KNOXVILLE — Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima will host a master class in African cinema and exhibit one of his films Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the University of Tennessee Hodges Library as part of UT’s Africa Semester series of activities.
Gerima was born in Gondor, Ethiopia in 1946, and came to the United States in 1967 to study at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, Ill. In 1976 he earned a master of fine arts degree from UCLA and established his own company to promote and distribute films made by people of African descent from around the world.
In a speech to film students at Mount Holyoke College in 1995, Gerima said of the cinematography of African film, “In every placement of camera, back and front, everywhere, you have to understand the booby trap history of stereotype cinema.
In the way you illustrate characters. In the way you cast people. You have to constantly remind yourself, you are in the midst of a booby trap, a cultural booby trap legacy.”
Gerima’s master class schedule includes:
· 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – an informal discussion with Gerima in Hodges Library Room 251.
· 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Gerima will present his lecture, titled “The Roots of Independence: Opposing Hollywood Through Black And African Film” in the Hodges Library Auditorium.
· 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Reception with Gerima in Hodges Library 2nd Floor Faculty Lounge
· 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. – Screening of “Sankofa” (1993, 125 minutes, in English), with introduction by Gerima, Hodges Library Room 213
“Sankofa” was awarded Best Cinematography at the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ougadougou, Burkina Faso.