Making Faces on Film: A Collaboration with BFI Black Star

Apr 18–26, 2017


Stormy Weather. 1943. USA. Directed by Andrew L. Stone. The Museum of Modern Art Film Study Center Special Collections

A collaboration between MoMA and the British Film Institute, Making Faces on Film explores how images of blackness have been historically constructed and challenged both within and outside the mainstream film industry. Celebrating a range of influential figures, from Hollywood icons like Lena Horne and Sidney Poitier to independent trailblazers like Spencer Williams and Marlon Riggs, this series explores the vibrancy and resilience of black representation in cinema, which has thrived against a backdrop of industry constraints, structural racism, and exclusion from the Hollywood apparatus.

Jointly inspired by the MoMA exhibition Making Faces: Images of Exploitation and Empowerment in Cinema and the recent BFI Black Star season, this series presents films that reflect the ethos of both endeavors. MoMA’s Making Faces installation explores the representation of historical “others” through the lens of mainstream cinema stills from the silent era through the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Black Star was a major season of screenings and events celebrating the versatility and power of black actors. Black Star was originally shown in London at BFI Southbank, and will tour internationally.

Organized by Dessane Cassell, Joint Fellow, Department of Film, MoMA, and The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Ashley Clark, Season Programmer, BFI Black Star in conjunction with the British Film Institute.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Film Fund.


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