QUAD believes that communication is a human right.
QUAD believes in democratizing media and we frequently share our time and expertise with social justice centered community organizations, non-profits and peers. We offer workshops including feminist approaches to media making, low-budget/high production value filmmaking, and effective interview techniques for research & documentaries
QUAD believes that aesthetics should not be sacrificed for content or budget. We strive to make films that are as aesthetically beautiful as they are socially relevant.
C. A. "Crystal" Griffith, MFA
Co-Founder: QUAD Productions
Cinematographer, Co-Director, Co-Producer, Co-Editor
C. A. Griffith is an award-winning, independent filmmaker with more than three decades of film production experience. Perhaps best known as co-director with H. L.T. Quan of the award-winning documentary, Mountains That Take Wing—Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, (2009—97 min, distributed by Women Make Movies), Griffith was trained in New York’s independent film community. Griffith’s credits include the feature film Juice (1st AC) starring Tupac Shakur, PBS and BBC documentaries such as A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (cinematographer); D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's Branford Marsalis: The Music Tells You (camera operator) and Depeche Mode 101 (1st AC), Eyes on the Prize I & II,
St. Clair Bourne’s Making ‘Do the Right Thing’ and music videos (as 1st AC) from Tracy Chapman and Public Enemy to The Rolling Stones.
As director, Griffith’s credits include an award-winning short, Border.Line…Family Pictures and her feature film debut, Del Otro Lado (The Other Side). Shot on location in Mexico City, Del Otro Lado had its world premiere at Frameline and screened extensively at U.S. and international film festivals. Griffith directed, co-edited and co-produced this Spanish language, independent, gay male, narrative feature film on love, AIDS and immigration. Her screenplays have made the finals of the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and won a top award from the Latino Screenplay Competition.
Griffith’s publications appear in Filming Difference, Black Feminist Cultural Criticism, Black Women Film and Video Artists, The Wild Good, the journals Meridians, Signs and Calyx.
She and H.L.T. Quan (School of Social Transformation - Arizona State University) are co-founders of QUAD Productions, 501(c)3. Griffith and Quan have co-directed, co-produced, and co-edited more than a dozen short and feature length, socially relevant documentaries including three films completed during post-production residency awards at the Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Studio (“Art & Tech”) program: Mountains That Take Wing—Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, (2009—97 min, distributed by Women Make Movies), América’s Home (2014—Puerto Rico, 63 min) and Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing! (working title). In November 2019, Griffith and Quan were honored to have Mountains That Take Wing screen as one of eight films selected for Picture Lock: 30 Years of Film/Video Residencies at the Wexner Center for the Arts. See: https://wexarts.org/explore/picture-lock-30-years-film-video-residencies.
Griffith is currently an Associate Professor of Film and Media Production in the Sidney Poitier New American Film at Arizona State University (ASU). Her previous academic appointments include Columbia College Chicago, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Griffith is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A.) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (M.F.A.).
H. L. T. "HQ" Quan, Ph.D.
Co-Founder: QUAD Productions
Production Sound, Sound Designer, Co-Director, Co-Producer, Co-Editor
H. L. T. Quan is a political theorist, an award winning filmmaker, and an Associate Professor of Justice Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. Her community work and research center on movements for justice, and race, gender and radical thought. Quan’s most recent work is an edited collection of essays by Cedric J. Robinson: On Racial Capitalism, Black Internationalism, and Cultures of Resistance (Pluto, 2019). Her monograph Growth Against Democracy: Savage Developmentalism in the Modern World (Lexington Books, 2012) is a radical critique of modern development thinking and programs, including neoliberalism.
Her current book project, Against Tyranny: Ungovernability and Tools for Democratic Living (working title) explores willfull resistance to various forms of governing. In 1999, Quan and C. A. Griffith founded QUAD Productions, a not for profit, grassroots media organization dedicated to the principle of communication as a human right. Through QUAD Productions, Griffith and Quan produced/directed various media projects, including their award-winning, feature documentary, Mountains That Take Wing/Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation; América’s Home, a film about gentrification and displacement in Puerto Rico; and most recently, Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing! (working title) – a film about LGBT people and the struggles for economic justice in the United States.
In 2020, H.L.T. Quan was the Editor in Residence for the PraxisCenter, an online, social's justice related blog of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College: https://www.kzoo.edu/praxis.
QUAD Productions is a non-profit media collective focused on the research, development and production of film and video projects that support and effect progressive social consciousness. QUAD Productions was founded by Griffith and Quan in Santa Barbara and traces it roots to the Lizzard's Mouth Media Collective, an organization they co-founded with other public affairs programmers at KCSB-FM, a community radio station. Since its founding in 1999, QUAD Productions has produced over a dozen short and two feature-length documentaries – all focusing on various social justice campaigns. QUAD's films include the award-winning Mountains that Take Wing – Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation (2009, 97 mins, Women Make Movies), a historically rich and unique documentary about two formidable women who share a profound passion for justice and whose lives and political work remain at the epicenter of the most important civil rights struggles in the U.S., and América’s Home (2014, 63 mins), a documentary that explores the impact of colonization through a matrix of race, gentrification and displacement, empire and popular resistance in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their third feature-length documentary, Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing! (working title), refreshingly challenges the myth of gay affluence to reveal LGBTQ+ people's struggles for economic and social justice in the United States. Griffith and Quan received three, consecutive post-production residency awards from the Wexner Center for the Arts for these films.
QUAD's committment to democratizing media and is evidenced through its many pro-bono collaborations with social justice organizations, community organizations and individual artists. While based in Chicago from 2000-2005, QUAD co-produced the feature-length documentary In Plain Sight: A Guide to Freedom and Safety, a collaborative project with Video Machete (Chicago) on diverse youth of Color’s response to their world after 9/11. QUAD co-produced a music video "What a System” from the album, Prison Songs Cell Stories by the South African A Cappella group, The Robben Island Singers. QUAD repurposed Apartheid-Era propaganda films, anti-Apartheid films/TV specials/photos and QUAD Productions original photos from a 2000 research trip to Johannesburg. Other QUAD Productions documentaries include All the Voices: A Passion for Community Radio, a feature-length documentary on A.M.A.R.C. International (French acronym for the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), and two short documentaries, Another World is Possible: A.M.A.RC. International at the 2003 World Social Forum and What if I Were to Remain Here? which documented a public arts project on Tomás Rivera by Mary Ann Peters at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
QUAD relocated to Arizona in 2006. Its pro-bono collaborations and community service work includes co-producing the short documentary Arizona Women and Children Rise: Resisting SB1070 (2010) in collaboration with Third World Newsreel for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Puente Movement. Griffith and Quan directed, produced and filmed interviews, protests and community testimonies in Phoenix about the devastating impact of the anti-immigration law to a national women’s human rights delegation. QUAD’s footage was quickly edited in New York by Third World Newsreel to create an eighteen-minute cut that was sent to the White House and members of Congress in May 2010, before the law was scheduled to go into effect. The four-minute trailer is available on YouTube, Vimeo and numerous web sites.
In fall of 2010, QUAD produced Testimonies of Resistance from Apartheid Arizona/Testimonias de Resistencia en Arizona – Estado Apartheid (17 mins), a short documentary that features community members, youth and college-students, particularly those active in the Dream Act Coalition’s struggle for equal access to higher education, just immigration reform and a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Arizona Women and Children Rise and Testimonies of Resistance from Apartheid Arizona were presented by three Arizona State University Justice and Social Inquiry graduate students and screened in Mexico City at The International Tribunal of Conscience (Nov 4-6. 2010), an event organized by the Global Alternative Forum of Peoples in Movement.
In 2015, while filming portions of Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing! (working title) in San Francisco, QUAD donated its time and expertise to co-produce, direct and edit the Dragon Fruit Project for Asian Pacific Islander- Equality Northern California (APIENC). QUAD's promotional video about the APIEC's intergenerational oral history project to explore queer Asian Pacific Islanders and their experiences with love and activism in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. The video directly impacted APIENC's fundraising efforts and recruitment of volunteers and interview subject/participants.
QUAD Productions' efforts to democratize media making and education includes the following Consultant, Media Production and Educational work:
CONSULTANTS: Circle of Poison (2014. Formerly titled Toxic Profits).
Feature-length documentary directed by Evan Mascagni and Shannon Post. A global look at communities impacted by the export of toxic pesticides made in America and how they are fighting back.
CONSULTANTS: Cincinnati Goddamn (2013-2015).
Feature-length documentary directed by April Martin and Paul Hill. Released as 2013’s Black Lives Matter movement gained traction in the United States, Cincinnati Goddamn investigates the city’s complicated history with anti-Black racism, police brutality and police homicide by including perspectives from all sides of the conflict.
CONSULTANTS: As yet untitled independent documentary on LGBTs in Pakistan (2017-present).
[SAFE for us to name them?] Directors: Sarah Suhail and Kayla Pasha.
MEDIA PRODUCTION (2002. Directors/Producers/Cinematography/Editors):
Pan Asian America in Chicago: The Asian American Institute 1992-2002. Short documentary and "funders reel documenting the work of, and issues facing diverse Asian American communities in Chicago.
MEDIA PRODUCTION (2002. Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Co-Editor): Friday's Boys at Cabrini Greene
MEDIA PRODUCTION (2014. Directors/Producers/Cinematography/Editors):
Projected video of a memory/memorial dance solo for the play, Love Balm for My Spirit Child (2014), performed at The Brava Theatre in San Francisco. The play was inspired by the revolutionary acts of Bay Area mothers fighting for justice for their children living and dead. Created by Arielle Julia Brown with acting ensemble, Ayoldele Nzinga, Cat Brooks, Lisa Evans [featured in Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing!], Anna Maria Luera and dancer, Dawon Davis.
MEDIA PRODUCTION (2014. Directors/Producers/Cinematography/Production Sound):
Declan Cante, songwriter and vocalist. Pitch video for a music CD collection featuring his original compostions about love and resistance in the shadow of queer youth homelessness. Cante is featured in Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing!
MEDIA PRODUCTION (2015. Directors/Producers/Cinematography/Editors):
Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies at Arizona State University promotional video.
CO-CURATORS (2004. DePaul University, Chicago. Short Film Series on AIDS and Debt in Africa):
"Red Hot Embers," a multimedia installation at DePaul University's Cultural Center in collaboration with the American Friends Service Committee's African Initiative, Life Over Debt Campaign.
INSTRUCTIONAL VOLUNTEERS (2006-present)
Distance learning course support and Financial Literacy (2006- present), Creative Writing/Screenwriting (2014-2017) for The College Program. The award-winning College Program was founded in 1998 by Dr. Peg M. Bortner, a QUAD board member. It is a unique partnership between current and retired Arizona State University and affiliated faculty with and for incarcerated women at Federal Prison Camp-Phoenix.
QUAD has offered paid and pro-bono media workshops across the United States and across the globe: at Brazil's World Social Forum and an Ndebele Village in South Africa, at Community Organizations in Chicago, Phoenix, Ithaca and San Jose, and at UC-Riverside, Arizona State University and Syracuse University.
QUAD's 2014, two-day intensive workshop on feminist documentary storytelling for the Democratizing Knowledge Project (DK) at Syracuse University's inspired the creation of the Feminist Freedom Warriors (FFW). FFW is a digital video archive documenting cross-generational conversations about justice, politics and hope with feminist scholar-activists. This collaborative effort features Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Linda Carty in conversation with comrades and sisters in struggle, with a team of graduate and undergraduate students providing creative, research, and technical assistance.
"The teachers were amazing. That cannot be underemphasized....The caliber of the participants, the comittment to telling important stories accurately and well, the comittment to equality among people usually kept separate: graduate students, junior faculty, senior faculty, superstar faculty. For two days, were all just learning together." -- Anya Stanger, PhD candidate - Syracuse University
"I was very grateful to have been a part of the April 2014 documentary filmmaking workshop sponsored by DK with the fabulous HQ and Crystal - I really look forward to seeing the projects that will come out of this, and especially Chandra Mohanty and Linda Carty's documentary on transnational feminist practices. -- Lisa Kahaleole Hall, Associate Professor - Wells College
[WED 12/8/21: Chandra agreed to write something on QUAD's workshop and role in FFW but AFTER NEXT WEEK when classes end
" ________ " -- Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Professor - Syracuse University