Haile Gerima is a writer, producer and director, perhaps best known for his acclaimed film SANKOFA (1993), the dramatic tale of African resistance to slavery that won international acclaim, awarded first prize at the African Film Festival in Milan, Italy, as well as Best Cinematography at Africa’s premier Festival of Pan African Countries. His most recent film, TEZA was awarded Best Screenplay and the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2008, and also received the Grand Prize at the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival in 2009, among other international commendations. Throughout his career, Haile Gerima has used his work as a critical lens for personal growth and creative development. His concern for people of African descent is evident, especially, where the representation of their image is concerned. An alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Film and Television, Gerima has spent over 40 year making high value, low budget films outside of commercial institutions. Gerima has been a distinguished professor of film at Howard University since 1975.
Arthur Jafa is best known for his work as a director and cinematographer, working on such films as Crooklyn (1994), Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993), and Daughters of the Dust (1991). Jafa directed the films Deshotten 1.0(2009), Tree (1999), and Slowly This (1995). In addition to his work on films, Jafa has also published essays on black cultural politics in Black Popular Culture (1992) and Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture (2003) and speaks frequently on the complexities of a black aesthetic as well as the potentialities of black cinema. Jafa studied at Howard University, Washington DC, and his work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2001); Media City, Seoul (2000); Black Box, CCAC Institute, Oakland (2000); Artists Space, New York (1999); Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland (1999); and Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (1999).