Judas and the Black Messiah with Shaka King

Before the 2022 Sundance Film Festival kicks off at Amherst Cinema, join us for a screening of two films by Shaka King: short film MULIGNANS (an official selection at Sundance 2015) and Oscar-winning feature JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (which premiered at Sundance 2021).

Following the screening, Shaka King joins us via Zoom for a conversation moderated by Anaiis Cisco, Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies, Smith College.

MULIGNANS begins the program, followed by JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, leading into our conversation with Shaka King.

Shaka King is an auteur filmmaker with a body of work that spans the film and television arenas. King is the director, co-writer and producer behind the Oscar-nominated feature JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, starring Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya. The film, which marks his studio feature directorial debut, centers on Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal. The feature was nominated for six Academy Awards, including specific nods for King for Best Original Screenplay, and a momentous Best Picture nomination—marking the first time an all-Black producing team has been recognized in this category.

For television, King has directed multiple episodes of SHRILL for Hulu, and before that, was a writer and director on HBO's RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS and HIGH MAINTENANCE. He is the writer and director of NEWLYWEEDS, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and earned King an Independent Spirit Award. King currently resides in New York.

Anaiis Cisco is an award-winning filmmaker and a 2021-2022 Mellon fellow currently teaching at Smith College. In her creative work, she focuses on the experiences of underrepresented racial, ethnic, queer, and gendered identities. Her films Breathing Free, Drip Like Coffee, and Breathless have screened at numerous festivals and have won an array of awards. She is a recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award, a 2021 Finalist in Film for the Mass Cultural Council, and a 2021 Drama League Award nominee. Her shorts have been screened at festivals including Outfest and Raindance. Currently, she’s developing her debut feature film with Rosanna Arquette as an Executive Producer.