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They came from Watts. They came from New York City. They came from throughout America or crossed an ocean from Africa. At a unique time and place in American history, a critical mass of filmmakers of African descent came to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television to make movies and produced a rich, innovative, sustained, and intellectually rigorous body of work. The filmmakers of the L.A. Rebellion achieved this while realizing a new possibility for “Black” cinema, one that explored and related to the real lives of Black communities in the U.S. and worldwide.

Learn more about the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s ongoing “L.A. Rebellion” inititiative.

Bernard Nicolas Bernard Nicolas

Bernard Nicolas has written and directed a number of films, including documentaries and short videos.  Born in Port-au-Prince, he and his family fled from the political situation in Haiti and immigrated to San Pedro, California.

Thomas Penick Thomas Penick

Thomas Penick was a writer and film editor. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Penick attended UCLA to study screenwriting and received his B.A. in Theater Arts/Motion Pictures in 1971.

Storme' Bright Sweet Stormé (Bright) Sweet

Stormé (Bright) Sweet is a documentarian who fell in love with the cultural influence of filmmaking as an undergraduate, while studying Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954) and Rashomon (1950) in a Japanese film class.

Monona Wali Monona Wali

Monona Wali received an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 1983 where she earned the Lynn Weston Memorial Prize.

Robert Wheaton Robert Wheaton

Robert Wheaton is a writer-director and a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He produced the short films A Little Off Mark (1986) and At the Bus Stop (1991).

Iverson White Iverson White

Filmmaker and educator Iverson White was born in Detroit, Michigan. After obtaining his BA in communications from Wayne State University, White joined the Graduate Repertory Company at the University of New Orleans.

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.