Nkara’s film Downpour Resurfacing premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was awarded seven prizes at other festivals. This “internal” documentary employs dream-like metaphorical images to communicate the psychological and emotional repercussions of child sexual and physical abuse as well as paths to healing. The unusual combination of this kind of imagery with nonfiction story expanded possibilities of the traditional documentary genre. Because this combination also elucidated social meanings of abstract and surreal imagery, Film Threat gave it five stars and dubbed it “experimental film that matters”. After its national broadcast on PBS's "Independent Lens", audience members wrote in that it moved them to change their lives. New work made it to the last round in consideration for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.

     Nkara was prepared not only for composing films, but for inventing new ways to make them, by learning to venture into the unknown and finding new ideas through early intensive training and publication in experimental science at UC Berkeley and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.  Extending this experimental approach into art, she turned to nonverbal and body-centered media to deepen the physical-psychological underpinnings of imagery and stories. With hand-picked mentors, she trained in cinematic arts, writing, performance, music, dance, movement improvisation, meditation practices, bodywork (CMT), and culinary invention as a vegetarian chef. These diverse perspectives inspired the creation of performances and films that explored the body-based nature of our minds and its role in cultural change. She developed the traditional craft of narrative fiction filmmaking while freelancing, and delved into political psychology as California Governor Jerry Brown’s radio producer. Nkara extended this political and cultural inquiry through studies in cognitive science and its applications to film and theatrical composition, and in this vein contributed as dramaturg to Sara Kraft’s HyperReal, which premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In support of other filmmakers, Nkara was also the financial director of New Day Films. She is currently working toward a PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley.


Films by Frances Nkara

Downpour Resurfacing

Dr. Robert Hall generously opens his own story of child sexual and physical abuse to convey how he transformed their repercussions into a life of confidence and peace. Offering emotional wisdom and analytic clarity from his decades of personal and professional experience, Hall inspires hope in abuse survivors and other trauma victims alike. The intricate, lyrical imagery powerfully conveys the story as dreams do, echoing Hall's heritage and innovation in somatic therapies.