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(b. Chicago, IL) Dr. Artel Great is an American artist, Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker, Black cinema scholar, and a leading authority on race and popular culture, bridging the gap at the intersections of cinema and social justice.

His rigorous work as a public scholar and critically-informed film director transcends boundaries and defies conventional categorization, approaching Black cinema and visual culture as a form of creative activism that addresses the myriad  links between art and politics.  He is also known for his supporting roles in several Hollywood  studio films including, the box-office hit Save the Last Dance,  Oprah Winfrey's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and his award-winning performance, opposite Jeremy Renner, in the cult classic, Dahmer.  

Dr. Great is  the first Black valedictorian at UCLA Film School, where he graduated summa cum laude and  holds both  his B.A. and M.A. degrees.  He later earned his Ph.D.  at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

A  noted  social entrepreneur,  he  created  one of the internet's first web series before founding, Project Catalyst, the first-ever streaming service specializing in entertainment by and for global communities of color. For the platform's development, he was awarded the Cinema Research Institute Fellowship for innovation in film.

Dr. Great   has   taught   courses  on  cinema, television,  and  visual   culture   at  UCLA,   NYU,  and  Spelman College. He  currently  serves  as  the  George  and Judy  Marcus  Endowed  Chair  in  African-American  Cinema Studies  and Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at the San Francisco State University, School of Cinema. He was selected as the 2023 Social Justice Research Fellow at the University of Oregon.


And he was recently appointed the Cultural-Critic-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.   He  is  often  called  upon  as a media consultant and commentator. His work has appeared in popular outlets like The New York Times, CNN, and USA Today. His signature essay "Black Cinema Matters" was published in The New Republic Magazine.


He is the co-editor, alongside Ed Guerrero, of the forthcoming book Black Cinema and Visual Culture: Art and Politics in the Twenty-First Century(March 30, 2023).

He is the writer/director of the debut feature LOVE  LIKE WINTER (2021) which won a nomination for Best Director at the 2021 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. His second feature, LOVE  WALKS  IN is currently playing in select theaters and streaming at U.S. and international film festivals. Both films represent the first two installments of his tetralogy, "The Love Cycle," a collection of films that explore the nuances of Black love in America. Dr. Great's films have been  featured  in  major  multiplexes  and art-house theaters, both nationally and internationally at film festivals  and  museums,  as  well  as  on  Netflix,  Amazon,  cable,  and  broadcast television.

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