Pamela Thomas, is originator & producer (with Bestor Cram, Northern Light Productions) of the award-winning documentary, MIDNIGHT RAMBLE: Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies for PBS documentary series, The American Experience. Ten years in the making MR is recognized as a critical lynchpin bridging the informational gap in Black cinema history.
Ms. Thomas' interest in the research, study, and promotion of race movies and early Black American cinema history have had her on the lecture circuit for years. Exposing many to the significance and impact of race movies in this country, engagements have included among others: Harvard University; Howard University; University of Toledo; Boston University; Boston College; Stanford University; University of California, Berkley; the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.), Purchase; Roxbury Community College, Boston; the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History and the Hong Kong Film Center in China. An exhibition history is available on the BFMM website under the FNDTN Screenings page.
Following undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati in film & media, Thomas moved to Boston, where while studying at Harvard & MIT, she began her passionate interest & research into race movie filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux, considered the 'Dean of early Black American film'. The end result being MIDNIGHT RAMBLE. While at Harvard, she created Blacks in Black & White & Color, a symposium on Black Americans in media. Just prior to the MIDNIGHT RAMBLE national broadcast, Thomas began lecturing on race movies & early Black American film history. Along the way lectures became presentations traveling across the country and to Hong Kong where MR was screened at the Hong Kong Cultural Center for the first annual Black American Film Festival. Following her return to the States, Pam moved to San Francisco. While teaching at Mills College in Oakland, CA, she founded the RAW STOCK, Celebrating Cinema film festival (1996-1999), an annual education-based film festival focused primarily on filmmakers of color locally, nationally & globally.
Additionally, Ms. Thomas founded BLACK FOLKS MAKE MOVIES, an entity promoting empowerment and education through Black American film. Utilizing multiple venues, BFMM is committed to the examination and reclamation of Black film and it's history through images portrayed in film and television via education, the promotion of past & current independent filmmakers of color and, the preservation of contributions by Black and other artists of color. Currently featuring, THE FOUNDATION: A Presentation; MASTER CLASS, A 5 Day Race Movie Intensive Workshop; BAC (Black American Cinema) a monthly film screening program; next is FADE2BLACK: A RETROSPECTIVE - Celebrating Black American Cinema 1910 -THE PRESENT, scheduled to premiere in BOSTON, MA, Oct. 21-25, 2016. A bi-annual event, F2B is education-based and travels to various cities, again in celebration of Black American film.
With over 50 films, discussions, panels, and more, F2B is a film festival in 3 parts celebrating the cultural cinematic contributions of Black Americans in film including a Black Film Memorabilia/poster arts exhibit, musical live performances of contemporary jazz scores commissioned for several of Micheaux's films. F2B's goal is to educate, reclaim and celebrate Black American contributions in film from 1910-the Present.
FADE2BLACK defines and conceptualizes the impact Black American Cinema has on our culture, our history and American Cinema and is a long overdue historical exploration of Black American film contextually demonstrating the visual perception of the Black image from the Black American perspective.