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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association present

Making Waves

A man pointing at the sky and holding a baby.
April 14, 2023 -
May 6, 2023
Filmmaker Walter Thompson-Hernández (4/14), filmmaker Zeinabu irene Davis (4/15), Kayla Abuda Galang (4/23), filmmakers Julie Ha, Eugene Yi (5/6).

Centering BIPOC filmmakers and their work through conversation and screenings.

Working within an industry that has historically misrepresented, miscast and stereotyped non-white people and their experiences, filmmakers of color have not only had to carve out space to work within these systems but actively fight against the harmful images that had come before them. Practices developed in response to, critical of, or in opposition to the wide gaps in opportunity for creative voices outside the margins. When BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) filmmakers get to tell their own stories, the work speaks for itself; original, groundbreaking, personal, influential, and the list goes on.

Making Waves features contemporary BIPOC filmmakers whose works awed audiences when they premiered and continue to cause a ripple today. From first features to award-winning short films to films that inspired the makers, this series will provide context and conversation with artists from traditionally underrepresented communities to highlight their craft as they work to expand the vision of what’s possible.

The first program will feature filmmaker Walter Thompson-Hernández and his film If I Go Will They Miss Me (2022, winner of the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Fiction Short Film Award) paired with a film that he chose, Killer of Sheep (1977). Both works take place in Watts and although in different decades, they are connected by their depiction of daily life and of the ways in which people simply exist. Prolific filmmaker Zeinabu irene Davis will be in conversation with her debut film, Compensation (1999), a movie that is remarkable in how it uses history to inform the present while employing techniques from all eras of filmmaking, silent included, to create a modern love story. Filipino American filmmaker Kayla Abuda Galang will present the film Cleaners (2019), which has had no theatrical release in the U.S., alongside her Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning short film, When You Left Me on That Boulevard (2023). These films both depict the wry, universal experience of coming-of-age but with a unique perspective, informed by their lived experiences. Filmmakers Julie Ha and Eugene Yi will speak about their relationship to the case and their filmmaking journey in Free Chol Soo Lee (2022), a film that documents the complexities of one man whose case brought the Asian American community together but struggled to keep himself from falling apart.

The filmmakers featured in this series span different backgrounds, styles, approaches and times in the industry. Together, the work being featured has created emergent conversations around race and ethnicity, about personal stories, and is a celebration of the artists and their vision.

Funding for this program provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Programs & Events

Image Title Date and Time Location Buy Tickets
A man pointing to the sky and holding a baby.

If I Go Will They Miss Me / Killer of Sheep

April 14, 2023 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
A woman using sign language.

Crocodile Conspiracy / Compensation

April 15, 2023 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Two people riding a motorcycle.

When You Left Me on That Boulevard / Cleaners

April 23, 2023 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Chol Soo Lee

Free Chol Soo Lee

May 6, 2023 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater