Zeinabu irene Davis
Zeinabu irene Davis
Davis at the University of California, San Diego, 2010
|Alma mater||Brown University, University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Director, producer, professor|
|Spouse(s)||Marc Arthur Chéry|
Zeinabu irene Davis is an African-American filmmaker and professor of the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. Her works in film include narrative, documentary and experimental film.
Personal, Education and career
Born in Philadelphia, Zeinabu irene Davis, gravitated towards arts, "theater and education" (Field et. al, 19). With a Catholic school background, Davis studied at Brown University, then later travelled to Kenya, which furthered her interest in African American Studies. Furthermore, she pursued her first master's degree in 1983 focusing on African studies, later receiving a master of fine arts in film and video production both from UCLA in 1989. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from such sources as the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught at many renowned colleges such as Antioch College and Northwestern University, but has more recently moved to teach at UC San Diego, where she currently serves as Professor of Communications (cinema.ucla.edu).
As a filmmaker, her films have been categorized as belonging to the genre of Black feminism due to the ways she incorporates the unique experiences of African American women. According to film scholar Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Davis believes that black filmmakers are "developing a new genre that constitutes a black aesthetic". Furthermore, Davis was part of L.A. Rebellion, which was a movement involving independent black filmmakers (who attended UCLA) aiming to reproduce alternative, humanizing, and more accurate images of black people unlike classical Hollywood cinema. From her experience of being part of L.A Rebellion, Davis feels passionately about working within groups or organizations, especially as a beginner. She believes that the dynamic and different perspective help filmmakers grow and develop their unique styles.
Her film Compensation won the Gordon Parks Directing Award from the Independent Feature Project in New York. It was also screened at the Sundance Festival in 2002. It tells a parallel story of two deaf black women, one at the turn of the century and one in the later 20th century. She also won awards from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and the National Black Programming Consortium for Cycles (1989), an experimental short film. In addition, her works such as, A Period Piece (1991), A Powerful Thang (1991), Mother of a River (1995) and Compensation (1999) "continued to garner her awards from numerous organizations and festivals, including the Gordan Parks Award for Best Director from the Independent Feature Project" (cinema.ucla.edu). In 2017, her film "Spirits of Rebellion" was awarded for Best Documentary Feature Film at the San Diego Film Awards.
|1983||Recreating Black Women's Media Image||Director|
|1987||Sweet Bird of Youth||Director||5-minute short film|
|1987||Canta for Our Sisters||Director|
|1991||A Period Piece||Director|
|1991||A Powerful Thang||Director, Producer|
|1995||Mother of the River||Director|
|2005||Las Abuelas - Latina Grandmothers Explain the World and Other Stories of Faith||Co-director, Producer|
|2005||Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant||Director, Producer|
|2008||Delta Children: Future of the Blues||Co-director|
|2010||Momentum: A Conversation with Black Women on Achieving Graduate Degrees||Director|
|2010||Co-motion: Tales of Breastfeeding Woman||Director|
|2015||Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA||Director||Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2017 San Diego Film Awards|
- University of California, San Diego, Department of Communication.
- Ogunleye, Foluke (2007). "Transcending the "Dust": African American Filmmakers Preserving the "Glimpse of the Eternal"". College Literature. 34 (1): 156–173. doi:10.1353/lit.2007.0008.
- "Zeinabu irene Davis". Women Make Movies.
- Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, 1995, Greenwood Press, Westport (CT) & London, Women Film Directors: An International Bio-Critical Dictionary, Retrieved December 15, 2014, see page(s): 103
- Lyman, Rick (4 February 2000). "At the movies". New York Times. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "Official 2017 San Diego Film Award Winners". San Diego FIlm Award for Best Documentary Feature Film. filmconsortiumsd.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "Compensation". Sundance Festival.
- "Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA (2011)". L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema. UCLA Film & Television Archive. Retrieved 2011-10-02.