Azmari in Hollywood

Filmmaker Leelai Demoz will speak about his experiences as an actor, producer and director. Azmari is an Amharic word for troubadour or storyteller. It is also the name of his production company.

Monday, March 12, 2012
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
10383 Bunche
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Academy Award nominated producer Leelai Demoz's will give a multi-dimensional snapshot of working in the film, television and theater business. Demoz received his first SAG job at 13 and has worked in front and behind the camera ever since; he will share his experiences as a first generation African immigrant artist.

Demoz has had a varied and illustrious career in the arts; he was nominated for an Academy and Emmy Award for the film “On TipToe,” which premiered on HBO.  The film, shot in South Africa, is a profile of the singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Additionally, his work has been seen on MTV, Discovery, BET, VH1, Travel Channel and Lifetime. He ran Jeremy Piven’s production company, Luscious Mayhem, for several years.

He also directed a set of ‘get out the vote’ public service announcements for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation. The spots featured LL Cool J and Alicia Keys.

Outside of the arts,  Demoz has consulted with the United Institute of Peace. He served on a working group for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundations Rwanda initiative.  He was president of the Schoolhouse Foundation in New York City. The foundation partnered with JP Morgan to provide $200 million in bond financing to build public schools in New York City. It was the first public/private partnership of its kind there.

As an actor he has appeared at leading national and international theaters, ranging from The National Theater of Great Britain to Broadway to regional theaters in the United States.


Monday African Seminar Series (MAAS)

UCLA African Studies Center, Co-sponsored by the Mellon Postdoctural Program "Cultures in Transnational Perspectives."

Faculty Coordinators: Francoise Lionnet

MASS Winter 2012

What does African cinema contribute to a better understanding of global aesthetics and to film studies in general? What is specific about the field of African visual media and what are some of the new conceptual and interpretive issues that confront its scholars today? The series showcases the work of three critics who will take turn focusing on questions of memory and trauma (Sheila Petty), fantasy and science fiction (Jude Akudinobi), power, control, and biopolitics (Akin Adesokan).

The historical and the social, gender and the environment, and the serious new challenges posed to the poetic imagination by neoliberal authoritarianism are some of the topics that will be explored. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about established and emerging filmmakers, from Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Kenya, who draw from rich multilingual traditions and challenge viewers to rethink their relation to global genres.

Monday, February 6, 10367 Bunche Hall

“Sites of Memory in Sub-Saharan African Cinema”
Sheila Petty, University of Regina

Tuesday, February 21, 10383 Bunche Hall

"Expanding Horizons: Pumzi, Science Fiction and African Cinema"
Jude G. Akudinobi, UC Santa Barbara

Thursday, February, 23, 6275 Bunche Hall

“The Arte Wave”
Manthia Diawara, NYU

 Monday, February 27, 10383 Bunche Hall

“Framing Biopolitics: Jo Ramaka's Cinema of Power”
Akinwumi Adesokan, Indiana University

Monday, March 12, 10383 Bunche Hall

"Azmari in Hollywood"
Leelai Demoz, Filmmaker 

For more information please contact:

UCLA African Studies CenterTel: 310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): , Co-sponsored by the Mellon Postdoctoral Program “Cultures in Transnational Perspectives”