Billy Woodberry

Billy Woodberry

Born in Dallas, Texas, Billy Woodberry is an independent filmmaker who has taught at the School of Film/Video and the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts since 1989. His feature film Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) is an essential work of Los Angeles cinema, informed by Woodberry’s familiarity with Italian neo-realism and the work of filmmakers in Cuba, Brazil, India and Africa. It won the Interfilm ecumenical jury award at the Berlin Film festival. Woodberry has appeared in Charles Burnett’s When It Rains (1995) and provided narration for Thom Andersen’s Red Hollywood (1996) and James Benning’s Four Corners (1998). Woodberry’s two-hour video, The Architect, the Ants, and the Bees, was part of “Facing the Music,” a 2004 group exhibition, video and multimedia installation at the REDCAT gallery documenting the building of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the transformation of downtown Los Angeles. His work has screened at the Camera Austria Symposium, Harvard Film Archive, Human Rights Watch Film Festival and Museum of Modern Art. Woodberry also works at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.


Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Education: UCLA, M.F.A. 1982

Selected Filmography

Film Role(s) Year
The Pocketbook (1980) The Pocketbook

In the course of a botched purse-snatching, a boy comes to question the path of his life.  Billy Woodberry’s second film, and first completed in 16mm, adapts Langston Hughes’ short story, “Thank You, Ma’am,” and features music by Leadbelly, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis.

Director
Producer
Writer
Editor
1980
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) Bless Their Little Hearts

Billy Woodberry's Bless Their Little Hearts chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep (1977), and pays witness to the ravages of time in the short years since its predecessor. Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control.

Director
Producer
Editor
1984