Hybrid Cinematics: Rethinking the Role of Filmmakers of Color in American Cinema

Tracy Daniels

Tracy Daniels

This thesis explores the practices of filmmakers of color in the United States who employ strategies to circumvent industrial, financial and cultural barriers to production and distribution. To overcome these barriers, many filmmakers of color in the United States operate as independents, which can allow them to route around Hollywood or forge a new space within. For most contemporary independent minority filmmakers, such as those from Latin, Asian, Pacific, Native and African American communities, an amalgam of political, industrial, economic and technological shifts have both facilitated and hindered access to crucial funding and distribution opportunities, which in turn impacts their ability to control and shape their imagery and identity. The result of these impediments inspires a mix of endeavors by those who seek mainstream access and success, those who seek independent status, and the hybrid practices of those who increasingly negotiate between the two. Hybrid Cinematics describes practices of those who negotiate such strategies to not only overcome persistent barriers, but also to strengthen their presence and authority within the American motion picture industry.

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