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Upcoming Events

The New School presents Birthing a Nation
Oct
3
6:00 PM18:00

The New School presents Birthing a Nation

 

In 2016, a highly anticipated feature film, “The Birth of a Nation”, swept major prizes at the Sundance Film Festival – the grand jury prize and the audience award for best narrative feature. After an all-night bidding war, the film was purchased by a major distribution company at the highest price ever paid for a Sundance film - $17.5 million dollars. By the end of the festival, the “Oscar buzz” was everywhere. However, not very many people were ever able to see the film at a theater near them, because it was pulled from its theatrical release very soon after its highly successful festival run. What happened with this film is a story unto itself – beset by scandal, double standards and systemic racism and sexism, the director, Nate Parker, and his career took a hostile turn that ended very differently from its intended course.

 

What happens when the previous behavior of an artist as an individual, overshadows the artistic quality and critical acclaim of an artistic endeavor?

This panel focuses on the Sundance Film Festival touted film “The Birth of a Nation” by Nate Parker and its aftermath -- beset by scandal, double standards, and systemic racism and sexism.

This screening and panel discussion aims to dissect some of the issues and complex forces at play that determined the outcome of this film, and the resulting career pathway of its director. The Panel will include one of the lead actors from the film, Aunjanue Ellis, and New School faculty members – filmmakers, film historians, curators, gender studies and cultural critics – who will dissect and attempt to answer the questions: How do we determine the value of a work of art as a distinctive element, rather than as a convergence with the artist’s personae and personal history? Are we able to separate the two and move beyond their personal mistakes and misjudgments? Or can we move forward and credit them according to the acclaim their talent received from others within the industry as a whole, notable press and scholars?

If so, how? If not, why?


This event is free but registration is REQUIRED. Please reserve tickets via the link below.


Register for this event at: https://www.newschool.edu/festival-of-new/register/





 
Aunjuane Ellis

Aunjanue L. Ellis is an American Actress and producer who is active in films, theater, and television. She began her acting career in theater, and later appeared in a number of television series and independent and mainstream films. She came to prominence as Miranda Shaw on ABC’s ‘Quantico’, and appeared on BET’s epic series ‘The Book of Negroes’, for which she not only received critical acclaim but also a number of awards and nominations including the Television Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie. She made her professional acting debut as Ariel in ‘The Tempest’ in 1995. Her stage credits include the Broadway production of Joe Turner’s ‘Come and Gone’, ‘A Winter’s Tale’, ‘Drowning Crow’, and ‘Seeking the Genesis’. Coming to her movie career, she is best known for her roles in films like ‘Men of Honor’, ‘The Caveman’s Valentine’, ‘The Express’, and ‘The Help’. On television, her regular role in ABC’s police drama series ‘High Incident’ has earned her praises.


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Shireen Soliman has been teaching at Parsons School of Design for more than 20 years. She is a Muslim-Egyptian-American with extensive experience in the world of fashion, education, art and design. Aligning her unique professional and personal worlds as an artist, educator, and community advocate, Shireen creates art, offers workshops and speaks on topics including Fashion, Identity, Culture and Representation. Shireen holds a B.F.A. in Fashion Design from Moore College of Art and Design and an M.S. Ed. in Leadership in Education and in the Arts, from Bank Street College of Education. Shireen uses her platform to uplift and amplify the universality of our voices, honoring and celebrating our diversity through themes of inclusion, representation and the power of narrative.

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Marcus Turner graduated Cum Laude from The University of Cincinnati’s Communication Arts program and attended New York University’s MFA in Film program. Before joining the New School faculty, Marcus taught Film Production and Film Studies at the City University of New York and Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. His research and teaching interests are in African American Narrative and Documentary film, French and Asian World Cinema, and Jazz in Literature and Film. On the professional side, his passion for storytelling began on the set of the seminal Spike Lee film “She’s Gotta Have It.” An Emmy nominated director, Mr. Turner has worked for more than 20 years as a producer, director, and writer on commercials, music videos and public service announcements through his own Burnt Toast Films production company. His directorial effort “Et Tu Brutus” won a CLIO award and his work with the Parisian super group Bisso Na Bisso won the All Africa Kora award for Best Director. Recently Mr. Turner produced the television series “Sharp Talk” hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as the documentary “ No Justice, No Peace”, a film exploring errant police behavior and the United States criminal justice system.

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"Life Essentials with Ruby Dee" @ New Rochelle's ArtsFest
Oct
6
3:00 PM15:00

"Life Essentials with Ruby Dee" @ New Rochelle's ArtsFest

From a deeply personal perspective, Muta’Ali Muhammad, grandson of New Rochelle natives Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, takes us on a journey through the Davis’ rich lives, guided by this unique cross-generational point of view. While on his personal quest to master lasting love, conscious art, and undying activism, Muta also examines his own path and questions his capacity for love and activism.

Hollywood Reporter says about the documentary “….Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee ultimately emerges as a deeply impassioned, thoughtful, and loving portrait that brings a much deserved spotlight to these vitally important artists who contributed so much to American culture and politics.”

Creatively Speaking presents this program as part of ArtsFest New Rochelle, and will include a talk back with the director, Muta’Ali Muhammad, and Michelle Materre, founder and host of Creatively Speaking Films Series.

Register for this event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creatively-speaking-film-series-at-new-rochelle-artsfest-tickets-73180840865

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Muta’Ali Muhammad is an award-winning writer/director who is captivated by the human experience and dedicated to inspiring others through his work. Muta’Ali was raised in Westchester County, New York and has been a filmmaker since the age of twelve when he saved up his money to buy a Hi-8 camera and filmed everything from stop-motion animation to live-action shorts.

Muta’Ali is a lover of both science and the arts. While completing his BS in Information Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Muta’Ali fed his creative spirit by studying film in the summers. Selected as a GEM Fellow by IBM Research, Muta’Ali earned a patent at IBM’s Almaden Research Center for a unique graphical user interface, completed his MS at the Georgia Institute of Technology and subsequently began his career as an independent filmmaker. In 2001, Muta’Ali became a member of the Writers Guild of America. He was commissioned to write a chapter in an NAACP Image award nominated compilation of essays, and in 2004, he began producing a series of several coming-of-age documentaries on rising stars and multi-platinum recording artists under record labels including Def Jam Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Atlantic Records.

In his over ten years of experience in entertainment news, Muta’Ali produced over 125 segments featuring notable figures including 50 Cent, Idris Elba, Ice Cube, and BET Network founder Bob Johnson. His latest film “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee” became Kickstarter.com’s 7th highest funded African American-related documentary in the world (2012) and featured notable figures Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, Phylicia Rashad, Spike Lee and others. Muta’Ali has appeared on NPR, ABC, Fox News, NY-1, PBS, the Tom Joyner Morning show, and he has been featured in the Daily News, Essence magazine, Ebony magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, and The Examiner. His work has been featured on BET, CentricTV, VH1, MTV, TruTv, and TV One.

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DOUBLE EXPOSURE: TAKE TWO
Jun
1
to Jun 2

DOUBLE EXPOSURE: TAKE TWO

Twenty-four years ago, the Creatively Speaking Film Series was founded with the mission of elevating the work of highly regarded independent filmmakers of color. With this motive held uncompromisingly close, “Double Exposure: Take Two” brings to the forefront works from across the African Diaspora. Films born of African American, African and Caribbean origins find their place in this program, reaffirming Creatively Speaking’s commitment to changing the cultural narrative, one image at a time. 

This program headlines the three feature films Uprize!, King of Stage and Double Play, and an arresting collective of short films. Love, revolution, wealth, disparity, history and the legends that create it, satiate this exhibition, to be witnessed and engaged with. We invite you to join us for affective and nuanced conversations with filmmakers and film enthusiasts following each program in this weekend series. 

Curated by Michelle Materre and the Creatively Speaking team, at the behest of the ever-evolving and ever-inclusive future we wish to see. 

- Sinead Collymore on behalf of Michelle Materre and the Creatively Speaking team.

FEATURES

  • June 1st, 6pm: KING OF STAGE by Juney Smith

  • June 1st, 8:30pm: DOUBLE PLAY by Ernest Dickerson

  • June 2nd, 7pm: UPRIZE! by Sifiso Khanyile

  • June 2nd, 7pm: I WANT TO SEE FOR MYSELF by Fanyana Hlabangane

    SHORTS PROGRAM

    Sunday June 2nd, 4pm-6pm

  •      BLACK 14 by Darius Clark Monroe

  • GIVE by David DeRoza

  • RESPECT AND LOVE by Angelique Webster

  • INTO MY LIFE by Ivana Hucikova, Sarah Keeling and Grace Remington

  • WHERE THE WATER RUNS by Dubois Ashtong   

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

    PURCHASE TICKETS

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Creatively Speaking presents “Through Her Eyes: The Personal Is Political”
May
29
to May 30

Creatively Speaking presents “Through Her Eyes: The Personal Is Political”

Creatively Speaking presents “Through Her Eyes: The Personal is Political”, a two-night documentary series at BAMcinématek, featuring the work of women filmmakers delving into two distinct terrains but both from very up close, personal perspectives with political implications far beyond their scope.


Detroit 48202: Notes Along a Postal Route by Pam Sporn – 2018, 82 minutes

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DETROIT 48202 examines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of Detroit through the lens of African-­American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the community of committed residents he faithfully served for thirty years. Wendell and his customers provide an intimate glimpse of Detroiters’ resistance to boom and bust capitalism and structural racism, and share stories of hope -­‐proposing creative ways to reimagine an inclusive, equitable and re­‐invigorated city.


Playing Frisbee in North Korea by Savanna Washington – 2018, 86 minutes

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Calling North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, fat can get you killed in North Korea. Any other complaints about daily life there gets North Koreans incarcerated in brutal work camps. What harm could come from playing Frisbee? This is the is the first documentary produced and directed by an African-American female filmmaker from inside N. Korea. Preceded by the short film.


Xin by Desha Dauchan and Tina Huang – 2018, 12 minutes

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XIN (Heart in Mandarin) : Grappling with grief, a young woman is haunted by the ghost of her mother. This film deals with grief and the complex emotions that surround profound loss.

 
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"Personal Problems" Introduction by writer Ishmael Reed
May
21
7:00 PM19:00

"Personal Problems" Introduction by writer Ishmael Reed

This film was first brought back to the public's eye in February 2015, during the critically acclaimed series, "Tell It Like It Is", co-programmed by Michelle Materre and Jake Perlin. This program was presented by Creatively Speaking in collaboration with Lincoln Center Film Center. A rare appearance by writer and cultural critic, Ishmael Reed.

Personal Problems retains a vitality and an integrity that practically bounds off the screen.” (New York Times)

This entirely African American–conceived and –produced drama comes from the pioneering writer Ishmael Reed and filmmaker Bill Gunn, who wrote and directed the underground classic Ganja & Hess. Originally intended to air on public television in 1980, it went unseen for many years; the original tapes have been carefully restored and this experimental, challenging film about married life in New York City at the time is now available in its full-length version for the first time in decades.


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Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. The American Book Awards, sponsored by the foundation has been called The American League to the National Book Awards’ National League. He also founded PEN Oakland which issues the Josephine Miles Literary Awards. PEN Oakland has been called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times.
Ishmael Reed is the author of thirty titles including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo, as well as essays, plays and poetry. Titles include: The Freelance PallbearersThe Terrible ThreesThe Last Days Of Louisiana RedYellow Back Radio Broke DownReckless EyeballingFlight To CanadaJapanese By Spring, and Juice!.

 
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