Historian gives lecture on film festival namesake

John Hult

John Hult

Nearly 40 people were in attendance last Tuesday when the director and president of South Dakota’s only film festival gave a lecture on the festival’s namesake, Oscar Micheaux.

President of the Oscar Micheaux Film Festival and Micheaux historian Richard Paposek presided over the presentation, which was scheduled as part of Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Micheaux, who farmed in Gregory, SD, before entering the movie business, was the first African-American to direct a feature film, a talking feature film, the first to open a film to white audiences and write a best-selling novel. He served as an inspiration to hundreds of filmmakers.

Art Department head Naorman Gambill opened the presentation with memories of his southern youth.

“I grew up in the hate belt, not the bible belt,” he said.

More information on Micheaux’s life and the 6th Annual Film Festival is available online at www.oscarmicheaux.org.