‘Faith is the perfect example of why our industry needs to support underrepresented talent and new voices’

  • 37
  • Producer/director
  • Wildstar Films

Wildstar Films’ upcoming Nat Geo/Disney+ series Queens includes a heart-in-mouth sequence in which a male lion attacks a pride of three lionesses, hoping to mate with them as he tries to kill their cubs.

Faith Musembi was instrumental in capturing this dramatic night-time moment, directing a multi-crew team shooting over four pitch-black moonless nights in Kenya on military-grade thermal cameras. The scene encapsulates the benefit of employing specialist knowledge on natural history shoots. Two years ago, Musembi was making small films and conservation pieces in Kenya; now a major international series bears her name as producer.

Brought on to direct and deliver specialist natural history behaviour to Wildstar’s UK team as part of its commitment to under-represented voices in the genre, she has now moved to the UK to produce the final episode of the series. 

Series producer Chloe Sarosh mentored Musembi on the production but says she has “taught me more about the kind of leader and the team I want to run than I have helped her – and she does it purposefully and graciously”. She notes that Musembi is hugely supportive of junior members and is unafraid to call out behaviour that doesn’t fit her, or Wildstar’s, ethos.

For Wildstar chief executive Vanessa Berlowitz, Musembi’s knowledge and connection to the area gave extra depth and authority to the series. “Faith is the perfect example of why our industry needs to support under-represented talent and new voices,” she says.

“Not only is she a naturally gifted storyteller and producer, but she has had the strength and determination to make the absolute most of every opportunity. She has more than earned her place in the world of blue-chip natural history and, as a black woman, has done so against some overwhelming barriers.”