The art of filmmaking, gives you’re the ability to combine your voice and your vision. What you do with your creations has the power to change the world. Social activism, an intentional action with the goal of bringing about social change is a tool that can be used to bring awareness, engage audiences, develop a movement, and revolutionize an issue. Haile Gerima, one of the founding members of the LA Rebellion movement at UCLA provides his expertise in the area telling a compelling story that can enlighten audiences or lead them to action. Gerima has been a consistent voice in independent filmmaking on issues such as: resistance, identity and inequality. He illustrates through his legendary movies such as: Bush Mama, Child of Resistance, Ashes and Embers and Sankofa, the mindful choices in constructing stories that speak to social activism. He’s achieved this magic time and time again in his films with minuscule budgets compared to Hollywood blockbusters. “There are filmmakers like me in different parts of the world that have a story they want to tell, and it’s a story that comes out of a certain historical reality within their own life. Then you get committed all the way and however long it takes, stay very committed.”
While a teen, Haile launched out from Ethiopia in search of the flexibility of American education. He started acting school in Chicago but soon switch to UCLA in 1970 and discovered the freedom of filmmaking. “Most young people make films to be accepted, to be discovered, when in fact that was the last idea with the group I went to film school with. To be discovered was not our intention. Our intention was to tell our story our way, and make our own mistakes and learn from film to film.” LA Rebellion Filmmakers included members such as: Julie Dash, Charles Burnett, Larry Clark and Ben Caldwell. The group was largely responsible for bring emerging African cinema to California and influential in getting UCLA to establish its first ethnography program.
Student Learning Outcomes – As a result of attending Social Activism in Film, students/audiences will be able to:
- Understand and appreciate the power they have to create art that matters, and can have an impact on their community
- Recognize the importance of crafting their own stories, and recognize that their stories, ideas are relevant and warrant to be told
- Demonstrate improved techniques for writing compelling stories that speak to social activism in film
Audience: Communications (Journalism, Film, Media) students, University Lecture series, Greek Lettered groups, Student Government, Alumni Associates,
Formats: Workshops, Conferences, Seminars, Classes