Black Life: Benjamin Michel

Programmed by Chika Okoye and David Brazil

Filmmaker Benjamin Michel presents “Melanin in Cinema,” exploring the works of African-descended directors, past and present, who challenge the medium through their artistic voices. This presentation seeks to enlighten, engage, and inspire audiences to think more widely and deeply about films produced by people of color.

Benjamin Michel was born in Irvington, New Jersey. His early passions were in the fine arts, primarily drawing and painting. As he grew into his late teens and learned about the value of images through photography, he gravitated to the cinema. He earned an AA from Valencia Community College and a BA in film from the University of Central Florida. Although he dabbled in various art forms, making films has played a defining role in shaping Benjamin's work as a critical and socially aware artist. He strives to discover, create, and preserve the indelible impact of cinema by people of color across the world.