Sat, Nov 18|
Sankofa Video & Books
In Conversation with Black Filmmakers and PPI Presents: Wilmington 10-USA 10,000 Film Screening & Discussion
Time & Location
Nov 18, 2023, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Sankofa Video & Books, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
About The Event
Gerima’s first documentary delves into the case of ten men and women―nine Black and one white, almost all high school students―who were wrongfully convicted in 1971 in North Carolina for arson of a white-owned business. In his own words, Gerima’s film, “Explores human beings rather than facts. It goes beyond the case of the Wilmington 10 and shows people struggling to seek justice." A stirring, kaleidoscopic work, Wilmington 10 – USA 10,000 remains all too prescient.
Haile Gerima was born and raised in 1946 in Gondar, Ethiopia. He grew up under the influence
of the tales and stories of his mother, a teacher, and his grandmother as well as his father, a
writer, playwright and former resistance fighter against the Italian colonialists.
After a brief period at the Creative Art Center of Haile Selassie University, Gerima emigrated to
the United States in 1967 to attend the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago before
transferring to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in Los Angeles where he would
During his studies, he becomes part of a group of Black, Native American, Chicano, Asian and
other international students that questioned and rebelled against the prevailing Western
traditions of filmmaking. At UCLA, Gerima directed the two short films Hour Glass (1971) and
Child of Resistance (1972) – followed by his Master of Fine Arts film, Bush Mama (1976), as
well as Harvest 3,000 Years (1976), which earned him his first international recognition with the
Grand Prize at the Locarno film festival.
In the summer of 1975, Gerima moved to Washington, D.C. to teach film at Howard University.
After the award-winning Ashes & Embers (1982), which did not find a distributor in the United
States, and the documentaries Wilmington 10—U.S.A 10,000 (1979) and After Winter: Sterling
Brown (1985), which is about the legendary Black writer from Washington D.C.
Gerima produced his popular epic, Sankofa (1993), for which he was awarded with the Best
Cinematography Award of the FESPACO Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso. The
internationally acclaimed and cinematographically ambitious tale of a plantation slave revolt
was shunned by U.S. distributors.
Through mobilization of activist communities and relentless cultural groundwork, Gerima
tapped into Black communities and booked sold-out screenings in countless theaters around
the country. After Adwa. An African Victory (1999), Gerima directed Teza (2008), which won the
Jury and Best Screenplay awards at the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Tanit and four other
awards in the categories of music, screenplay, cinematography and acting at Carthage Film
Festival as well as the Golden Stallion of Yennenga at FESPACO.
Together with his wife and filmmaker Shirikiana Aina, Gerima created the distribution company
Mypheduh Films and the production company Negodgwad Productions, both dedicated to
independent Black cinema. In 1996, Gerima founded Sankofa Video, Books & Café in
Washington, DC., a cultural and intellectual space that offers opportunities for collective self-
expression, interaction, discussion and analysis through community events such as film
screenings, book signings, scholar forums and artist showcases. In 2003, the Independence
Film Festival of Washington D.C. awarded Gerima with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gerima continues to distribute and promote his own films. He is Professor Emeritus at Howard
University, lectures and conducts workshops in alternative screenwriting and directing both
within the U.S. and internationally. In 2021, he received the Vantage Award of the Academy
Museum of Motion Pictures.
This ticket is non-refundable.$20.00
Give any amount above the $20 standard ticket price to support Sankofa and PPI!Pay what you want