Filmmaker Branda Miller is known for works in which social themes are embedded within experimental forms and, since 1987, has worked with urban youth and community groups to craft a series of multi-cultural, social-issue films. It is Millerís goal that, within the creation of these films, the production process itself serves as a vehicle for the empowerment of the filmmaker. Miller approaches directing and filmmaking as an educational tool: her collaborative process stresses media literacy as a means of giving voice to under-represented communities. Miller frequently runs video workshops in which she serves as artist, teacher and consultant on projects about juvenile delinquency (What's Up, 1987), high-school drop-outs (Talkin' 'bout droppin' out, 1989), teen-age pregnancy (The Birth of a Candy Bar, 1988) and drug abuse (We Have the Force, 1989). The tapes are energetic, vibrantly edited collages, with lively rap and original music soundtracks. While Miller provides creative guidance and structure, the active participation of the youths as writers, directors and editors is essential to her process-over-product strategy.
Miller earned her B.A. from Pomona College and studied in the Graduate Film and Television Program at New York University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the MacMurray Video Residency, American Film Institute Television Workshop; and an Emmy Award for Best Editing of a National Television Special. In 1989, Miller was a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Miller's work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Long Beach Museum of Art, California. It has also been widely exhibited at festivals and institutions including The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Bonn Videonale; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Miller currently lives and works in New York, and is a Professor in the Department of Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (7/12)
A film by Kate Horsfield, Nereyda Garcia-Ferraz, and Branda Miller, 1987, 52 min., Color/BW
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