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Photograph of Isabel Rivero-Vila

Isabel Rivero-Vila Senior Professorial Lecturer World Languages and Cultures

- Ph.D in Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (University of Salamanca, Spain and Université de Paris XIII, France)
- M.A in French Linguistics, Literature and Culture (University of Salamanca, Spain and Université de Caen-Basse Normandie, France) - Bachelors of French Teacher Education (University of Burgos, Spain)

Isabel Rivero-Vilá is a Senior Professorial Lecturer of French and Spanish at American University (Washington, D.C) and an independent filmmaker.
She has been recently named Chevalier de l’ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale in France for her work promoting the French language and the Francophone cultures.

She holds a PhD in Francophone Cinema and Multimedia and a Masters degree in Creative Documentary. She specializes in West African cinema and her documentaries showcase true cultural identities and are a tool for social awareness in today's society.

In 2016, Isabel Rivero-Vilá filmed and produced the webdoc series “5 mois à Nantes, ville vivante” which is used by French teachers in many countries.

Since 2019, she has filmed several short films and video-interviews with artists, politicians, musicians, and educators in Senegal.

Her first feature documentary film "AFRYKAS et la boîte magique" (2022) filmed in Senegal, has received numerous awards internationally:

- Best Feature Documentary Award in Cannes Independent Film Festival, FestiFrance (Brazil), Venice Film Festival, Pure Magic International Film Festival (Amsterdam) and Argenteuil Film Festival (Paris);

-Excellence Award in Docs without borders film festival (Rehoboth beach);

-Best Picture Documentary Award in Docuworld Film Festival (London);

-Best Indigenous Film Award at The African Film Festival (Dallas);

-Best First Film Award at The International Black and Diversity Film Festival (Toronto);

-Best International Documentary Award at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (Toronto);

-The Outstanding Filmmaking Education Award at the Helsinki Education International Film Festival and

-Best First Time Filmmaker Award at the FilmArte Festival in Berlin.

- Award of Merit at the Impact DOCS Awards

It has also been in the official selection of festivals such as International Brighlight Film Festival in Hollywood, Chicago Indie Awards; San Diego Art Film Fest, Berlin International Film Festival, New Filmmakers NY, Djarfogo International Film Festival (Cape Verte), the West African Film Festival (Houston), the Geneva Awards, the Piton International Film Festival (PIFF, Africa), Virginia dares cinematic arts awards for Decolonizing/Re-Indigenizing media and Vues d’Afrique (Montréal).

Isabel Rivero-Vilá regularly collaborates with award-winning Senegalese filmmakers and teaches documentary film seminars in Senegal. She also organizes Film Festivals in Washington D.C in collaboration with the French Embassy to promote diversity, equity and inclusion through film.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2024

  • FREN-123 French, Elementary II

  • FREN-123 French, Elementary II

  • SPAN-253 Spanish, Intermediate II