Word Screen Park
Kevin McMahon
The L.A. Rebellion filmmakers

The last four months of 2010, I worked with Maya Smukler to produce an annotated finding aid to the papers by film-maker Jamaa Fanaka. This was part of a larger project by the UCLA Film & Television Archive to collect, preserve and present the work indepdendent black film-makers known as the L.A. Rebellion. Our work helped Jan-Christopher Horak, Allyson Field, Jackie Stewart and other scholars to produce a massive film retrospective that premiered at the Billy Wilder Theater the Fall of 2011 , and L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (2015).

Working on various projects related to the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers provided a new kind of interaction of moving images, places, and history for me to think about. I got especially involved in tracking the ingenius ways the filmmakers—with limited resources and no studio support—managed to get their movies exhibited around the world in the 1970s, long before social media.

[Image: still from Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)]

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