Rachel Beth Anderson, a Sundance award winning cinematographer, began her career filming in hostile environments including Libya, Syria, South Sudan, and Afghanistan for PBS Frontline, CNN, Human Rights Watch, and independent feature documentaries First To Fall, E-Team, and Theo, Who Lived.
Originally from North Dakota, Anderson graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Journalism school, where she filmed and co-produced a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award winning documentary Breaking Down Barriers. Prior to graduating she participated in a Fulbright sponsored journalism program based in Cairo, Egypt focusing on international reporting and conversational Arabic. This experience led Anderson to officially relocate to Cairo in 2010.
During the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Anderson began to work as a cinematographer and field producer for the journalism documentary series PBS Frontline. She continues to film for the series, having contributed on over a dozen films, from the truth behind the Lockerbie bomb on Emmy Award winner, My Brother’s Bomber, to the uncovering of Firestone’s financial support of the Liberian civil war, an IRE Award winner, Firestone and the Warlord. Anderson’s footage from the 2011 revolution has also been included in multiple long form documentaries including BBC’s This World, Egypt – Children of the Revolution, PBS’s Before the Spring: After the Fall, independent films Zero-Silence and Uprising.
Anderson’s directorial debut, First To Fall, was borne of a 8-month journey spanning the 2011 Libyan war. The film was a Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund grantee (2012) and had its world premier screening at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in late 2013. After screening in festivals across a dozen countries the film won two jury awards at the investigative journalism festival FIGRA in France, the Grand Prix Jury Award at IRFF in Poland, was featured at the Bayeux-Calvados award for war correspondents, and was awarded the Best of Fest prize at the Columbus International Film Festival. First To Fall broadcast worldwide on BBC’s Storyville Global series in the summer of 2015.
Currently, Anderson is in the final stages of directing her second feature film to be released in 2018. Unschooled, is a character driven film focused on the racial and class disparity of education through a lens of alternative school choices, based in Philadelphia, PA.