Black Radical Imagination: In Conversation

Saturday, May 28, 2016, 10:30am - 6:30pm

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Black Radical Imagination presents a day-long conference featuring some of the most innovative filmmakers and collectives forming within the cinematic framework of the African Diaspora. Free and open to the public.

10:30 a.m. Opening DJ Set + Breakfast

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
New Negress Film Society is a core collective of black women filmmakers whose priority is to create community and spaces for support, exhibition and consciousness-raising. The group is formed by Frances Bodomo, Ja'Tovia Gary, Stefani Saintonge, Chanelle Aponte Pearson and Dyani Douze.

1 p.m. LUNCH

2 - 3:30 p.m.
SHAKA KING & EPHRAIM ASILI in conversation
Filmmakers Shaka King and Ephraim Asili will be discussing the space between digital and analog cinema and how these trajectories shape and/or negate black storytelling. 

3:30 p.m. DJ Set 

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Black Radical Imagination is a touring program of visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative curated by Erin Christovale and Amir George. 

5:30 p.m. Closing DJ Set 

Ja’Tovia Gary is a filmmaker and artist from Dallas, Texas currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Evoking the aesthetics of Afro Surrealism, Gary’s work confronts traditional notions surrounding media representation, identity, and perception through film and video. Gary earned her MFA in Social Documentary filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her short film Cakes Da Killa: NO HOMO has screened at festivals in the US and abroad and won the Audience Award at Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2014.

Frances Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker based in New York City. She grew up on four continents—in Ghana, Norway, California, and Hong Kong—before moving to New York. Her first film, Boneshaker (starring Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis) premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival before playing at SXSW, Pan African Film Festival, and Lincoln Center’s African Film Festival.

Chanelle Aponte Pearson is a Bronx-­bred, Brooklyn-­based visual artist and filmmaker. In 2015, Chanelle was awarded the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Directors “Live the Dream” grant at the 25th annual Gotham Awards for the narrative series 195 Lewis, her directorial debut. The pilot episode first screened at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival and had its international premiere at the 2016 International Film Festival at Rotterdam. Chanelle also produced the critically acclaimed feature film An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, which premiered in the New Frontier section of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. As chief operating officer, Chanelle oversees the management and operations of MVMT, a Brooklyn-based film production company.

Dyani Douze is a Brooklyn-based DJ and multimedia artist, working in sound art, music production, film editing, directing and curatorship.

Stefani Saintonge is a Haitian-American filmmaker and educator. In 2014, she won the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Discovery Award for her short film, Seventh Grade and her documentary, La Tierra de los Adioses, won Best Latin American Short Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cine en el Desierto. Her work, which focuses on women, youth and immigration, has screened at several festivals in the US and abroad. She is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant and works as an educator and adjunct professor in New York. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film Studies and Production.

Shaka King is a writer, director and producer whose films have played at Sundance, SXSW and other places. He's won an independent Spirit Award, been a Yaddo Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, a cool type of fellow and a not so cool type of fellow. He's currently developing a half-hour dramedy about middle aged unsuccessful rappers for HBO. King is a native and resident of Bed Stuy Brooklyn.

Ephraim Asili B.A., Temple University; M.F.A., film and video arts, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Filmmaker, deejay, and radio host whose focus is the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival (where he received the Most Promising Filmmaker Prize), Milano Film Festival, Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Maysles Institute (New York), and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco). He has served as instructor and technical director at Bard and at the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia.

Amir George is a motion picture artist and film programmer born and bred in Chicago. Amir creates work for the cinema, installation, and live performance. His motion picture work and curated programs have been screened in festivals and galleries nationally and internationally. Amir is the founder of Cinema Culture, a grassroots film programming organization. He is currently manifesting his latest short film Decadent Asylum.

Erin Christovale is an independent film programmer and the curator at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.  

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.