LA Film Forum Logo

New Black Wave, Vol. 2

New Black Wave, Vol. 2

An Ecstatic Experience (2015), by Ja'Tovia Gary

Los Angeles Filmforum, Hello Benjamin Films, Canyon Cinema, and the California African-American Museum present

New Black Wave, Vol. 2

Program curated by DaManuel Richardson and Solomon Turner of Hello Benjamin Films

Saturday, September 10, 2022, Doors open at 12:30 pm, showtime at 1:00 pm, and online at 1:00 pm

At 2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles CA

Tickets: $12 general, $8 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members


Masks are still required at Filmforum shows - N95 or KN95. 

VIEW ONLINE: Films available online for screening on Sat Sept 10 from 1 pm to 9 pm and again on Sat Sept. 24 from 4 pm to midnight at

The screening will be repeating in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater on Saturday Sept 24 at 4 pm!

New Black Wave showcases films by Black filmmakers that push cinema's conceptual and aesthetic boundaries to explore deep-rooted emotions within the African Diaspora. Back for its second edition, the films in New Black Wave Vol. 2 remix public and personal archives to reveal new meanings within familiar images of Black life in America. We bear witness to the absolute and overwhelming freedom exhibited in Black expression and the ever-present power of Black culture. The show features brilliant films by Michèle Stephenson and Imani Dennison, Julie Dash, Ja'Tovia Gary, Paige Taul, Jenn Nkiru, Moïse Togo, and Darol Olu Kae. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers and curator and writer Taylor Renee Aldridge of the California African American Museum (CAAM).

In person, Sept 10: Filmmakers Michèle Stephenson and  Darol Olu Kae, CAAM Curator Taylor Renee Aldridge, and program curators DaManuel Richardson and Solomon Turner


Darol Olu Kae, (b. 1984). Artist and filmmaker from and based in Los Angeles. Kae’s artistic practice disrupts conventional narrative structures of storytelling through its dynamic treatment of sound and image. His collaborative, research-based approach to art and filmmaking grounds itself in the precarious, yet generative power of the black experience in America. Kae has collaborated with visionary filmmakers such as Kahlil Joseph and A.G. Rojas. And his own film work has screened at festivals and institutions worldwide including BlackStar Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, MoCA Los Angeles, and Sundance Film Festival. He was awarded the Pardino d’oro for Best International Short Film in 2020 at the Locarno Film Festival for his film i ran from it and was still in it. And in 2021, i ran from it… earned Special Jury Recognition for Poetry at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. Kae is currently in pre-production for his next short-form project, Keeping Time, and developing his feature directorial debut, Without a Song.

Paige Taul is an Oakland, CA native who received her B.A. in Studio Art with a concentration in cinematography from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently resides in Chicago, IL.

Ja’Tovia Monique Gary is a filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist working across film, video art, sculpture, and installation. Gary aims to destabilize notions of objectivity and neutrality in nonfiction storytelling by asserting a Black feminist subjectivity in films and installations that serve as reparative gestures for the distorted histories through which Black life is often viewed. Black sociality, familial bonds, the interiority of Black women and femmes, and the global efforts towards liberation often pull focus in Gary’s multivalent works. The artist has exhibited at the Hammer Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, the Schomburg Center, Anthology Film Archives, Locarno Film Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Centre Pompidou, Film at Lincoln Center, and Harvard Film Archives, among others. Gary has received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Creative Capital, and Field of Vision, and is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow.

Filmmaker, artist and author, Michèle Stephenson, pulls from her Haitian and Panamanian roots to think radically about storytelling and disrupt the imaginary in non-fiction spaces.  She tells emotionally driven personal stories of resistance and identity that are created by, for and about communities of color and the Black diaspora. Her stories intentionally reimagine and provoke thought about how we engage with and dismantle the internalized impact of systems of oppression. Stephenson draws on fiction, immersive and hybrid forms of storytelling to build her worlds and narratives. Her feature documentary, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys and won the Jury Prize at Sundance. Her more recent feature documentary, Stateless, was nominated for a Canadian Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.  Stephenson also collaborated as co-director on the magical realist virtual reality trilogy series on racial terror, The Changing Same, which was recently nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Interactive Media Innovative category and premiered at Sundance Film Festival. It also won the  Grand Jury Prize for Best Immersive Narrative at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.  Along with her writing partners, Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, Stephenson won an NAACP Image Award for Excellence in a Literary Work for their book, Promises Kept.  She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, a Guggenheim Artist Fellow and a Creative Capital Artist.

Imani Dennison, she/they, is an experimental documentary filmmaker and DP based in Brooklyn, NY. Imani graduated from Howard University where she studied Political Science and Photography. Imani’s work interrogates stories of Black people in the South and the African diaspora, usually centered in folklore, fantasy, and oral histories. Imani’s most recent film, They Say The People Can Skate, is a documentary told through the reminiscence and reflection of Black Louisvillian’s recollection of roller skating culture in Louisville, KY. Imani Co-Directed For Our Girls, a love letter to Black daughters — acknowledging the sacred, and at times, tense relationship mothers and daughters share as they face challenges and accept each other’s flaws which went on to receive major distribution in the U.S. Imani has created commissioned documentary works for PBS, Black Tag, ITVS, and For Africans. Imani’s first film, Garden of Eden, premiered at The Cannes Film Festival in 2016.  Imani is head Curator and Programmer at Black Science Fiction, a creative collective invested in the future, liberation, and pleasure of Black and brown folx. Black Science Fiction hosts community workshops, live music experiences and film screenings.

Moïse Togo was born in Mopti, Mali, in 1990. He studied at the local university’s department of law and political science before attending the conservatory in the capital, Bamako. There he graduated with a master's degree in multimedia arts. He is a recipient of the Bakary Diallo Prize and a fellow at Le Fresnoy – National Studio of the Contemporary Arts. His short film, $75,000, premiered at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 2021 and went on to screen at other festivals, including Annecy International Animation Festival (2021) and Sundance Film Festival (2022).

Thirty-one years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust. She became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. Dash recently designed two rooms for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and VOGUE, In American: An Anthology of Fashion, featured at the NYC Met Gala 2022. She directed Kerry Washington’s upcoming new drama series Reasonable Doubt. Dash is known for having directed multiple episodes of the award-winning drama series, Queen Sugar, Season 2, created and produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, for OWN Television. Her most recent museum installations include Standing at The Scratch Line, at the Philadelphia Museum of African American History, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Shine a Light, a large-scale video mapping projection for the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit. Dash has several documentary projects in the works, including Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, a feature-length documentary in-progress about Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, a world-renowned author, performer, and chef from rural South Carolina. She earned an MFA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies, an MFA in Theater Arts (Film & Television Production) at UCLA; and she received a BA in Film Production from CCNY. Julie Dash is a Diana King Endowed Professor in the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College.

Jenn Nkiru is an award-winning visionary artist and director from London. The relationship between the spiritual, visual, sonic, somatic, music and movement, are central concerns of her work in how they intersect and work together to expand the possibilities of film language. Pushed through a surrealist lens, her works are grounded in the history of black music, afro-surrealism, the aesthetics of experimental film, international art cinema, the black arts movement and the rich and variegated tradition of cinemas of the black diaspora and their distinct experimentation with the politics of form. She has steadily created a collection of works with her distinctive visual style and powerful use of sound through her short films, commercials and music videos for the MET, the Whitney, Gucci, Frieze, as well as artists such as Beyoncé, Rage Against the Machine, Kamasi Washington and Neneh Cherry amongst others. She is the 2021 Grammy Award Winner for Best Music Video for her direction on Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce. She is, additionally the winner of a CICLOPE, Soul Train, Cannes Lion and NAACP award for the same video. Her latest piece, OUT / SIDE OF TIME, commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York is currently on show as part of their exhibition: Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room.

Curator and writer Taylor Renee Aldridge joined the California African American Museum (CAAM) in August 2020. Her first project at CAAM was Enunciated Life, a contemporary art exhibition in which Black spiritual beliefs—as well as the movements, sounds, and other bodily expressions that have engendered communication within and beyond Black churches—operate as a point of departure for considering modes of surrender. Aldridge has organized critically acclaimed exhibitions with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Artists Market, Cranbrook Art Museum, and The Luminary (St. Louis). In 2015, along with art critic Jessica Lynne, she co-founded ARTS.BLACK, an influential journal of art criticism for Black perspectives. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, The Art Newspaper, Art21, ARTNews, Canadian Art, Contemporary And, Detroit Metro Times, Hyperallergic, and SFMOMA’s Open Space. She is the recipient of the 2016 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short Form Writing and the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for Art Journalism. She holds an M.L.A. from Harvard University with a concentration in Museum Studies and B.A. from Howard University with a concentration in Art History

DaManuel Richardson is a writer, programmer, and creative producer with his award-winning partners at Hello Benjaman Films. His sub-rural upbringing and extensive family tree inspire stories exploring identity and healing generational trauma. Leaving the cow fields of Georgia behind, DaManuel journeyed to Los Angeles, where he attained his MFA from CalArts and landed a coveted gig as a showrunner's assistant. He currently programs shorts for the Sundance Film Festival and sits on the BIPOC selection committee for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. His pilot, THE SQUIRE, was selected to participate in the Stowe Story Labs 2022 and is in the Top 1% on Coverfly's Red List. DaManuel is repped by Patrick Strapazon of Stellar Entertainment. And despite traveling far from his southern roots, he's happy to report his green thumb is still intact, thanks to years of urban farming in LA.

Solomon Turner is a filmmaker, cinematographer, producer and co-founder of Hello Benjamin Films, an award winning film production company. He recently participated in the 2020 Visions du Réel Industry Rough Cut Lab with a feature in post production. Solomon received his BA in Cinema Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. His work has been featured on IndieWire and has screened at the REDCAT Theater and Poetic Research Bureau (Los Angeles), Art Basel Miami, and Vienna International Film Festival.  He was one of 20 documentary producers invited to the 2019 Sundance Creative Producing Summit. In 2019, Solomon was named a Sundance Documentary Fund Grantee. 

Founded in 2017, Hello Benjamin Films specializes in producing daring and uncommon documentary, fiction, and hybrid films that emerge from intimate collaborations with their award-winning directors. Central to their work is a multi-faceted exploration of identity.

Canyon Cinema Foundation is dedicated to educating the public about independent,non-commercial, experimental, avant-garde, and artist-made moving images. Wemanifest this commitment by providing access to our unrivaled collection to universities and cultural organizations worldwide.

Founded in 1977, the California African American Museum (CAAM) is the first African American museum of art, history, and culture fully supported by a state. The Museum’s permanent collection houses 5,000 objects that span landscape painting and portraiture, modern and contemporary art, historical objects and print materials, and mixed-media artworks. 


Olu Kae Darol iranfromit

i ran from it and was still in it, by Darol Olu Kae

i ran from it and was still in it

By Darol Olu Kae
USA, 2020, digital, 11 min.
A poetic meditation on familial loss and separation, and the love that endures against dispersion.

Taul Paige 102830 Paige Taul smaller

10:28,30, by Paige Taul


By Paige Taul
USA, 2019, digital, 5 min., Los Angeles Premiere
As a part of the larger constellations of works concerning familial relationships, 10:28,30 examines the relationship between myself and my sister, and our relationship to our mother. I am interested in the dissonance of our lives apart and the tension in the desire to be together.

Gary JaTovia AnEcstaticExperience 1 smaller

An Ecstatic Experience, by Ja'Tovia Gary

An Ecstatic Experience

By Ja'Tovia Gary
USA, 2015, digital, 7 min.
A meditative invocation on transcendence as a means of restoration.

Stephenson Dennison ForOurGirls 2

For Our Girls, by Michèle Stephenson and Imani Dennison

For Our Girls

By Michèle Stephenson and Imani Dennison
USA, 2020, digital, 10 min., Los Angeles Premiere
The film is a love letter to Black daughters — acknowledging the sacred, and at times, tense relationship mothers and daughters share as they face challenges and accept each other’s flaws.

Togo Moise 75000 2 smaller

$75,000, by Moïse Togo


By Moïse Togo
France/Mali, 2020, digital, 14 min., Los Angeles Premiere
A look at the biological aspect of albinism, which is a genetic and hereditary condition that affects not only the pigmentation of sufferers but also, and above all, their physical and mental health. These people are victims of discrimination, mutilation, and ritual crimes in Africa.

Taul Paige WhatsGoodBruce 1 1

What’s good Bruce?, by Paige Taul

What’s good Bruce?

By Paige Taul
USA, 2018, digital, 4 min., Los Angeles Premiere
A reference to Bruce Nauman's Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square (1967) in order to question whose body and whose body language is allowed in the studio space. Instead of mimicking the way Nauman walks, Peter uses the pimp walk (sans cane).

Dash Julie Standing at the Scratch Line

Standing at the Scratching Line, by Julie Dash

Standing at the Scratching Line

By Julie Dash
USA, 2016, digital, 11 min.
Traveling between Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, to Mother Bethel AME in Philadelphia, Julie Dash creates a cinematic tone poem about returning to sacred spaces of departure and arrival.

Nkiru Jenn BLACK TO TECHNO 03 smaller

BLACK TO TECHNO, by Jenn Nkiru


By Jenn Nkiru
United Kingdom, 2019, digital, 21 min.
BLACK TO TECHNO is a music documentary charting the anthropological, socio-economical, geopolitical roots of techno from Detroit and how it traveled and translated into becoming the soundtrack to fall of the wall in Berlin.