Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Jamaa Fanaka, Leading LA Rebellion Film Movement Filmmaker, Dies At 69

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 2, 2012 at 7:44PM

Mourning the loss of my cinematic brother, Jamaa Fanaka who passed away yesterday. He is one of the LA Rebellion filmmakers - the only student to ever have made 3 feature films at UCLA and to also make money from them. He was a good soul, he will be missed, but earns his "secular immortality" (a term he came up with in my interview with him) with his films and his fight for better representation of Black directors with the DGA. Ashe, Jamaa!
15
jamaa

Mourning the loss of my cinematic brother, Jamaa Fanaka who passed away yesterday. He is one of the LA Rebellion filmmakers - the only student to ever have made 3 feature films at UCLA and to also make money from them. He was a good soul, he will be missed, but earns his "secular immortality" (a term he came up with in my interview with him) with his films and his fight for better representation of Black directors with the DGA. Ashe, Jamaa!

Words I read this evening on Zeinabu Irene Davis' Facebook page (thanks Brandon Wilson for alerting me to this).

That's all the information that appears to be public as of the time of this post, so I'm sure more (specifically, the cause of his death) will be revealed soon.

Born Walter Gordon, Fanaka attended UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television (where he changed his name to Jamaa Fanaka - based on Swahili words meaning “together we will find success”), earning a BA in 1973 and an MFA in 1979.

It was there that Fanaka, and a group of young African and African American students also in the same program at UCLA formed what is now referred to as the L.A. Rebellion movement (or Los Angeles School Of Black Filmmakers), creating a unique cinematic landscape that is still very much reverred today.

It is also there, at UCLA, that Fanaka made films we've covered here on S&A like Emma Mae (1976) and Penitentiary (1979) - see Brandon Wilson's reviews of both films (HERE & HERE) which screened during last fall's "L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema" retrospective at UCLA.

Penitentiary became the highest grossing independent film of 1979, and two sequels followed in 1982 and 1987.

In 2008, Turner Classic Movies spotlighted Fanaka’s work, airing, for the first time on TV, Emma Mae and Penitentiary in their original aspect ratios.

Fanaka was founder of the Director Guild of America’s African American steering committee in 1994; his latest project was a documentary titled Hip Hop Hope, which profiled underground hip hop culture.

I never did meet the man, but based on some of the exchanges he had with other readers and writers here on S&A, I'd say he was certainly quite the firebrand!

I'll update this post as more details on his death are revealed...


Shadow & ActNewsletter