The LA Rebellion Filmmakers and Their Continued Relevance 50 Years Later

Art + Practice brings together the works of the LA Rebellion filmmakers and the works of younger generations of Black artists, filmmakers, storytellers, and scholars working in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — The first wave of Black students who entered the ethno-communication program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television did so at a particularly politically charged time in Los Angeles and the nation as a whole. The students began their term at the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement, and some, like filmmaker and storyteller Ben Caldwell, after they had returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. They arrived on campus in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts Uprising and the shooting at a Black Student Union meeting in 1969, which left two UCLA students and Black Panther leaders dead. In the face of racism on campus, the students joined together in a tight cohort, learning and collaborating with one another. This class of students, and those who followed, until the program ended in 1982, became known as the LA Rebellion.

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