Represent is a short-film festival dedicated to shifting the narratives told about people of color through stories that reflect on our ever-growing dreams, realities and imaginations.
The festival aims to provide a platform for us to share our own narratives on our own terms. Whether through production, talent, or storytelling, it is essential that we have a role in the frameworks of filmmaking that allows us to reflect our own cultural, ethnic, and linguistic identities.
People of color are consistently misrepresented in films and highly underrepresented on film crews. Consequently, we often see films about people of color that simply reenact the racist history of our ancestors, tokenize people of color through one-dimensional characters, or focus exclusively on our traumatic experiences navigating through society. Although sharing our history is important, very few films account for the breadth, dynamism, and fullness of our ever changing realities and imaginations. The festival will counteract these tropes by presenting films from three genres—narrative, animation and documentary—followed by curated panel discussions that shift the narrative toward one that encompasses the wealth of talent, creativity, and diversity we seek in this field. Participants will build relationships with other filmmakers, industry folks, and creatives of color with shared values, in hopes that we will network and collaborate on expanding the realm of representative works in the future.
Presented by the Antiracist Classroom, Represent is an opportunity to discuss, deconstruct, and express what’s missing from the film industry and what we hope to see more of in the future.
Looking Back at REPRESENT
Photos by Cara Taylor and Jocelyn Phan
Represent will be hosted on Saturday, October 5th 2019 at Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles, California.
The festival will include a day-long program, presenting films from three genres—narrative, animation and documentary—followed by curated panel discussions that shift the narrative toward one that encompasses the wealth of talent, creativity, and diversity we seek in this field.
Represent Film Festival is immensely inspired by the performative art piece “Art Is..” by Lorraine O’Grady. O'Grady performed this display in response to being told that "Avant-Garde art doesn’t have anything to do with black people". She went around the African American Day Parade with antique gold frames, framing the many characters and stories that resided in the festival. Her mission was to prove that art is subjective and whatever you want it to be. Art is culture, history, visibility. That WE'RE the art. This is everything that Represent Film Festival stands for and hopes to frame a conversation around; to enforce that audiences of color have a right just as much as anyone else to be considered as subjects of art.
The Antiracist Classroom would like to thank Star In You, ArtCenter Film, ArtCenter’s Humanities & Sciences Department and ArtCenter Dialogues (A Toyota Motor Corporation Endowed Series) for their generous financial and community support in making this event a reality.