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Feat: Barbara Mccullough, O.Funmilayo Makarah
& Monona Wali

Rustic Theatre
Saturday 21st, September
12.30 – 2.00 PM


The “LA Rebellion” has become the most commonly used term for a movement that began at UCLA in the midst of heavy racial turmoil. In the wake of the Watts Riots the first group of African and African American filmmakers graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. They were charged with reimagining cinema to combat the predominant, often negative black narratives seen in mainstream media.

Goodbye Blaxploitation, hello LA Rebellion. 

These mostly unheralded artists created a unique cinematic landscape, over the course of the  60s through to the 90s, as students arrived, mentored one another and passed the torch to the next group, laying the groundwork for a new black cinema.  Beyond the films themselves, the LA Rebellion can be celebrated for their utopian visions, their resistance to gender bias, their willingness to question any and all received wisdom, and their expression of Black pride and dignity. The general absence of the L.A. Rebellion from most film history text books speaks to the systemic myopia of film history. We are lucky enough to be joined by a group of directors from the LA Rebellion speaking to the movement, screening some of their classic works and celebrating the contribution of women to this historic moment.


Born in New York City, Julie Dash is a filmmaker, music video and commercial director, author and website creator. Her film studies began in Harlem in 1969, but eventually led her to the American Film Institute and UCLA, where she made The Diary of an African Nun (1977). Dash’s critically acclaimed short film Illusions (1982) later won the Jury Prize for Best Film of the Decade awarded by the Black Filmmakers Foundation.

Dash’s first feature Daughters of the Dust (1991) was the first film by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release in the United States. Her television films include “Love Song” (2000), starring R&B singer Monica Arnold, the romantic thriller “Incognito” (1999), and the domestic drama “Funny Valentines” (1999). Dash was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for “The Rosa Parks Story” (2002) starring Angela Bassett. Dash is a frequent lecturer at many leading universities, including Stanford University, Princeton, Harvard and Yale.


A native of New Orleans, Barbara McCullough spent most of her life in the Los Angeles area.  Experimental film and video were her first love as she strove to “tap the spirit and richness of her community by exposing its magic, touching its textures and trampling old stereotypes while revealing the untold stories reflective of African American life.”

Her film and video projects include: Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification, Shopping Bag Spirits and Freeway Fetishes: Reflection on Ritual Space, Fragments, and The World Saxophone Quartet. Currently, she is completing a film project, Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot, a documentary on the musical genius, community activist and mentor to a generation of accomplished jazz musicians.

A twenty-year-plus veteran of the visual effects industry, McCullough is currently Chair of the Visual Effects Department at Savannah College of Art and Design – SCAD.


O.Funmilayo Makarah is an award-winning film/videomaker, installation artist, curator, writer, media activist and educator from Los Angeles. She uses experimental and documentary conventions to intertwine social, political, and economic concerns with issues of gender, race, identity and age. She is the founder and Executive Director of the 15-year-old Heritage Film Festival in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the founder of the Los Angeles arts organization, IN VISIBLE COLORS (a media arts organization dedicated to the creation and promotion of films and videos by African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx and Native Americans). She is also the former Director of Expanded Visions, a curatorial program to bring independent film/videomakers and their work to South Central Los Angeles youth.


Monona Wali is a novelist and short story writer and an award winning documentary filmmaker.  She received an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 1983 where she earned the Lynn Weston Memorial Prize. She is known for Maria’s Story (1990) and Grey Area (1982). Her thesis film Grey Area was recently included in “One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970-1991” which Richard Brody described in The New Yorker as “The most important repertory series of the year.” 

Her debut novel My Blue Skin Lover won the 2015 Independent Publishers Gold Award for Multi-cultural Fiction. Many of her short stories have been published in literary journals including The Santa Monica Review, Tiferet, and Catamaran. She led writing groups for incarcerated juveniles through the Inside Out Writers Program for seven years. She currently teaches writing, literature and film at Santa Monica College and Antioch University in Los Angeles.


Boiler Room 4:3 is an alternative cultural institution. 

The award-winning concept by Boiler Room rethinks film, music and art through online and offline experiences. 4:3 has collaborated with emerging and established artists from a mix of disciplines to create online projects and stage events in galleries, festivals, cinemas and nightclubs globally.  

Collaborators include: Jenn Nkiru,  Leilah Weinraub, DIS, Janelle Monae, Holly Blakey, Ian Isiah, BBZ, Hannah Perry, Jeremy Deller, Cecilia Bengolea, Mark Leckey, Holly Herndon, Sonya Mohova, Naomi Shimada, Lucinda Chau, Arca, Jesse Kanda, Brooke Candy, and  Oneohtrix Point Never. 4:3 has been commissioned by leading cultural institutions including Palais De Tokyo, Tate, CPH:DOX, Club 2 Club, Manifattura Tabacchi, ICA, Southbank Centre, Sheffield Doc Festival and more. 

In June 2019, 4:3 launched WEEKLY SERVICE which delivers 1 video to stream online per week, from feature films to shorts and art films. Collaborators so far include: Richard Kern, Sarah Nicole Francois, Taichi Kimura, Jeremy Deller, Cecilia Bengolea, Peggy Noland, Daniel Swan, Cottweiler, Nuotama Bodomo and Tessa Hughes-Freeland.