Through A Lens Darkly’s Second Week at Film Forum

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Continuing the excitement from our successful opening week, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People kicked off its second week at New York City’s Film Forum.


Tribute to Hugh Bell (9/3, Wed)

Hugh Bell

Jon Gartenberg


April BellCynthia Danzic

Our second week at Film Forum kicked off with a Tribute to Hugh Bell who was a featured photographer in the film – one of his last interviews before his passing.  April Bell, daughter of Hugh Bell, and writer/LIU professor Cynthia Dantzic joined our panel discussion. The event was moderated by president of Gartenberg Media Enterprises Jon Gartenberg, who also works with Hugh Bell’s estate.

Hugh Cecil Lancelot Bell (1927-2012). The photo “Hot Jazz” was the beginning of Bell’s long infatuation with Jazz Clubs. The combination of ambience and smooth Jazz music was his inspiration. In 1955, Edward Steichen selected “Hot Jazz” for ‘The Family of Man’ exhibition. Besides Jazz clubs, Bell had also been a regular at local boxing matches, through the 50’s and 60’s, capturing gritty yet beautiful images. In New York, he has documented dozens of parades and street events over the past 60 years. Bell opened his own studio in Manhattan in the 1960’s and worked as a commercial studio photographer for decades.

Cynthia Dantzic is a Professor of Art at Long Island University. She is award-winning author of several textbooks on art and currently the author of 100 New York Painters. Cynthia has exhibited her works in painting, calligraphy, photo-collage, drawing, and has works in several museum collections.

Jon Gartenberg is President of Gartenberg Media Enterprises. His company restores and distributes libraries of classic and avant-garde films, and archives of publishing and photographic assets. Gartenberg has also curated numerous film exhibitions, lectured extensively, and written many articles relating to film history and archiving, ranging in subject from D.W. Griffith to experimental cinema.

Tribute to Hugh Bell panel

Tribute to Hugh Bell panel

Cynthia Dantzic, the author of 100 New York Painters, is introducing Hugh Bell's photograph.
April Bell and Cynthia Dantzic introducing Hugh Bell’s photograph.
Photos by Lindsey Seide, Courtesy of Chimpanzee Productions.


To hear Tribute to Hugh Bell,



Salute to LGBT Artists (9/4 Thu)

Lola FlashOcean MorissetDario Calmese

We had a Salute to LGBT Artists screening night, where a Q&A was held with Lola Flash, Ocean Morriset and Darío Calmese, moderated by Dwight Jordan of The Apollo Theater.

Lola Flash is one of the featured photographers in Through A Lens Darkly. Her early work explored notions of colour, sexuality and gender. While still in London, Lola embarked on her [sur]passing series, inspired by tales of light skinned black people who would pass as ‘white’ during America’s period of segregation. A classic Flash photograph ‘Stay afloat, use a rubber’ is part of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection.

 Ocean Morisset is a Haitian-American self-taught (freelance) photographer specializing in Photojournalism and Documentary photography. A self described “inconstant” photographer, Ocean also explores Fine Art photography and engages with a wide range of subjects in life, though his passion remain in telling stories with images.

Darío Calmese is a freelance photographer and casting director based in NYC. Dario’s clients include Public School, The CFDA, Pyer Moss, The Plaza Hotel, New York University, Restoration Hardware, Men’s Fitness, and Salt Magazine. He lives and works in New York City.


Dwight Jordan, Lola Flash, Ocean Morisset and Darío Calmese answering the question from the audience

(Left to Right) Dwight Jordan, Darío Calmese, Ocean Morriset and Lola Flash

Theater crowded with the audience

Full house for LGBT Artists’ night

Photos by Lindsey Seide, Courtesy of Chimpanzee Productions.


To here Salute to LGBT Artists,



Preserving Photographic History (9/5 Fri)

Brian WallisMary Yearwood

Brian Wallis, archivist at the International Center of Photography and Mary Yearwood, Photograph & Print Curator of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, had a conversation following a screening regarding their work in photographs and archival preservation. They have both assisted in the research for Through A Lens Darkly.

Brian Wallis is deputy director of exhibitions and collections and chief curator. Wallis has led ICP’s department of Exhibitions and Collections since joining the institution in September 1999. His tenure was defined by a curatorial program that focused on contemporary perspectives, while critically examining the history of photojournalism and documentary photography for which the institution is renowned.

Salute to Brooklyn Photographers (9/6 Sat)

C. Danny Dawson


   Delphine Fawundu-BufordRadcliffe Roye

For Salute to Brooklyn Photographers on Saturday, Delphine Fawundu-Buford, Russell Frederick & Radcliffe Roye joined us for a Q & A which was moderated by C. Danny Dawson, all who are featured participating photographers in the film.

Delphine Fawundu is a photographer who is interested in exploring identities through cultural expression. A hip-hop head at heart she has been documenting this culture since 1993 through photography, video and words. Fawundu’s work are in collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Danny Simmons/Corridor Gallery, The Brooklyn Historical Society, Catherine Edelman Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Radcliffe Roye is a Brooklyn based documentary photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits and photo-journalism photography. A photographer with over twelve years of experience, Radcliffe is inspired by the raw and gritty lives of grass-roots people, especially those of his homeland of Jamaica. Radcliffe strives to tell the stories of their victories and ills  by bringing their voices to matte fibre paper.

C. Daniel Dawson is a scholar and lecturer of African Diaspora and its impact on American culture. A multi-talented artist, Professor Dawson has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, curator, and arts administrator. As a photographer, he has shown in over 35 exhibitions. In addition, he has curated more than 50 exhibitions.


(Left to Right) Delphine Fawundu-Buford, Russell Frederick, Radcliffe Roye and C. Danny Dawson
Photo by Natalie Shmuel, Courtesy of Chimpanzee Productions.


Q&A with InterFaith Leaders (9/8 Mon)

Rev. LewisRev. WhitneyRev. Matin

A Q&A was held with InterFaith Leaders, Reverend Jacqueline Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church, Reverend Malika Lee Whitney of WBAI, and Reverend Dr. Khadijah Matin & Dr. John L. Bolling.

Reverend Jacqueline Lewis has been a pastor to two congregations in Trenton, New Jersey. One was a new church development and community center called the Imani Community Church, a rich multicultural experiment, which cemented her commitment to multicultural and multiracial congregations as a way to dismantle discrimination. Lewis believes that when we “rehearse” the Reign of God in congregational life, we learn lessons for healing the world. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Lewis is a nationally recognized author, activist, speaker, and preacher on the topics of racial, economic, and gender/LGBTI justice.

Reverend Malika Lee Whitney is Artistic Director of Pickney Productions, an arts and education consortium based in Harlem. Her work as a performing artist is well known for presenting culturally vibrant and relevant programs for audiences of all ages. Whitney has served as a producer and host on WBAI Radio for many years presenting arts and public affairs programs.

Reverend Dr. Khadijah Matin, M.S., has combined over 30 years of service in the areas of history, health and adult education. In the area of African American History, her work includes the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, serving as its National President.


Thomas Allen Harris with the guests

Thomas Allen Harris with the guests



Q&A with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris

& Artist/Photographer Lyle Ashton Harris (9/9 Tue)



Lyle Ashton Harris, left, and Thomas Allen Harris in Mother and Sons by Lyle Ashton Harris, 1994

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