Between the 1960s and 1980s, against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and continuing through the period of Blaxploitation films, an inaugural group of African-American students were welcomed to UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television as part of an Ethno-Communications initiative designed to be responsive to communities of color. These artists, now referred to as the L.A. Rebellion, forged their own path in the industry over the next two decades, creating their own unique cinematic landscape. Among these artists were Charles Burnett, director of Killer of Sheep and To Sleep With Anger; Vantile Whitfield, who founded the Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles in 1964; and Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima, director of Sankofa.

Charles Burnett joined Dodge College on April 4 for a discussion and Q&A about his childhood and the decision to become a filmmaker, how the L.A. Rebellion came about, and what drives him to keep creating art in Hollywood.