Sembène Film Festival: Struggles in SteelMonday, March 9, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Join us for a screening of Struggles in Steel presented by Sembène – The Film & Arts Festival. Filmmaker Tony Buba will introduce the film, and lead the audience in a Q&A after the screening. (run time: 86 minutes)
When a local television station did a program about the closing of the major steel mills in the Pittsburgh region, Ray Henderson, a former mill worker who had worked in the mills for 18 years, couldn’t help but notice that not one black worker was shown. This despite the fact that African-American workers had formed a critical part of the labor force in western Pennsylvania for 125 years.
With his old friend and independent filmmaker Tony Buba, Henderson set out to collaborate on a history of African-Americans and their contributions not just to the steel industry, but to the labor movement itself. Through eloquent living witnesses and revelatory archival footage, Struggles In Steel presents a striking counterpoint to the stereotypical black male image. Struggles In Steel premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, has played in major festivals in the United States, and screened at FESPACO in Burkina Faso in West Africa – the largest African film festival in the world. In addition, Struggles In Steel was awarded a 1999 Silver Baton, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Featuring interviews with over 70 African-American workers, Struggles In Steel: A Story of African-American Steel Workers documents the shameful history of discrimination against black workers and one heroic campaign where they won equality on the job.
TONY BUBA has been producing documentaries since 1972 in both long and short formats. He has worked on several feature films, including George Romero’s Martin and Dawn of the Dead. Tony founded Braddock Films in 1992 to continue creating award-winning documentaries in the Pittsburgh area. Tony’s awards include fellowships from the NEA, AFI, and the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, as well as grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
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 Sembène, 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 Sembène and to showcase film makers and other art/cultural events that speak, unflinchingly, to the important issues facing the modern African Diaspora.