Christene Browne has been working as an independent producer and director for more than twenty years. For her groundbreaking 5-part documentary series Speaking In Tongues: The History of Language (2007), which investigates the evolution of language from prehistoric times to the present day, Christene is receiving the TheWIFTS Foundation Documentary Award 2011.
Born in St. Kitts, Browne moved with her family to Regent Park, Canada's oldest and largest low-income community in 1970. It was in that Toronto community where the seeds of Browne's filmmaker career were planted. There she participated in and then led the Regent Park Video workshop project where she made a number of socially and culturally relevant videos. It was during this time Browne decided to go to film school. She attended the film program at Ryerson's in Toronto.
After leaving Ryerson, Browne worked for a small film company before starting her own production company, Syncopated Productions in 1990.
Her very first two films, were Brothers in Music, a film about two struggling jazz musicians and No Choices, a 6-minute film that looked at the abortion issue and how it relates to women living in poverty, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1991 and launched Browne's film career.
From that time onward Browne has consistently produced work that has tackled hard-hitting topics such as poverty, the welfare system, and social inequalities. She has worked independently and has also done projects with the National Film Board of Canada. Them That's Not (1993) was the fourth film in the National Film Board of Canada's Feminization of Poverty series. Before that she produced and directed Jodie Drake: Blues In My Bread (1991) for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Adreiene Clarkson Presents show. Her films have won numerous awards and have been screened and broadcasted internationally.
The semi-autobiographical film Another Planet (1999) marked Christene's entry into the feature film realm completed the semi autobiographical film Another Planet, her first dramatic feature film and the first feature film to be directed by a Black woman in Canada.
In 2007 Christene completed Speaking in Tongues: The History of Language. This groundbreaking five-part documentary series traces the history and evolution of language and attendant theories and controversies while evaluating the scope of linguistic diversity, the dissemination of language, the expansion of language into written form, and the life cycle of language. The Series includes: Let There Be Words: The Origin of Human Language; Constant Change: The Diversification and Spread of Language; Mother Tongues: Languages Around the World; Civilization to Colonization: Language Takes Written Form; and Birth and Death: The Life Cycle of Language. Prominent figures in the field of linguistics—Noam Chomsky, John McWhorter, and Peter Ladefoged, to name only three—are featured.
Most recently, Browne completed her first novel: Two Women, a tale about two women who share the same soul.
Browne currently resides in Toronto with her three children.