Humanities Institute/Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program Film Series

The free film series commemorates the heritage months during the semester. The series will showcase short and feature-length films by filmmakers of those identities and communities.

Upcoming Films:

LOCATION: Hallwalls Art Center (341 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY)

For more information, contact Donte McFadden, director, Distinguished Visiting Scholars

Presented by the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program and the Humanities Institute.

Fall 2023

"Far East of Eden"

Wednesday, October 18

a film by Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening

"Far East of Eden" is an experimental film short developed by internationally recognized artists Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto. The work, which was developed by Finley and Yonemoto during their tenure as visiting artists at the Lucas Artists Residency in 2016, was commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center.

Post-screening conversation with Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto


Wednesday, November 15

"unseen" film poster.

Director Set Hernandez

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening

Most people dream of a better future. Pedro, an aspiring social worker, is no different. But as a blind, undocumented immigrant, Pedro faces political restrictions to obtain his college degree, secure a job as a health care provider, and support his family. As he finally graduates, uncertainty looms over Pedro. What starts as a journey to provide mental health for his community ultimately transforms into Pedro’s path towards his own healing. Through experimental cinematography and sound, unseen reimagines a cinema accessible for blind/low vision audiences, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health.

About Set Hernandez

Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Writer, Co-Editor

Set Hernandez is a filmmaker and community organizer whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. As a queer, undocumented immigrant, they dedicate their filmmaking to expand the portrayal of their community on screen. Set’s past documentary work includes the award-winning short “COVER/AGE” (2019) and impact producing for “Call Her Ganda” (Tribeca, 2018). An alumnus of the Disruptors Fellowship, Set is also developing both a TV comedy pilot and a feature-length screenplay. Since 2010, Set has been organizing around migrant justice issues, from deportation defense to healthcare access. They co-founded the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, which promotes equity for undocumented immigrants in the film industry. Set’s work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, NBCUniversal, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, among others. In their past life, Set was a published linguistics researcher, focusing in the area of bilingualism. Above all, Set is the fruit of their family’s love and their community’s generosity.

For accessibility requests, please email or call (716)645-2591

“If From Every Tongue it Drips”

Wednesday, December 6

Watch the "If From Every Tongue it Drips" trailer.

with director Sharlene Bamboat

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening (68 minutes)
  • Post-screening Q+A featuring visiting guest Sharlene Bamboat in conversation with Ekrem Serdar (Squeaky Wheel).

"If from Every Tongue It Drips" is a film that explores questions of distance and proximity, identity and otherness, through scenes from the daily interactions between two queer women—a poet and a cameraperson.

Created between three locations: Montreal, Batticaloa and the Isle of Skye, and connected through languages – Urdu, Tamil & English, personal and national histories, music and dance, and the gaze of the camera lens, they explore subjects both expansively cosmic and intimately close—from quantum superposition to the links between British colonialism and Indian nationalism.

About the director

Sharlene Bamboat is a moving image and installation artist based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her practice engages with translation, history, and sound to uncover sensory and fractured ways of understanding the relationship between the self and the social in transnational contexts.
Her works examine the role of colonialism, globalization, culture, and desire through poetics, abstraction, and collaboration by working with artists, musicians and writers to animate historical, political, legal, and pop-culture materials. Her most frequent collaborator, since 2009, is Alexis Mitchell. In addition to her art practice, Sharlene works in the arts-sector, including artist-run organizations and collectives in Canada, and with artists both locally and internationally.

Spring 2024

The Works of Crystal Z Campbell and Abdi Osman

Still image from On the Way to the Moon, We Discovered the Earth.

Wednesday, February 7

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening

Films to be screened:

  • "On the Way to the Moon, We Discovered the Earth" (Crystal Z Campbell, 2018) - 10 minutes
  • "REVOLVER" (Crystal Z Campbell, 2022) - 18 minutes
  • "Black Queer Affection 1" (Abdi Osman, 2013) - 4 minutes
  • "Black Queer Affection 3" (Abdi Osman) - 10 minutes
  • "Gardens of the Mediterranean" (Abdi Osman, 2018) - 14 minutes
  • "Sign of the Times" (Abdi Osman, 2022) - 4 minutes

Triple Feature: "THE WARRIOR PRINCESS," "AMPE" and "Over the Wall"

Wednesday, March 27

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening

Films to be screened:

Directed by: Vianca Fuster

"A 12-year-old, multi-champion boxer is confronted with notions of gender bias in the sport she loves most. Despite others questioning her place in the gym, she aims to be an example and empower young girls to follow her footsteps into the ring."

Directed by: Claudia Owusu and Ife Oluwamuyide

“Set in the sister cities of Accra, Ghana and Columbus, Ohio, “Ampe: Leap into the Sky, Black Girl” is a rhythmic love letter to Black girlhood across the African diaspora. Through the lens of the Ghanaian traditional jumping and clapping game, Ampe, the film takes us on a journey of sisterhood, loyalty, and nostalgia in a space created for us, by us.”

Directed by: Krystal Tingle

“Brehanna Daniels, NASCAR’s first Black woman tire changer, battles her way back from injuries to compete in the sport’s greatest race, the Daytona 500.”

"Fly in Power"

Thursday, April 18

with AJ Kim and Elena Shih

Screening Schedule

  • 6 p.m. refreshments
  • 7 p.m. film screening

Producer: Xen Nhà
Executive Producer: Yin Q
Director of Photography: Yoon Grace Ra
Editor: Yoon Grace Ra
Composer: Melanie Hsu
Sound Designer: Jared Paul

Still image from On the Way to the Moon, We Discovered the Earth.

Still image from "Fly in Power."

FLY IN POWER follows Charlotte, a Korean massage worker and core organizer of Red Canary Song (RCS), a social justice collective of Asian diasporic massage workers, sex workers and allies who basebuild through mutual aid. Through her history, we learn how the incarceral system is pitted against Asian migrant women and their survival. The documentary is a glimpse into the intimate spaces that not only connect these women and non-binary queers, but is also a testament to the global advocacy of women’s rights to work and thrive.

FLY IN POWER centers the narrative of an Asian massage worker in her own words, with her own agency of storytelling and editing. With each story shared, we witness the trust built between the film team and the participants. The documentary is directed by Yin Q, a Queer, Chinese American parent, writer, and sex worker rights advocate, and Yoon Grace Ra a cultural organizer working with audio/visual media. This film has been produced entirely by women, non-binary, trans and queers of the Asian diaspora- more than half of the production team are former/current sex workers.

Presented by the UB Humanities Institute in collaboration with the UB Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program with the UB departments of Sociology and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, in conjunction with Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.