Visions for Liberation: Third Cinema Revisited - Sonya Childress Keynote Lecture: Freedom Dreams Refracted

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (ET)
OCL Virtual Event
Event Type
Conference & Symposia
Weissinger, James R
Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities

Visions for Liberation: Third Cinema Revisited

2021 Mellon Symposium

April 14-16

Haverford College

Full schedule at

Wednesday, April 14

12:00 p.m.

Keynote Lecture by Sonya Childress: Freedom Dreams Refracted

BIPOC nonfiction filmmakers in the west have long trained their lenses on sociopolitical issues. Rooted in identity politics, the children of the Third Cinema deftly wielded the camera as a tool to resist dehumanizing imagery and animate protest movements. Today’s generation leans into new radical visions. Through recalibrated power dynamics, new ethical frameworks, bold aesthetic departures, collective organizing, deep commitment to justice, and an emphasis on healing, BIPOC filmmakers are at the vanguard of a new cinematic rebirth, once again proving the significance of the camera to our liberation.

Sonya Childress is a cultural strategist and impact producer. She believes in the power of film to support social justice movement-building. Sonya serves as Senior Fellow with the Perspective Fund, a philanthropic resource for documentary film and impact campaigns, where she conducts field-building research, writing and initiatives. Sonya previously served as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Firelight Media, where she led impact campaigns for director Stanley Nelson’s films, including Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and created a fellowship for impact producers of color. Sonya has worked with Active Voice, California Newsreel, Kartemquin Films, ITVS and Working Films, and has advised countless filmmakers on their impact strategies; including Yance Ford (Strong Island), Peter Bratt (Dolores), Steve James (The Interrupters), Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera (The Infiltrators), Byron Hurt (Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes) and Jeff Zimbalist (Favela Rising). She is a trustee of The Whitman Institute, a member of the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and a facilitator of the Global Impact Producers group. Sonya proudly reps her hometown of LA, her African American and Puerto Rican heritage, and her two children.

About Visions for Liberation

The symposium Visions for Liberation: Third Cinema Revisited explores the global resonances of the Third Cinema movement in the ‘here and now’ and asks how it renders for us a ‘there and then’ across its expansive contexts. Each panel of the symposium articulates how cinema is responding to the global and local sociopolitical concerns from which it emerges, and what kinds of calls to action are being made and to whom. Women and non-binary filmmakers from Palestine, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Third spaces across the U.S. share their work and thoughts on a Third Cinema revisited and reinvented. In the spirit of Solanas and Getino’s inspired question, first posed on the pages of Tricontinental in Cuba, how, in the era of Netflix and DSLR and Vimeo, has Third Cinema continued to be the most important revolutionary artistic event of our times?

Organized by Elena Guzman, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Visual Studies at Haverford, along with Ethnocine Collective: Emily Hong, Miasarah Lai, Laura Menchaca Ruiz, Mariangela Mihai. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for the Arts and Humanities at Haverford College, and Ethnocine Collective.

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