The Importance of a House and the pandemic formation of the ATLFilmParty community

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Date
2024-02-07
Authors
Gunn, Jenny
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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Abstract
This article discusses the short films of the Atlanta-based black American filmmaker Olamma Oparah. Oparah’s film The Importance of a House was the winner of the inaugural ATLFilmParty (AFP) free film competition and industry networking event created by Brooke Sonenreich in the summer of 2021. Produced and directed in the era of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the US racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd, The Importance of a House iterates the home as a site of refuge. This article analyses Oparah’s short in the context of two other films she directed in the same period, Laundry Day and No One Heals Without Dying that similarly explore the meaning of home as a black, female, and spiritual space. Using an object-oriented and artist-centered methodology informed by the author’s work with the liquid blackness research group, this article argues that Oparah’s films as texts speak to the contextual needs that AFP meets in fostering a local and independent home for filmmakers in Atlanta facing global Hollywood’s increasingly dominant presence in the city and the region.
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Independent cinema , Black cinema , Atlanta , Georgia , Film competitions , Liquid blackness
Citation
Gunn, J. (2024) 'The Importance of a House and the pandemic formation of the ATLFilmParty Community', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 26, pp. 154-168. doi: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.26.10