Created by the Amistad Research Center, Conversations in Color is a free public cultural series that features artists, educators, and community activists in talks about their work and its impact on social change. amistadresearchcenter.org
Longing for Home: Displacement and Resiliency in Film.
The Amistad Research Center hosted filmmakers Luisa Dantas and Nailah Jefferson in dialogue about the visual presentation of community desolation and strength in their respective genres of filmmaking.
Luisa Dantas. Brasilian-American filmmaker Luisa Dantas works at the intersection of storytelling and social justice. Her most recent project, Land of Opportunity, chronicles the reconstruction of New Orleans through the eyes of those on the frontlines and asks the question: what kinds of cities do we want to (re)build in the 21st century? The multi-platform documentary includes an award-winning film and groundbreaking interactive web platform funded by Ford, Rockefeller, Chicken and Egg Pictures, NBPC and Arte. Luisa also co-produced the acclaimed documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Her first fiction film, Bolo, was produced in Brasil. She has also written for the animated series Go, Diego, Go!! She received a screenwriting fellowship from Disney/ABC. She taught screenwriting and documentary filmmaking at Tulane University. She attended Brown University and received an M.F.A in Film from Columbia University. She currently consults on impact-driven storytelling for a diverse range of clients, including the Ford Foundation.
Nailah Jefferson. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nailah Jefferson is a filmmaker influenced greatly by her southern roots and upbringing. Nailah’s debut feature film, the documentary entitled Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe a la Hache, told the story of the little known African American oyster fishing community of Plaquemines Parish and their fight for justice in the aftermath of the 2010 BP Oil Spill. ARRAY acquired Vanishing Pearls in 2014 and it became critically acclaimed, screening both domestically and internationally. It now streams on Netflix. As a filmmaker intrigued and inspired by the enduring human spirit, Nailah continues to capture raw subjects and subject matter on screen in both narrative and documentary work. In fall 2015 Nailah won the inaugural Create Louisiana 50k Short Film Grant to direct her first narrative film, Plaquemines. It premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival in fall, 2016 and continues to travel the festival circuit. Recently Nailah was nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Ellie award for directing Essence Magazine's Black Girl Magic Episode 4. Currently, Nailah is in development for her debut feature narrative film Landing on Neptune and her second documentary Commuted.
About Amistad Research Center:
The Amistad Research Center (ARC) is committed to collecting, preserving, and providing open access to original materials that reference the social and cultural importance of America's ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights.
ARC houses more than 800 collections, including:15 million original manuscripts and rare documents ranging from the 1780s to present;2,000+ periodicals dating from the early 19th century; 250,000 photographs dating from 1859; 400+ oral histories by musicians, civil rights activists, writers, military figures and community members;400 works of African and African American art, including works by several internationally renowned 19th and 20th century African American masters; and 25,000+ monographs, books, articles and dissertations on the history of African-American and ethnic groups.