John Tolley, July 29, 2017
A Different Image. Let the Church Say Amen. Scar of Shame.
These are titles that many filmgoers might not be familiar with, but they're triumphs in the world of African-American cinema. And nowhere in the Big Ten is that world more celebrated and studied than at Indiana University's Black Film Center/Archive.
Here are 5 things to know about this important institution:
- Established in 1981, the Black Film Center/Archive was the "first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people."
- Honoring the work and substantial contributions of African-American actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers and films that concern the black experience, the Center's extensive collection has footage dating back to 1896.
- Black Camera, the Center's international scholarly film journal, "includes interviews with emerging and prominent filmmakers, editorials, book and film reviews, documents archival notes and research reports, and addresses a wide range of genres-including documentary, experimental film and video, animation, musicals, and comedy."
- Professor Michael T. Martin, director of the Black Film Center/Archive, is a documentarian, scholar and historian whose work looks at the postcolonial immigrant filmmaking tradition in the diasporic communities of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
- The Black Film Center/Archive hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the recent screening of The House on Coco Road, a film that follows one family's journey from the racial tensions of Oakland, California to the island nation of Grenada around the time of the US invasion.