Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film: Chicago Edition

with Allyson Nadia Field, Marsha Gordon, and Jacqueline Stewart

Friday, November 20, 2020, 7:30pm - 7:30pm

How to watch: Tune in on November 20 at 7:30pm Central time at don’t need a Twitch account to watch the films or the discussion. If you would like to ask questions, you’ll need to sign up for a free Twitch account (you can also log in using your Facebook account). To ask questions during the discussion, simply type into Twitch’s chat window.

Captioning will be provided for this event.

Inspired by the recently published book, Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (Duke University Press, 2019), co-editors Marsha Gordon (North Carolina State University) and Allyson Nadia Field (University of Chicago) and the book’s foreword author Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago) present a digitized selection of 16mm short films. Screening Race focuses on the ways nontheatrical filmmakers addressed and audiences encountered ideas about race, identity, politics, and community outside the borders of theatrical cinema.

The program begins with the film that motivated the edited collection: Felicia, a student-made documentary about a day in the life of a Black teenager living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles before the 1965 rebellion. It then turns to Chicago to showcase a range of nontheatrical films made in and about the city, including highlights from the South Side Home Movie Project, an educational film about a young girl living in Chinatown, a sponsored film aimed at recruiting more African Americans into the medical profession, and a glimpse at the thriving culture around Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market in the 1970s.

Profs. Gordon, Field, and Stewart will introduce the films and lead a discussion following the screening.


Felicia (Bob Dickson, Alan Gorg, Trevor Greenwood, 1965, 13’), courtesy A/V Geeks
The Millers (Jean Patton Collection, 1940, 5’ excerpt), courtesy SSHMP
Easter ’55 Xmas Party (Jean Patton Collection, 1955, 8’), courtesy SSHMP
Pamela Wong’s Birthday for Grandma (Jackie Rivett-River, 1976, 7’), courtesy A/V Geeks
A Matter of Opportunity (Chuck Olin, sponsored by the American Medical Association and the National Medical Association, 1968, 10’), courtesy of the Chicago Film Archives
1978: Walls & Helen – Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market (Karl Berolzheimer, 1978, 4’), courtesy of the Chicago Film Archives