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Silents: Part 1 of 3

Presented in partnership with the Denver Silent Film Festival

With an introduction and Post-film discussion with Howie Movshovitz,

Director of The Denver Silent Film Festival, and filmmaker Lisa

Collins, currently making a film about Oscar Micheaux.

So far as we know, Within Our Gates is the earliest surviving feature film by an African-American filmmaker. Director Oscar Micheaux was an artist of great power, persistence and nerve to make films independently and, of course, outside the well-funded White film industry. This is Micheaux’ second film – the 1918 The Homesteader about his own life homesteading in South Dakota is lost. But right from the start, Micheaux presents a vision foreign to White audiences – that Black is the norm, not the exception. He looks at life as lived by Black people and takes on the profound questions of his (and still our) time. In Within Our Gates, Sylvia Landry (the major star Evelyn Preer) raises money for a school for black children and along the way must confront a host of social attitudes from Whites and Blacks alike. In a moment of flashback to Landry’s childhood, Micheaux stages a graphic lynching of her parents – a direct challenge to the racism of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation.

Introduction and Post-film discussion with Howie Movshovitz, Director of The Denver Silent Film Festival, and filmmaker Lisa Collins, currently making a film about Oscar Micheaux.

About guest Lisa Collins:

Award-winning Filmmaker/Writer/Director/Producer, Lisa Collins -- a spirited Brooklyn-native of Jamaican/Cuban parentage -- earned a BA from Yale (American Studies/Photography), followed by an MFA with honors from Columbia University (Screenwriting/Directing); in between, studied in Madrid, Spain. While in film school in NYC, Lisa served as Managing Editor of the digital Film Department at Baseline (a data provider). From there Lisa was promoted to: N.Y. Bureau Chief/Senior Editor/Segment Producer, serving as an online entertainment journalist and a content strategist for 10-plus years at Hollywood.com. Focusing, more recently, on art/fashion/cinema/culture, she freelances as a Special Correspondent/Writer (VisionaireV, and various platforms). Lisa’s expanded professional ventures include: Nightclub Producer; Creative Consultant; Educator; Special Events Curator; Jurist/Panelist/Guest Speaker; Women Film Critics Circle Member; and Co-Founding Board Member/Volunteer/Director of Special Projects of the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation. Lisa was invited onboard as Festival Programmer for the 2018 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival in Arkansas … In her own storytelling cinematic orbit -- Filmmaker Magazine named Lisa, “One of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Lisa’s B&W, silent, thesis film Tree Shade won a Student Academy Award (Best Alternative Film); Best Short Film (Avignon, Atlanta); a DGA Award; and screened, worldwide, to enthusiastic audiences. Lisa is a Sundance Writers/Directors/Producers Lab Alumni for her narrative work. As Director/Producer, Lisa is currently in advanced post-production with her epic Oscar Micheaux-inspired feature documentary, Oscar’s Comeback, which has garnered generous grant, lab, and fellowship support from prestigious foundations/institutions including: Tribeca Film Institute; the Ford Foundation/JustFilms; NYSCA; Chicken & Egg Pictures; Sundance Institute; IFP; Vital Projects Fund; South Dakota Humanities Council; and Women Make Movies. With an essay on Oscar Micheaux’s work, Lisa is a contributing writer for MoMA’s 2019 anthology: Among Others: Blackness at MoMA… Currently, Lisa is excited to be serving on the Selection Committee for the New York Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    73 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Oscar Micheaux
  • Cast
    Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements