After two years of virtual events, BADWest is excited to announce the in-person return of our 16th annual fundraising event, DAY OF BLACK DOCS on Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 12pm - 5pm, at the American Film Institute (AFI) Mark Goodson Theater, 2021 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Free parking is available.
Due to new campus access protocols at AFI, we require all on campus guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with recommended booster(s) OR have taken a PCR COVID test with a negative result within 72 hours of accessing campus. Proof of either must be presented to our Security team if requested.
In addition, all campus guests must be able to show a state issued form of identification upon entering campus if requested by our Security team
The screenings are divided into two blocks (one feature and one short per block). You can purchase tickets to one or both blocks.
Q&A with Director Luchina Fischer
Q&A with Directors Sara Newens, Mina T. Son
Q&A with Director Andrew Michael Ellis
Q&A with Director Bethann Hardison, Frederic Tcheng
PANELISTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Luchina Fisher is an award-winning director, writer and producer whose work is at the intersection of race, gender and identity. Her feature directorial debut MAMA GLORIA is a 2022 GLAAD Media Award nominee, won numerous festival jury awards, and made its broadcast debut on World channel and PBS. Her recent short documentary TEAM DREAM won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at Chicago International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Pan African and TIDE film festivals and just aired on BET. Her latest short documentary THE DADS, about five dads of trans kids on a weekend fishing trip, premiered at SXSW and is currently on the festival circuit. Her new feature documentary LOCKED OUT, which she co-directed about the barriers to Black homeownership, premiered in April at the Freep Festival. Fisher is also the director of two scripted short films and has written and produced several nationally broadcast documentaries. Her work has been supported by Black Public Media, the Field Foundation, Sisters in Cinema, Brown Girl Doc Mafia, the Queen Collective, the Athena Film Festival’s Works in Progress Program, Firelight Media and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She also teaches documentary filmmaking at Yale University.
In the short documentary film TEAM DREAM we meet close friends Ann Smith and Madeline Murphy Rabb in their final days of preparation for the 2022 National Senior Games. While they train, we learn about their lives growing up amid segregation and stigma before breaking boundaries in their adopted hometown Chicago. A decade after joining Team Dream, a Chicago-based organization training women of color in swimming, biking and triathlon, the two women continue to reach goals they never thought possible. When Misha, a former Division I swimmer, helps them with their starts and turns, the women help her find her way outside the pool. The film culminates with Ann and Madeline competing at the games in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. TEAM DREAM shows you’re never too old to dream. Directed by Luchina Fisher (17:40 min)
Andrew Michael Ellis is a filmmaker who uses intimate storytelling to raise consciousness around complex social issues. His work has been featured by Sundance, DOC NYC, and Camerimage, as well as outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. Most recently, Andrew spent the past year working with film director Terrence Malick, as both an editor, and 2nd unit cinematographer.
Second Shot investigates the complexities of the US parole process through the lens of one of New York’s most examined murders of the early 90’s: a shootout on Christmas night during a screening of Godfather III. Through intimate storytelling from both the victim and perpetrator, the film exposes the impossibility of using punishment as a form of healing. Directed by Andrew Michael Ellis (27 min)
Sara Newens is a Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker and Emmy-award winning editor who began her career working for CBS News in New York City. She recently collaborated with Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering on the HBO docuseries ALLEN V. FARROW, which garnered 7 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Picture Editing as well as Cinema Eye Honors and ACE Eddie award nominations. She also served as Editor/Writer for Dick and Ziering’s feature, ON THE RECORD, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for Directing/Producing/Editing the documentary feature TOP SPIN and The New York Times Op-Docs film, FOOTPRINT. A graduate of the MFA Documentary Film Program at Stanford University, she continues to create original work through her production company Wild Pair Films.
Mina T. Son is a Korean American documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She founded Wild Pair Films with filmmaking partner, Sara Newens. Their debut documentary feature, TOP SPIN, was acquired by First Run Features and was hailed by the L.A. Times as “table tennis’ HOOP DREAMS.” She is currently in post-production on a longitudinal documentary about the recovery of a Japanese town after the 2011 tsunami. Mina holds an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University and a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. RACIST TREES is Wild Pair Films' second documentary feature
Cut off from the glitz and glamor of Palm Springs, and overshadowed by towering sixty-foot Tamarisk trees, lies the historically Black Lawrence Crossley neighborhood. Allegedly planted by the City in the late 1950’s to line the 14th fairway of a City-owned golf course, these trees have become the focal point of frustration and animosity for locals who see the trees as an enduring symbol of segregation. For decades, residents have been forced to put up with the tangled overgrowth from a species so invasive, they have been officially categorized as a pest by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Until now.
Racist Trees investigates the timely story of racial conflict in an unlikely, liberal pocket of America, uncovering an even darker racist history that few would equate with the city’s progressive image. An intimate, sobering, and at times humorous look at the intersection of local politics, news media, race, class, gentrification, and social justice, Racist Trees reveals a microcosm of racial tension that continues to percolate across the country today. Directed by Sara Newens, Mina T. Son (85 minutes)
Advocate, model, and muse—with a career spanning over five decades, Bethann Hardison has gone from working in NYC’s Garment District to founding her namesake agency where she guided the careers of some of the most prominent models in the world. In 1988, she founded the Black Girls Coalition, and in 2013, she spearheaded the launch of the Diversity Coalition sparking an industry-wide movement for diversity and inclusion. In recognition of her decades of advocacy work, Bethann received the CFDA’s Founder’s Award in 2014. In 2018, with the support of the CFDA, she founded The Designer’s Hub to guide and empower Black designers, and in 2019 became an inaugural member of Gucci’s Changemakers Council. Bethann currently serves on the CFDA’s Board of Directors and as Gucci’s Executive Advisor for Global Equity and Cultural Engagement.
Frédéric Tcheng is a French-born filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. His award-winning directorial debut DIOR AND I premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was released by The Orchard. In 2019, Frédéric directed the documentary HALSTON, a CNN Films and Amazon Original production. His most recent film INVISIBLE BEAUTY premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Previously, Frédéric co-produced and co-edited VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR which premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and was shortlisted for the Best Documentary at the Academy Awards. He is also the co-director of the 2011 acclaimed documentary DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL, which the New York Times called “dizzily enjoyable.” Frédéric has served as a filmmaking mentor for Queer Art, a non-profit arts organization that serves a diverse community of LGBTQ+ artists. He studied engineering in France and is a graduate of the film program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Fashion revolutionary and model turned agent and activist Bethann Hardison knew that Black is beautiful well before the fashion industry acknowledged the truth. From walking runway shows alongside Iman to discovering supermodels like Tyson Beckford and mentoring icons like Naomi Campbell, Hardison has been at the epicenter of major representational shifts in fashion. Catalyzing change requires continuous championing, and as the next generation takes the reins, Hardison reflects on her personal journey and the cost of being a pioneer.
In tandem with Frédéric Tcheng (Halston, Dior and I), Bethann Hardison is a force at the helm of her own story. Together, the co-directors trace Hardison’s impact on fashion from runway shows in New York and Paris in the ’70s to roundtables about lack of racial diversity in the early 2000s. Hardison’s audaciousness and candor are inspiring and inviting. Interviews with industry speak to the state of fashion, while friends and family attest to Hardison’s rebellious and ambitious spirit. The film is an absorbing record of Hardison’s accomplishments and a rare contemplation on the life of a radical thinker. Directed by Bethann Hardison, Frederic Tcheng (104 min)
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The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West is a project of Fulcrum Arts' Emerge fiscal sponsorship program. www.fulcrumarts.org
BADWest champions and further advances the art of Black documentary filmmakers across the Diaspora.