Ava DuVernay's arts and social impact collective ARRAY has launched its inaugural masterclass, set to be taught by legendary filmmaker Haile Gerima. The masterclass - a five-day workshop on narrative storytelling - will be divided into three parts: The Art and Craft of Screenplay, Cinematography, and Film Directing.
A legendary filmmaker and figure of the L.A. Rebellion movement, Haile Gerima is best known for acclaimed films such s the 1993 film Sankofa, as well as Ashes and Embers, Teza and Bush Mama.
“Ava has always been a supporter of me and my work,” said Gerima. “I come from a generation of filmmakers — independent filmmakers in the late 60s, early 70s —where making films about marginalized communities and people of color was not always accepted by mainstream audiences. It was important to Ava and ARRAY that this next generation of filmmakers get an opportunity to see my past work and to understand it. This Master Class is structured based on my personal practice, not only writing my own screenplays but also directing and editing my own films. Most of all, it demonstrates how editing my own films shaped my ideas of holistic filmmaking."
“Mr. Haile Gerima is the reason I was inspired to create my own film distribution company and he is, very simply, one of my heroes,” said DuVernay. “He disrupted the system long before anyone was willing to take notice and continues to chart his own path. Launching the ARRAY Masterclass program with Mr. Gerima is a surreal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait to watch him in action as he shares his filmmaking expertise with the next wave of disruptive filmmakers at our liberated territory, the ARRAY Creative Campus.”
“Sankofa, which is an Adinkra term for ‘going back to our past in order to go forward’ provides the best description of this full circle moment for me,” said ARRAY Vice President of Public Programming, Mercedes Cooper. “I first visited Mr. Gerima's legendary Sankofa Video and Bookstore in 1999 while I was a student at University of Maryland College Park. I am beyond words and honored to collaborate with master filmmaker Haile Gerima and visionary Ava DuVernay to develop ARRAY's first masterclass.”
Applications for the masterclass are currently being accepted until August 9 and are open to storytellers of all levels and from any medium.