Isella graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996, with a double B.A. in Community Studies and Theater Arts with an emphasis in Queer video/filmmaking. At UCSC she completed a total of seven video/film projects, including Twenty-Two which was the senior project for her Theater Arts degree. Isella is now a graduate student at San Francisco State University in the Cinema department, working toward her MFA. She is currently working on a 16mm black-and-white film about a young tomboy.
Arlene Bowman is a 43-year-old Dine (Navajo) from Phoenix, Arizona. She has completed her Master's degree in film at the University of California, Los Angeles. An independent producer concentrating on Native themes, Bowman has produced, directed, and edited the award-winning Navajo Talking Picture and co-produced and co-directed Drugs in the 90s: Conrad Hunter. As media curator and instructor, Bowman programmed The Native American Film and Video Festival (1989, UCLA Film and Television Archive) and Native Images Festival (1990, Los Angeles) and has taught film production at California State University, Long Beach.
Tania Brussa was seventeen when she produced No Frontin in her senior year at Fenway Middle College High School. Born in Puerto Rico, she now lives in Boston. No Frontin is her first video and was produced through "Straight Up Pictures," a media project documenting and teaching young people how to document their own history by using photography, video and writing. Brussa works part-time at the Museum of Science in Boston.
Karen De Silva was born in Brazil and lives in Somerville, MA, a diverse working-class neighborhood of Boston. She attends Somerville High School. Us Girls was produced through The Mirror Project, an alternative media project created and developed by Media Educator Roberto Arevalo at Somerville Community Access Television. De Silva has been with The Mirror Project for some time and Us Girls is her second video.
Cheryl Dunye is a Philadelphia-based video artist whose work explores issues of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Combining intensely personal accounts with humor, Dunye's videos are engaging and provocative, revealing the complexities and struggles she has faced, as well as her happiness and pride in being an African-American lesbian. Her work is postmodern in its self-referential disclosure of Dunye as both actor and director.
Rubi Fregoso is a Chicana filmmaker from La Puente California. She received a B.A. in film production, women's studies and politics from California State University, Long Beach, where she finished La Encrucijada. She is currently working on her MFA in Film Production and Film Studies at UCLA. Rubi's expression in filmmaking is driven by her inner passion and political commitment which she speaks through images.
Kip Fulbeck is a performance and video artist based in southern California. Coming from a Cantonese, English, Irish and Welsh background, he explores the Asian male experience through humorous and angry autobiographical stories. Fulbeck confronts media imagery of Asian men, interracial dating patterns, and icons of race and sex in the United states, constantly questioning where hapas (people of mixed race with Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry) fit in a country that ignores multiraciality.
Raised in Washington, D.C., Griffith is an independent film/videomaker and writer. One of the first professional Black women camera assistants and cinematographers in the film industry, her credits include A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, Eyes on the Prize II and Juice. Currently, she and H.T.L. Quan are co-producing/directing The Angela Davis Project (working title), a documentary series on women of color cultural workers.
Etang Inyang recieved her MA in Stanford University's Documentary Film and Video Program. She is an emerging young independent filmmaker and videomaker living in Oakland, California. Inyang likes to experiment with pictures and words and imagination to create kaleidoscopes of expression. Her work is personal, intimate and lyrical; she explores the multi-layered themes of race, gender, sexuality, identity, representation, sexual violence, body image, and girlhood notions of beauty and womanhood. Her most recent film and video work includes Sister Inside and Swirl Stories. Her work has been screened on public and cable television and at film and video festivals all over the United States and abroad. She is a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond, California.
Damila Koguta was born in Brazil and lives in Somerville, MA, a diverse working-class neighborhood of Boston. She attends Somerville High School. Us Girls was produced through The Mirror Project, an alternative media project created and developed at Somerville Community Access Television. Koguta was the main producer on Us Girls, her second video with The Mirror Project.
Lee is a Toronto-based filmmaker and writer. She graduated from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Norman Jewison Fellowship, recieved an MA in Cinema Studies at New York University, and attended the Whitney Museum's prestigious Independent Study Program. Previous films include Sally's Beauty Spot, and My Niagara, which have screened at numerous festivals worldwide. Lee is currently developing a feature script, Blue Skies, and is completing her short documentary, You Taste Korean.
Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury graduated summa cum laude from Smith College with degrees in English Literature and Asian Studies and numerous writing awards. She received a Japanese Ministry of Education Fellowship and emigrated to Japan to do graduate work in classical Japanese literature. She later joined the faculty at Kyoto Sangyo University, and in 1985 Lounsbury returned to the US and gave up teaching for a short but distinguished career as production designer for low-budget horror movies. By 1987 she switched genres to Japanese television. Lounsbury has directed and produced a large number of documentary-format programs for network television. Her first independent narrative film, Body of Correspondence, was the winner in the New Visions category at the 1995 San Francisco Film and Video Festival. Halving the Bones is her second independent and first feature-length film.
Malinda M. Maynor grew up in North Carolina and graduated from Harvard University. Real Indian is her first film. She is currently at Stanford making Sounds of Faith, a video about traditional Lumbee Indian gospel music, and teaching American Indian studies at San Francisco State University.
Sienna McLean is currently completing her MA in documentary film & video at Stanford University. Before pursuing film, she worked in photography and human and civil rights activism in New York City and Rio de Janeiro. Over the past two years, McLean has freelanced as a camera assistant and has produced, directed and edited three short documentaries. Her next project will be completed in June.
A documentary filmmaker and camera operator, Rajul Mehta's work incudes camerawork for Marathon Runners of South Africa, and the viewer response program for Leona's Sister Gerri, which was broadcast on PBS. Her public service campaigns promoting literacy and the empowerment of women have won national recognition in India. Mehta intends to continue working on ethnographic, cultural, biographical, feminist and human rights topics in the future.
An educator and a lawyer, Morales is currently Director of Education at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and she is an active board member of the Association for Hispanic Arts and the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs. Morales graduated from New York University School of Law in 1979 where she was a Root Tilden scholar.
Born and raised in Kenya, Murungi moved to the US in 1989 to attend Rutgers University where she majored in women's studies. Recently transplanted to San Francisco from the East Coast, Murungi is a candidate for a Master of Arts at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan and a Program Associate at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) in San Francisco. She is a co-founder of Wazobia, a group for continental African gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Van Suzanne Nguyen's parents were teachers of strength: "Be proud of who you are; you are Vietnamese." Nguyen has witnessed her parents' struggle to survive racism, capitalism, and separation from family. These struggles inspire her strength to succeed in school and art. Born in Oceanside, California, Nguyen has been working with photography for over three years. She is the first generation of her family to attend a university. Nguyen is currently a sophomore at UC Santa Cruz, and is pursuing her degree in Film production. In her first year of college, she wrote and produced two videos, Longing and The Awakening of an Endless Word. Nguyen is an activist within the campus and community. "Art is my expression and outlet of words that are verbally untold. I hope to intertwine my art with political activism."
Realizing the scarcity of feature films to date that are positive portrayals of contemporary Native American women, Lorraine Norgarrd was inspired by the true story of a Native American woman medical student from Duluth, and proceeded to write a treatment for the feature film, Looks into the Night. In May of 1994, Norgarrd received the prestigious Directing Workshop for Women Award from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
Olivera was born in Brazil and lives in Somerville, MA, a diverse working-class neighborhood of Boston. She attends Somerville High School. Us Girls is her first video, and was produced through The Mirror Project, an alternative media project at Somerville Community Access Television.
Tina Rizzo, who worked on the technical aspect of Looks into the Night, is from Jemez Pueblo. She has worked for a number of years in the film and video industry. For the past six years she has concentrated on working on projects that pertain to Native American issues. Rizzo is currently a consultant with the American Indian Tobacco Education Network in which we will be producing a video and PSAs this summer, along with workshops for native youth to share with them the experience of filmmaking. She is also the Co-Coordinator of the Circle of Voices Project in which videos will be produced with California Indian elders who are the last speakers of their language to preserve not only the language but the culture. She is a member of the women's drum "Mankillers." "Looks into the Night has been a production that is close to my heart...it parallels with my own life, as I am adopted and raised outside of my culture. In recent years I have been united with my birth family and am learning the ways of my culture."
A film professor at Columbia College and an independent filmmaker, Saeed-Vafa migrated from Iran to the United States in 1984. She was with Iranian National Television before and after the 1979 revolution. She won first prize in the "Visions of the US" video contest and grand prize in the Illinois Film and Video Festival. "Saeed-Vafa means good faith."
Simmons is a 27-year-old African-American feminist lesbian lecturer, independent filmmaker, writer and activist. She creates and supports work that addresses race, gender, sexual orientation, and class issues from a newly defined Afrolesfemcentric perspective. For three years, she co-produced two monthly television programs, Out of the Closet and ON! Sistahs for WYBE, a PBS affiliate in Philadelphia. Simmons wrote, directed and produced Silence...Broken, an internationally acclaimed short about an African-American lesbian's refusal to be silent about racism, sexism and homophobia. She is presently in pre-production on an experimental documentary on rape and sexual assault in the Black community.
Presently completing her M.F.A. in Directing at UCLA's film school, Dawn Suggs is a film and videomaker who has worked in independent media communities for the past nine years. In addition to Firefly, Suggs has produced and directed A Day with Melanie, Chasing the Moon, I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To, She Left the Script Behind, and Taste. She has worked as a distribution manager at the Black Filmmaker Foundation in New York and as an Associate Producer for Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde.
A recipient of a 1989 NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Rea Tajiri's work plays with viewer expectations by employing strategies of media deconstruction to highlight the way images attain meaning and how a viewer or reader supplies an image when one is lacking. Educated at CalArts and currently living in New York, Tajiri's work draws on both American and Japanese images to explore issues of cultural representation, including material that is systematically obscured from these representations.
In addition to her two works in this year's festival, Rahdi Taylor has also directed Curfews and co-directed Prisons of Image and Moi, je m'explore. She has worked on documentaries for local and National PBS, including Signal to Noise and Eyes on the Prize, Part II. She is currently working on her MFA at the University of Texas, Austin.
Originally trained as a musical composer who received her MFA and Ph.D. from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a world-renowned documentary feminist filmmaker and expert on avant-garde and third world post-colonial film theory. A professor of Women's Studies and Film Studies at UC Berkeley, she teaches courses that attempt to situate "women's work in the larger context of cultural politics, of post-coloniality, contemporary theory and the arts."
Unfortunately, no information on the following individuals was available at press time: Ngozi Onwurah, Pratibha Parmar, Frances-Anne Solomon, Dani Williamson.Go Back to Women of Color Film and Video Festival Home Page