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:


  1. Indiana University's Black Film center/Archive logoEstablished 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.?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.