University of Pittsburgh
April 8, 2002

Pitt's Film Studies Program Presents Director Isaac Julien April 13

Contact:  412-624-4147

April 9, 2002

PITTSBURGH—Award-winning film director Isaac Julien will present a free public lecture and screening of his new documentary on "Blaxploitation" movies, "Badasssss Cinema," at 8 p.m. April 13 in the Kurtzman Room of the University of Pittsburgh's William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., in Oakland. Pitt's Film Studies Program is sponsoring the event.

Julien, born in London in 1960, has been working as a film director since 1983, when he completed the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art degree as a film major in St. Martin's School of Art. He was a founding member of Sankofa Film and Video Collective, the UK's first Black film and video workshop dedicated to investigating the representations of Black characters in cinema through class, masculinity, and sexuality.

In 1989, Julien made "Looking for Langston," one of the most-acclaimed experimental films of all time. It won top prizes at the Berlin Film Festival and at the Images Caraibes Festival in Martinique. His first feature film, "Young Soul Rebels" (1991), won the Critics' Prize at Cannes, and "Black and White in Colour" (1992), a two-part documentary made for the BBC, was screened again a week after its original broadcast. "The Darker Side of Black" (1994), a documentary on Black music, was released theatrically in North America after a successful BBC broadcast. In addition, "Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask" (1997), Julien's feature-length biopic on Frantz Fanon, received a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Pratt and Whitney Canada Prize at the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art.

Julien's recent work, including the short film "Three" (1999) and the critically acclaimed video installation "The Long Road to Mazatlan" (2000), have had solo shows in London, New York, Australia, Sweden, and Norway. He has also directed music videos for Des'ree, Peter Gabriel, and Youssou N'Dour.

Julien taught cinema studies at New York University and is a visiting professor in the African-American Studies Program at Harvard University, where he teaches a course titled "Black Cinema as Genre, from Blaxploitation to Hip Hop Cinema to Quentin Tarantino." He also serves as a visiting lecturer for the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program and is a research fellow of fine arts at Oxford Brookes University.