Yoruba Richen (Director) is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film, The New Black, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, won Audience Awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival and best documentary at the Urbanworld Film Festival. It was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Richen’s previous film, Promised Land, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on PBS’s POV in 2010. In 2007, Richen won a Fulbright Award in filmmaking and traveled to Brazil, where she began production on Sisters of the Good Death, a documentary about the oldest African women’s association in the Americas and the annual festival they hold celebrating the end of slavery. Richen has also been an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News as well as a producer for the independent news program Democracy Now. She has received numerous grants including ones from ITVS, The Sundance Documentary Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Ford Foundation. Richen won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was also a Sundance Institute’s Producers’ Fellow. She is a 2014 featured TED Speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow. Richen is Director of the Documentary Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Yoruba will be attending the screenings on February 18, 19, and 21.
Yvonne Welbon (Producer) has produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis@ 100, winner of ten best documentary awards—including the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary, and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her films have screened on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO and in hundreds of film festivals around the world. She recently produced The New Black, an award winning documentary directed by Yoruba Richen that captures the complex intersection between faith, racial justice and LGBT rights. Her current projects are Dena Montague’s Paris Rebels which examines the story of black youth participating in the hip hop inspired Zoulou movement in Paris during the 1980s and 90s; Takin’ Place, Cyrus Dowlatshahi’s observational documentary about the South-side of Chicago and; Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-making, a web based online community building project that includes a book of essays, a documentary, an archive and a mobile application. Originally from Chicago, Welbon received a B.A. from Vassar College, an M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She is also a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Yvonne Welbon is an associate professor in the journalism and media studies department at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC. Yvonne will be attending the screenings on February 23, 25, and 26.
The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church. The New Black reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table. It tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.
February 18, 2015: Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford, GA
February 19, 2015: Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
February 21, 2015: Creative City Collaborative, Pompano Beach, FL
February 23, 2015: East Tennessee State University, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, Johnson City, TN
February 25, 2015: Indie Memphis, Memphis, TN
February 26, 2015: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, Auburn University, Auburn, AL