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O.Funmilayo Makarah

film reel

O.Funmilayo Makarah is a writer and director of films and videos that explore cultural identity, as well as an educator. She came to Los Angeles in 1974 and entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. After spending a decade in Europe, she returned to the MFA program in the late-1980s. She later founded In VISIBLE COLORS, a network of film and video makers.

In 1988, Makarah wrote and directed the short video DEFINE, a piece which examines ethnic female identity. She later made The Joke Series (1994), which was shown at the School of Art Institute in Chicago, and Creating a Different Image: Portrait of Alile Sharon Larkin (1989), a short that affirms Larkin’s identity as an artist. She also made a video installation on the Rodney King incident for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

Makarah has contributed scholarly works on race, representation and media to various publications, such as Black Women Film & Video Artists (Routledge, 1998) and Afterimage. She has also served as director and founder of the Heritage Film Festival in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as Chair of the Media Committee for the Cultural Affairs Dept. of the City of Los Angeles. Makarah is also a founding member of L.A. Freewaves, a worldwide media arts organization.

Filmography

Film Role(s) Year
DEFINE (1988) DEFINE

O.Funmilayo Makarah's oblique meditation on the semiotics of ethnic female identity accompanies a cynical narration about how to “win an invitation to the dominant culture.”

Director
Producer
Writer
Editor
Cast
1988
Film reel Diversity

Diversity is a record of the May 25th protest of UCLA students concerning the University's policies towards people of color, and programs to serve their needs.

Director
Producer
Writer
Cinematographer
Editor
1989
Creating a Different Image: Portrait of Alile Sharon Larkin (1989) Creating a Different Image: Portrait of Alile Sharon Larkin

O.Funmilayo Makarah's Creating A Different Image is a jubilant affirmation of self-identity for artist and filmmaker Alile Sharon Larkin.

Director
Producer
Editor
1989
Fired-Up or How I Turned My Rage Into Art (2006) Fired-Up or How I Turned My Rage Into Art

O.Funmilayo Makarah crosses the country interviewing people about their reactions to the "not guilty" verdict in the 1992 Rodney King beating case and the resulting unrest in Los Angeles.

Director 2006
L.A. in My Mind (2006) L.A. in My Mind

O.Funmilayo Makarah's captivating montage of notable Los Angeles sites, laced with free-floating names of places and people, becomes a delightful, personal canon of spiritually sustaining quantities.

Director
Producer
Writer
Cinematographer
Editor
2006