Sembène Film Festival – Betty: They Say I'm DifferentMonday, December 10, 2018 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Join us for a screening of Betty: They Say I’m Different presented by Sembène–The Film & Art Festival. This screening will be hosted by Associate Producer of the film, ethnomusicologist Danielle Maggio.
Funk Queen Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She “was the first…” as former husband Miles Davis said. “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince”.
A songwriter from a small local steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles – startlingly turning him from jazz to funk on the album she named “Bitches Brew”. She then, despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself. Then suddenly – she vanished.
Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.
Danielle Maggio describes herself as a researcher, teacher, writer, producer, record collector and vocalist. She is from and currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Danielle is a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at The University of Pittsburgh.
In 2015 Danielle became the Associate Producer of Betty – They Say I’m Different (Native Voice Films, 2017), a documentary about Pittsburgh pioneering funk musician Betty Davis.
Sembène – The Film & Art Festival – is a group of scholars, activists and film aficionados. Our mission is to celebrate the life, showcase the work and honor the legacy of African Filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, through film and other complementary cultural events.
The Festival serves both as a vehicle and catalyst: to honor the life, work and legacy of Ousmane Sembene and to showcase film makers and other art/cultural events that speak, unflinchingly, to the important issues facing the modern African Diaspora.