An artist with a warrior’s discipline, Haile Gerima has blazed the trail for an alternative voice to classic Hollywood Films. Over forty years of filmmaking, advocacy and education has made Gerima a recognized leader in independent cinema across the globe.
A prominent member of UCLA’s acclaimed L.A. Rebellion Film Movement, Gerima is known as a Hollywood outsider: a fiercely independent storyteller, persistent in the effort to keep his stories pure. He lives what he teaches, approaching filmmaking as a rebel, demonstrating to his students and audiences worldwide that triumph in award-winning filmmaking is possible without Hollywood support. He is a study of perseverance and creativity, writing, directing and editing his own films.
Gerima is a gifted teacher. His lectures about identity and history are as engaging and compelling as his documentaries and narratives. He has produced over a dozen independent films including: Teza, Adwa 1896, Ashes and Embers, Bush Mama, Child of Resistance, After Winter: Sterling Brown and Wilmington 10 and Sankofa, his most widely known movie on slavery and redemption. His national distribution efforts to fore-wall Sankofa in commercial theaters is considered legendary, and now a yardstick for other independent filmmakers.
Haile Gerima is one of ten children who grew up in Gondar, Ethiopia to a playwright father and a teacher. The New School, UCLA, Egypt and South Africa are among many places that have done retrospectives and tributes of his work. He is a tenured professor at Howard University School of Communications in Washington, DC.
Gerima can conduct lectures in English or Amharic. His topics Include: