Filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien is a native of London, England. Julien graduated from St Martin's School of Art where he studied painting and fine art film. He is also the founder of Sankofa Film and Video Collective, a prominent organization of Black, British filmmakers, and was a founding member of Normal Films in 1991.
In the film world, Julien is most well-known for his poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989), which, in the twenty years since its release, has gained somewhat of a cult following. Looking for Langston, about renowned Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes was shown in Minneapolis, London, and Newcastle and has received such awards as the Art Pace International Award, 1998; Best Short Film, Chicago Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 1993; Certificate of Merit, Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco Film Festival and the Pratt and Whitney Canada Grand Prize, 15th International Festival of Films on Art. Julienís work has earned him countless other awards and accolades including a 2001 Turner Prize Nomination for The Long Road to MazatlŠn (1999) and the 2001Semaine de la critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Young Soul Rebels. Some of Julienís other film works include: BaadAsssss Cinema, a film on the history and influence of blaxploitation cinema; Vagabondia (2000), choreographed by Javier de Frutos and Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996).
Julien served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University's Schools of Afro-American and Visual Environmental Studies and is currently a visiting professor at the Whitney Museum of American Arts. He was also a research fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London and is a Trustee of the Serpentine Gallery. Julien was the recipient of both the prestigious MIT Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts (2001) and the Frameline Lifetime Achievement Award (2002). His work Paradise Omeros was presented as part of Documenta XI in Kassel (2002). In 2003 he won the Grand Jury Prize at the Kunstfilm Biennale in Cologne for his single screen version of Baltimore and the Aurora Award in 2005.
Julienís films and videos have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; the Institute ofContemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts,Boston; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; and at numerous filmfestivals around the world, such as Berlin, Paris, Melbourne, and Sundance (Utah). A retrospective of his work was presented at the Out in Africa Film Festival, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban, South Africa. Most recently, Julien has had solo shows of his installation work at the Pompidou Centre in Paris (2005), MoCA Miami (2005) and the Kerstner Gesellschaft, Hanover (2006). Julien is represented in the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim and Hirshhorn Collections. He currently lives and works in London. (08/09)
The Passion of Remembrance
A Sankofa film by Maureen Blackwood and Isaac Julien, 1986, 80 min., Color
The first film by Sankofa Film and Video, THE PASSION OF REMEMBRANCE has gained classic status as a representation of the totality and diversity of Bl...