|Major figures||Charles Burnett, Larry Clark, Julie Dash, Zeinabu Irene Davis, Jamaa Fanaka, Haile Gerima, Alile Sharon Larkin, Billy Woodberry|
|Influences||African cinema, Cuban cinema, Cinema Novo, European art cinema, French New Wave, Italian neorealism, Latin American cinema|
The L.A. Rebellion film movement, sometimes referred to as the "Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers", or the UCLA Rebellion, refers to the new generation of young African and African-American filmmakers who studied at the UCLA Film School in the late-1960s to the late-1980s and have created a black cinema that provides an alternative to classical Hollywood cinema.     
In June 1953, Ike Jones became the first African American to graduate from the UCLA Film School.  In the next 15 years, the numbers of African-American filmmakers remained small. One of those was Vantile Whitfield, who founded the Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles in 1964  and received a master's degree at UCLA in 1967.  By the late 1960s, in the midst of affirmative action, the number of black students steadily increased. Among this new crop of artists were Charles Burnett, an engineering student who had attended Los Angeles City College, and Haile Gerima, an Ethiopian filmmaker who had recently moved from Chicago. Unlike their predecessors, they eschewed Hollywood conventions and were influenced by films from Latin America, Italian neorealism, European art films, and the emerging cinema of Africa. They were among the first of what became known as the "Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers."  
In the wake of the Watts Riots and other forms of social unrest, such as a 1969 shoot-out on the UCLA campus involving Ron Karenga's US Organization, Burnett and several other students of color helped push the university to start an ethnographic studies program.  Elyseo J. Taylor, who was the only Black instructor at the UCLA Film School in the early 1970s, was an influential instructor in that program. 
UCLA Us Organization shoot out was actually not a "shoot out" since there was no gun fire exchange. Two armed Us Organization members ambushed and killed two unarmed leading Black Panther Party members; Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John Huggins. This scenario is well documented in Ward Churchill's Agents of Repression (1988).
Teshome Gabriel, a film scholar and historian, began teaching at UCLA in 1974 and became both a colleague and mentor to many filmmakers associated with the movement. 
Film scholar Clyde Taylor coined the term "L.A. Rebellion" to describe the filmmakers. 
In the spring of 1997, Doc Films, a student-run film society based at the University of Chicago, hosted one of the first retrospectives of L.A. Rebellion films. Jacqueline Stewart, an associate professor at the university, helped coordinate the program. This series included works by Charles Burnett, Haile Gerima and Julie Dash. 
In Fall 2011, UCLA Film and Television Archive programmed a major retrospective of these films entitled, "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema." The series was funded by the Getty Foundation as a part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.   Preceding the program, the UCLA curatorial team conducted oral histories, identifying nearly fifty filmmakers, many of whom had remained invisible for decades. Papers and films by the filmmakers were collected and numerous films were preserved before screening. A catalog was also published, "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (Los Angeles, 2011), which accompanied the touring program through more than fifteen cities in North America and Europe.
Many of the filmmakers listed below, while primarily known as writer/directors, worked in multiple capacities on various film productions through their early careers.
The following actors appeared in various L.A. Rebellion films and are to some degree associated with the movement:
The following have supported the work of L.A. Rebellion filmmakers as mentors and/or scholars:
The following is a chronological list of short and feature-length films from the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers that are generally considered to be seminal or notable.
A documentary, Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema at UCLA, features interviews with many filmmakers associated with the movement. Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis, it was screened as a work-in-progress on Saturday, October 8, 2011 as part of "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema."  
L.A. Rebellion films that have been inducted onto the National Film Registry: Killer of Sheep (1990), Daughters of the Dust (2004), Bless Their Little Hearts (2013) and To Sleep with Anger (2017).
The L.A. Rebellion has continued to influence on aspects of contemporary Black music across the country. In 2009, popular Brooklyn-born rapper and activist Yasiin Bey, released an album titled, The Ecstatic. The Ecstatic's album cover photo is a still image taken directly from a shot in Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep but overlain with a purple filter. Mos Def had named Killer of Sheep as one of his favorite films in a Pitchfork interview. 
Killer of Sheep is a 1978 American drama film edited, filmed, written, produced, and directed by Charles Burnett. Shot primarily in 1972 and 1973, it was originally submitted by Burnett to the UCLA School of Film in 1977 as his Master of Fine Arts thesis. It features Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, and Charles Bracy, among others, in acting roles.
Julie Ethel Dash is an American filmmaker, music video and commercial director, author, and website producer. Dash received her MFA in 1985 at the UCLA Film School and is one of the graduates and filmmakers known as the L.A. Rebellion. The L.A. Rebellion refers to the first African and African-American students who studied film at UCLA. Through their collective efforts, they sought to put an end to the prejudices of Hollywood by creating experimental and unconventional films. The main goal of these films was to create original Black stories and bring them to the main screens. After Dash had written and directed several shorts, her 1991 feature Daughters of the Dust became the first full-length film directed by an African-American woman to obtain general theatrical release in the United States. In 2004, Daughters of the Dust was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Stemming from the film’s success, Dash also released novels of the same title in 1992 and ‘99. This film even inspired Beyoncé, arguably the music industry’s most influential artist, with her 2016 album titled Lemonade.
Charles Burnett is an American film director, film producer, writer, editor, actor, photographer, and cinematographer. His most popular films include Killer of Sheep (1978), My Brother's Wedding (1983), To Sleep with Anger (1990), The Glass Shield (1994), and Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation (2007). He has been involved in other types of motion pictures including shorts, documentaries, and a TV series.
Haile Gerima is an Ethiopian filmmaker who lives and works in the United States. He is a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers. His films have received wide international acclaim. Since 1975, Haile has been an influential film professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is best known for Sankofa (1993), which won numerous international awards.
Jamaa Fanaka was an American filmmaker. He is best known for his 1979 film, Penitentiary, and was one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion film movement.
Bush Mama is an American film made by Ethiopian-American director Haile Gerima, part of the L.A. Rebellion movement of political and experimental black cinema in the 1970s. It was released in 1979 though made earlier, in 1975.
Zeinabu irene Davis is an American filmmaker and professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. In 1985, she received her M.A in African studies at UCLA and went on to earn her M.F.A in Film and Television production in 1989. Davis is known as one of the graduates and filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion. The L.A. Rebellion refers to the first African-American students who studied film at UCLA. Through their collective efforts, they sought to put an end to the prejudices of Hollywood by creating experimental and unconventional films. The main goal of these films was to create original Black stories and bring them to the main screens. Her works in film include short narratives, documentaries and experimental films that focus heavily on the African American female perspective.
Ben Caldwell (1945) is a Los Angeles-based arts educator and independent filmmaker.
Larry Clark is one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion. He directed the feature films Passing Through (1977) and Cutting Horse (2002). He is also a film professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University.
Billy Woodberry is one of the leading directors of the L.A. Rebellion. He is best known for directing the 1984 feature film, Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), which was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Vantile Emmanuel Whitfield, was an arts administrator who helped found several performing arts institutions in the United States.
Alile Sharon Larkin is an American film producer, writer and director. She is associated with the L.A. Rebellion, which is said to have "collectively imagined and created a Black cinema against the conventions of Hollywood and Blaxploitation film." Larkin is considered to be part of the second wave of these revolutionary black filmmakers, along with Julie Dash and Billy Woodberry. Larkin also co-founded the Black Filmmakers Collective.
Barbara O. Jones, also known as Barbarao, Barbara-O, and Barbara O., is an American actor from Ohio best known for her work in the films of the L.A. Rebellion movement of 1970s black filmmakers, starring in films by Haile Gerima and Julie Dash. She also appeared on television alongside Muhammad Ali in Freedom Road and had smaller roles in other films including Demon Seed and on television.
Clyde R. Taylor is an American writer and film scholar, who is an emeritus professor at New York University. His scholarship and commentary often focuses on black film.
Barbara McCullough is a director, production manager and visual effects artist whose directorial works are associated with the Los Angeles School of Black independent filmmaking. She is best known for Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979), Shopping Bag Spirits and Freeway Fetishes: Reflections on Ritual Space (1980), Fragments (1980), and World Saxophone Quartet (1980).
Carroll Parrott Blue was an American filmmaker, director and author. Based in Houston, Texas, she was part of the L.A. Rebellion film movement. She was noted for her documentary film and interactive multimedia works, particularly for her project The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing. Blue was a research professor at the University of Houston. She worked to preserve and celebrate the history of the African American community in Houston.
A Different Image is a 1982 film directed, written, and edited by Alile Sharon Larkin that explores body image and societal beauty standards through the eyes of a young Black woman on a journey towards self-worth.
Melvonna "Mel" Marie Ballenger was an American director, producer, and writer who created activist short films, known for her involvement in the L.A. Rebellion film movement. She died at the age of 48 from breast cancer.
African American cinema is loosely classified as films made by, for, or about Black Americans. They are an example of Black film. Historically, African American films have been made with African-American casts and marketed to African-American audiences. The production team and director were sometimes also African American. More recently, Black films featuring multicultural casts aimed at multicultural audiences have also included American Blackness as an essential aspect of the storyline.
Minor cinema is a concept that is linked to film theory and defines and challenges the current hegemony in representations; a recent overview and recognition of the term can be found in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (2013).
Beginning in the late 1960s, a number of promising African and African-American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, recruited under a concerted initiative to be more responsive to various communities of color. From that first class through the late 1980s, and continuing well beyond their college days, these filmmakers came to represent the first sustained undertaking to forge an alternative black cinema practice in the United States. Along the way, they created fascinating, provocative and visionary films that have earned an impressive array of awards and accolades at festivals around the world, in addition to blazing new paths into the commercial market.
In 1967, after studying electrical engineering at Los Angeles Community College, Burnett arrived at UCLA to study film. For the next 10 years, UCLA students would develop a fecund, cosmopolitan and politically engaged movement that came to be unofficially known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers.
Armed with a knowledge of "traditional" film history now infused with an introduction to the Third Cinema movement and exposure to revolutionary films from Latin America and Africa, these filmmakers took advantage of their "outsider" positioning, reinvigorating the push for a politically driven cinema...
This collection of the highlights of the legendary but only partially understood African-American film explosion at UCLA in the '70s and early '80s is a priceless work of excavation and restoration, and as an L.A.-specific filmic event it's unlikely to be surpassed in the near future.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater and design from Howard University in 1957 and a master's degree in film production from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1967. In the years between colleges, he started community theaters.
Most notable of these filmmakers were Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima and Julie Dash. Drawing on their own experiences in the black community and varied political and social discourses of the time including black nationalism, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, anti-war rhetoric and Marxist doctrine, these filmmakers sought an aesthetic and mode of representation and narration that spoke to the realities of black existence and the state of the black family under a hegemonic rule of white racism and subordination.
As the only Black faculty member in UCLA's film school, Elyseo Taylor was an influential teacher and advocate for students of color.
As a faculty member and student at TFT in the 1970s and early 1980s, Gabriel was both a colleague of and a mentor to the African-American and African student filmmakers whose work came to define the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers, also known as the "L.A. Rebellion." The group included such soon-to-be-celebrated artists as Charles Burnett, Larry Clark, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Ben Caldwell, Billy Woodberry, Alile Sharon Larkin, Jacqueline Frazier, Jamaa Fanaka and Barbara McCullough. The UCLA Film & Television Archive is currently preparing a major film exhibition scheduled for 2011 which will explore this key artistic movement.