Black Perspectives Committee
The Black Perspectives Program was founded in 1997 by Alisa Starks and Board Member Bob Scarpelli and in collaboration with Spike Lee to highlight the excellence and diversity of African American cinema and films by Africans and the African diaspora from around the world. Through the Program’s targeted efforts to showcase the work of emerging and established African American filmmakers, we have world premiered the first film by acclaimed director Ava Duvernay as well as featured work by American luminaries such as Lee Daniels, George Tillman, and Maya Angelou, among many others. The Program has also presented the most recent works of African masters (Djibril Diop Mambéty, Ousmane Sembene, Abderrahmane Sissako) and British filmmaker Steve McQueen. With annual tributes to emerging and established film artists such as Viola Davis, Forest Whitaker, and Sidney Poitier, and panel discussions, the Black Perspectives Program creates a unique learning environment in which participants can gain valuable insights into the issues, challenges, and triumphs of African American filmmakers.
Chicago International Film Festival Black Perspectives Committee
Rita Coburn Whack