The Power is in the Message: The Social Responsibility of Today’s Black Filmmakers, will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The event will be held at the YWCA’s Family Resource Center (FRC) located on 500 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019. This conversation will be centered on the social responsibility that black filmmakers face in creating their art.
Our panel to date will include Eric Lockley, a Harlem-based actor, writer, filmmaker, public speaker and producer; Marta Effinger-Crichlow, IFP JustFilms Fellow at Made in NY Media Center by IFP; Tamika Guishard, filmmaker; and moderator Tanji Gilliam, Founder and Principal of Oil House Productions (OHP). Refreshments will be served and RSVP here is required.
More on our panelists:
Eric Lockley is a Harlem-based actor, writer, filmmaker, public speaker and producer. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Eric’s acting work has placed him on both stage and screen. He’s been featured in plays by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, Marcus Gardley and Idris Goodwin, and in film and TV featured on HBO, BET and MTV. His plays, Blacken the Bubble, an affirmative action comedy, and a sci-fi thriller, have been read and presented in NYC, DC and Chicago. Lockley also writes and performs solo work. Most notable are Asking For More, a high- energy comedy encouraging young people to practice healthy nutrition and fitness habits, and Last Laugh, a dark comedy about “performing blackness” based on experiences of Sammy Davis Jr. & Stepin Fetchit. As a founder of two theater companies, The Movement Theatre Company and the OBIE award-winning Harlem9, Lockley has created artistic opportunities and communities for a number of artists in NYC and beyond. His award-winning film, The Jump, about a young black boy’s mercurial relationship with the water, recently screened at the Hollywood Black Film Fest and has already won accolades at festivals including Philly Blackstar Film Fest and Urbanworld. Eric is excited to take the film to schools and engage in anti-bullying and self-empowerment workshops with students.
Marta Effinger-Crichlow is a filmmaker, author, dramaturg, and mother. She is drawn to stories about black women and girls as well as migration and place. She is the author of Staging Migrations toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones by University Press of Colorado. The Washington, DC native, graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she was nurtured to FLY. Marta is the past recipient of a Pittsburgh Multicultural Arts Initiative grant for her multi-media collage “The Kitchen is Closed Startin’ Sunday” and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. She has been an invited speaker for the National Park Service’s African Burial Ground in New York City and Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond, CA; TEDxCUNY at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Syracuse University, NEH’s Summer Institute in Eugene, Oregon, and Xiamen University in Xiamen, China. She received her PhD from Northwestern University and teaches in African American Studies at New York City College of Technology (CUNY). Marta is currently an IFP JustFilms Fellow at the Made in NY Media Center where she is completing her feature-length documentary Little Sallie Walker.
Tamkia R. Guishard: With the mind of a storyteller, heart of a teacher, and soul of a dancer, Tamika R. Guishard is a first-generation American writer/director of Kittitian & Nevisian (West Indian) heritage from East New York, Brooklyn. After earning her undergraduate degree in Communications and Afro-American Studies from University of Pennsylvania in 2002, she returned to her hometown and taught middle school Social Studies, while obtaining her Master’s in Education from Brooklyn College. From the classroom, Tamika matriculated into NYU Graduate Film to ultimately resurrect the “afterschool special”. She believes in the powerful fusion of education and cinema, and has produced for public school districts, National Park Service, Tribeca Film Institute and on Leech Lake Reservation in her quest to make “films that help”.
Tamika has been recognized by Oscar-qualifying film festivals and Hollywood Foreign Press for her narrative shorts. D-DAYS, her first feature-length film slated for production this fall, was most recently awarded by NY State Council on the Arts for its capacity to help New Yorkers realize cultural self-determination. Tamika has also been published and featured for her pedagogical video expertise by Harvard’s Center for Educational Policy Research and Austin’s SXSWedu, respectively. Education will always go hand in hand with service for Tamika. Her affinity for collaboration, belief in multiple intelligences and devotion to story make film a natural fit: it’s the medium through which Tamika can most greatly serve her community and impact the world.
Tanji Gilliam, Ph.D./M.F.A. is the Founder and Principal of Oil House, a neighborhood planning firm. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the Social Science Research Council. She was the Hip-Hop and Media researcher on the Black Youth Project contributing to successful grant proposals for the Ford Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2010, she received the Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation for her work on domestic violence. In 2013 her web series, Scheherazade, was featured in Huffington Post and on Mark Anthony Neal’s blog, New Black Man in Exile.
Gilliam received her Ph.D. in 2009 in History of Culture from The University of Chicago where she edited the first film reel for her dissertation advisor, Melissa Harris-Perry. She also received her M.F.A. in Film, Video and New Media from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. In 2002, she graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in Afro-American Studies and English.
In 2007, Tanji Gilliam founded Oil House Productions, LLC. In this role she has partnered with several non-profit organizations including Vision To Peace, a southeast Washington, D.C. anti-violence youth organization. The feature-length documentary she co-produced and edited along with Visions To Peace, Vision is Our Power premiered at The National Museum of Women in the Arts and screened at The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.