Filmmaker Spotlight: Charles Burnett

About the Filmmaker

Charles Burnett, a humble yet brilliant filmmaker continues to undermine negative stereotypes by telling rich American stories. With over 40 years experience as a writer/director/producer both on the independent filmmaker front as well as in the Hollywood industry he is an American Master and MacArthur Genius awardee. Burnett’s master’s thesis film, Killer of Sheep was named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Rarely has a student film been named to this esteemed collection.

Burnett was a part of the UCLA LA Rebellion Filmmakers transforming the American landscape of film during the late 1960s after switching from studies to become an electrician to filmmaking. He continues to defy convention as well as racial and cultural boundaries and focuses on the realism, the tension and the beauty in African-American life.

Some of Charles Burnett’s other notable films:

Killer of Sheep (1976);American Becoming (1991);When it Rains (1995);Night John (1996);Oprah Winfrey’s The Wedding (1998);Selma Lord Selma (1999);Olivia’s Story (2000);Finding Buck McHenry (2000);Annihilation of Fish (2000);The Blues (2002);Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property (2003); andNamibia: The Struggle For Liberation (2007)

Burnettt has received many accolades, retrospectives and honors from around the world as a visionary filmmaker. A native from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Burnett resides in Los Angeles. In addition to filmmaking, he is a husband, dedicated father, grandfather, and visiting professor at the esteemed Universities.

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