffer is a multi award winning documentary filmmaker, writer, feminist, children’s environmental health advocate and global environmentalist. She is the first black, female director to be nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award. Born in London, of Trinidadian parentage, she started her career at the BBC, before moving to Channel 4. Her first British Academy Award Nomination came for her debut film, “Me and My Dad” which followed Penelope back to Trinidad as she confronted her father, a former high flying magistrate, (the youngest magistrate in the British Commonwealth) who was sent to prison for bribery and corruption. The film commissioned by Channel 4, was broadcast in June 2001. She has directed several well received pieces of work including “Shakespeare’s Stories” for the BBC, which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2006. She has also won over 10 awards for her work with the BBC and Channel 4, including 5 gold national and international Promax awards and is a double BAFTA, Royal Television Society and Grierson (British Documentary Awards) nominee. A documentary auteur, her films display a singularly unique perspective on the world we live in with The Observer newspaper in Britain calling her work “a joy to watch.” Examples of her work can be seen on the Toxic Baby website under info/Penelope (see links.) In addition to being the director, producer, editor and writer of Toxic Baby, Penelope has been named one of the top 100 Green Online Influencers and has been awarded the “Mom On A Mission” award by Healthy Child, Healthy World, the non profit named by Vanity Fair magazine as one of Mrs. Michelle Obama’s two favorite charity organizations. Penelope’s TED talk with Professor Tyrone Hayes on the effects of toxic chemicals on babies and children has been viewed over 300,000 times. She is also an author for Toxipedia, writes her own blog and for publications around the world. A mother of two, she lives in Brooklyn, New York City.