VILLANOVA, Pa. –– Villanova University’s Social Justice Documentary filmmaking course, housed in the Communication Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has a history of producing films that spotlight important social issues and win prestigious awards—including a Student Academy Award. This week, two new Villanova University student-made social justice documentary films, Rooted and We Don’t Walk in Fear, will be screened on campus.
As part of the popular course, students spend the semester studying filmmaking and creating meaningful documentaries under the guidance of Villanova faculty. Throughout the course, students become advocates for the important societal issues covered in the documentaries.
Last Letter Films, a student-run production company and part of the Social Justice Documentary program led by Hezekiah L. Lewis III, assistant professor of Communication., will premiere their film Rooted on April 28 at 6pm in The John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. As part of the project, students traveled to Loíza, Puerto Rico, and spent two weeks immersing themselves in the rich Afro-Puerto Rican culture. The film focuses on the healing and inspiring power of Bomba music, a traditional form of drumming born from the West African slaves that were brought to the island in the 1700s.
Talking Walls Films, a student-run media production company and part of the Social Justice Documentary course taught by John O’Leary, PhD, teaching professor of Communication, Stephen McWilliams, PhD, director of Disability Services and Social Justice Documentary instructor, and Joy McFadden, adjunct professor, will premiere their documentary We Don’t Walk in Fear on April 30 at 6pm in the Connolly Center Cinema on Villanova’s campus. The film follows American political activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins in his life-long quest to fight against racism and bigotry from hate groups across the United States.