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Spirits of Rebellion

SPIRITS OF REBELLION provides the context and history of a group of filmmakers who came out of the UCLA film school with an agenda. Though they were of very diverse origins and with divergent ideas, these media artists shared a desire to create an alternative to the dominant American mode of cinema. The hope of this group was to realize a cinema of informed, relevant and unfettered black expression.
Headlined by Julie Dash (DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST), Charles Burnett (TO SLEEP WITH ANGER), Jamaa Fanaka (PENITENTIARY), Haile Gerima (SANKOFA), Billy Woodberry (BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS), Barbara McCullough (WATER RITUAL), Ben Caldwell (I & I: AN AFRICAN ALLEGORY; Kaos Network), Alile Sharon Larkin (DREADLOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, A DIFFERENT IMAGE), Larry Clark (PASSING THROUGH) and Carroll Parrott Blue (VARNETTE'S WORLD: A STUDY OF A YOUNG ARTIST, THE DAWN AT MY BACK) and Zeinabu Davis (CYCLES, COMPENSATION); the LA Rebellion filmmakers collectively imagined and created a black cinema against the conventions of Hollywood and Blaxploitation films by attending to the quiet moments of everyday life in their communities, and paying homage to the dignity of their characters. 

  • Zeinabu irene Davis
    Compensation, Cycles, Mother of the River
  • D. Andy Rice
  • Zeinabu irene Davis
  • D. Andy Rice
  • Giovanna Chesler
    Associate Producers
    Out In the Night, Bye Bi Love
  • Yvonne Welbon
    Associate Producers
    The New Black, Ruth Ellis @ 100
  • Marc Chery
    Associate Producers
    Compensation, Mother of the River
  • D. Andy Rice
  • Giovanna Chesler
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 40 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD Cam, DVCam
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pan African Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    February 6, 2016
    North American Premiere
  • Portland Black Film Festival
    Portland, Oregon
    February 20, 2016
  • AMAA African Movie Academy Awards 2016 - Best Diaspora Doc
    Port Hartcourt
    June 11, 2016
    African Oscar Award: Best Diaspora Documentary
  • BlackStar Film Festival
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    August 7, 2016
    East Coast Premiere
    Best Feature Documentary; Best Film - Audience Award
  • Black Harvest Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    United States
    August 27, 2016
    Midwest Premiere
  • New Orleans International Film Festival
    New Orleans, LA
    United States
    October 12, 2016
    Southern Premiere
Director Biography - Zeinabu irene Davis

Zeinabu irene Davis is an independent filmmaker and Professor of Communication at University of California, San Diego. Some of her award-winning works include a drama about a young slave girl for both children and adults, MOTHER OF THE RIVER (1996); a personal essay on breastfeeding, CO-MOTION, (2010) and an experimental narrative, CYCLES (1989). Her dramatic feature film entitled COMPENSATION (1999) features two inter-related love stories that offer a view of Black deaf culture and was the winner of the Gordon Parks Award for Directing from the Independent Feature Project and was selected for the Sundance Dramatic Film Competition. SPIRITS OF REBELLION is her latest release and won the African Oscar for Best Diaspora Documentary at the African Movie Academy in Nigeria.  Recently, SPIRITS... also won Best Feature Documentary and an Audience Award for Best Film from the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia. 

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