Panel Discussion with Visiting Activist Filmmakers

Iris Morales and Andrew Padilla will give a brief presentation on their careers as activist filmmakers, followed by a discussion and Q&A.

Andrew Padilla

By polly burks | 2/2/2017

The University Galleries in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will present a screening and panel discussion with activist filmmakers Iris Morales and Andrew Padilla. The panel discussion will be on Thursday, Feb. 9, beginning at 7 p.m., in the Ritter Art Gallery, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the exhibition “Community Justice: The Black Panther Party and Other Civil Rights Movements,” which explores and examines the social justice movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Morales and Padilla each will give a brief presentation on their careers as activist filmmakers, followed by a discussion and Q&A. The discussion will be moderated by Chris Robé, Ph.D., FAU associate professor of film and media studies/literature.

This panel highlights how media-making is intimately linked with activism. Morales and Padilla have used film and video to represent the struggles of historic and contemporary social movements concerning racial justice and economic equity. By drawing together two different generations of filmmakers, the discussion will show how the past and present can mutually illuminate our understanding of the ways in which community organizing and media activism intersect.

Morales is a New York City filmmaker who came to documentary filmmaking after many years as a community activist, educator and attorney. Her interest is in both history and contemporary social justice issues, especially the struggles and contributions of Latino/as in the United States. Her award-winning documentary “¡Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords,” about Puerto Rican activism during the 1960s and 1970s, was broadcast on national public television as part of the POV: The American Documentary Series.

Padilla is a photographer, educator, independent journalist and the creator of the award-winning documentary “El Barrio Tours: Gentrification in East Harlem.” Since premiering at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in 2012, “El Barrio Tours” has screened all across New York, been in six film festivals, won three awards, and has raised $12,000 from 220 people all over the world. The funds will be used to show the film nationwide in order to begin profiling gentrification across the United States.

In conjunction with the filmmakers’ event, the exhibition “Community Justice” will be on view through Saturday, March 4 as part of a series of Social Justice Events organized by the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. For a list of other events in this series, including a lecture by Angela Davis on Thursday, Feb. 23, visit

Admission to the film discussion and screening event and to FAU’s galleries is free and open to the public. The galleries are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. School and group tours of the galleries can be arranged via appointment during public hours or at other times by e-mailing ( or calling the University Galleries at 561-297-2661; or by visiting The Ritter Art Gallery is located adjacent to FAU’s Wimberly Library on the second floor of the University Breezeway. Currently, due to renovation construction of the Breezeway, the Gallery is accessed through the Library’s Hillel Center.

The “Community Justice: The Black Panther Party and Other Civil Rights Movements” exhibition and programs have been made possible in part by the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Council on the Arts; Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; R.A. Ritter Foundation and Beatrice Cummings Mayer. The exhibition and associated public programs are a collaborative effort of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters’ Dean’s Office; School of Communication and Multimedia Studies; Department of English; Peace Justice and Human Rights Initiative; and FAU Student Affairs.