Filmmaker Bios

CA GriffithC. A. (Crystal) Griffith is an independent filmmaker and Associate Professor of Film and Media Production in the School of Theatre and Film at Arizona State University (ASU). She received her B.A. in Communication from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in Art Studio from the University of California – Santa Barbara. Griffith’s film credits include Juice (1992), award-winning PBS and BBC documentaries such as A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (cinematographer), Branford Marsalis: The Music Tells You (camera operator) and Depeche Mode 101 (both directed by D.A. Pennebaker), Eyes on the Prize I & II, St. Clair Bourne’s Making ‘Do the Right Thing’ and music videos from Tracy Chapman and Public Enemy to The Rolling Stones. Griffith’s publications appear in Reinventing North America (forthcoming), Filming Difference, Black Feminist Cultural Criticism, Black Women Film and Video Artists, The Wild Good, the journals Meridians, Signs and Calyx. Recruited to help build ASU’s new film production program, she relocated to Phoenix in 2006. Previous academic appointments: Columbia College Chicago, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

A finalist for the 2010 Sundance Screenwriters Labs, Griffith’s feature-length screenplay, Blues for the Sea is adapted from her short screenplay, winner of the 2007 Martha Muñoz Award of the Latino Screenplay Competition. Also awarded a 2004 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Media Arts, and a 2000 Panavision/Kodak University Outreach Program Grant, Griffith’s short film, Border.Line…Family Pictures won the Vision in Color Award of the New England Film/Video Festival. In 1999, she received an in-kind grant from Digital Media’s Avid Feature Film Camp for her film, Del Otro Lado (The Other Side). Shot on location in Mexico City and screened extensively at U.S. and international film festivals, Griffith directed, co-edited and co-produced this Spanish language, independent feature on love, AIDS and immigration.

HLT QuanH. L. T. Quan (Ph.D. University of California-Santa Barbara) is an Assistant Professor and an Affiliate Faculty in African/African American Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.  She is a political theorist and a documentary filmmaker.  Her research centers on race, gender and radical thought.  Professor Quan’s monograph,  Growth Against Democracy: Savage Developmentalism in the Modern World (Lexington Press, forthcoming) is a critique of modern development thinking and programs, including neoliberalism and corporate globalization.  She is also conducting research on the historical and political development of Black capitalism in the United States, with Darryl T. Thomas (Penn State University). Her writings can be found in Social Identities, Race & Class, Meridians, Signs, and the edited volumes, Race & Human Rights, and Global Africa. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on social/cultural theories; theoretical perspectives on justice; justice and utopias, community research; race, gender and consciousness; wealth and poverty; social protests; and, Black movements in America.

As a documentary filmmaker, Professor Quan is a co-founder and member of QUAD Productions, a not for profit production company that produces media for progressive community organizations and activists. Through QUAD and in collaboration with C. A. Griffith (Associate Professor, School of Theatre & Film), she has co-directed, co-produced, and co-edited more than half a dozen short and feature length socially relevant documentaries. They recently completed America’s Home (2011: 67 min), a visually stunning and haunting film about gentrification, displacement and popular resistance in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mountains That Take Wing/Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, (2009: 97 min, Women Make Movies) is an award winning film features conversations, spanning over 13 years, between Angela Davis, an internationally acclaimed activist and philosopher and Yuri Kochiyama, an 86 year old community activist and a former confidant of Malcolm X. The film showcases two extraordinary women who found themselves in the midst of some of the most important social movements of the 20th century.  Professor Quan also has worked on radio and access television public affairs programs for more than 15 years.

S. K. Thrift is a member of QUAD Productions and was the Associate Producer on Mountains That Take Wing. She is a LEED AP and currently works as an independent consultant on creative and sustainable projects, with a particular interest in writing, development and green building.She received her B.A. in English from the University of California – Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Literature from the University of California – Santa Cruz.


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