In Memoriam: Phyllis R. Klotman, Founder of the Black Film Center/ Archive

Phyllis R. Klotman, founder of the Black Film Center/ Archive and professor emerita in the department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, died on March 30th at her home in Manhattan.

Klotman_Desk0001

Phyllis R. Klotman, 1924-2015

“She was one of the first to preserve black independent films, and in doing that, she encouraged us,” Charles Burnett remarked in his interview with the New York Times following Klotman’s passing. The Times’ obituary recounts many of Klotman’s contributions to the study and preservation of black cinema during her tenure at Indiana University, including: the establishment of the BFC/A, the founding of the Black Camera newsletter (now Black Camera: An International Film Journal), and the publication of Frame by Frame: A Black Filmography (1979).

pic2

Professor Klotman also conducted interviews with filmmakers Larry Clark, Kathleen Collins, Julie Dash, Charles Burnett, Marlon Riggs, and Zeinabu irene Davis, just to name a few. Collecting interviews with filmmakers continues to be part of the Black Film Center/ Archive’s mission, and Klotman’s transcripts and audio recordings are available on site. In 2012, following celebrations of her legacy upon the 30th anniversary of the BFC/A’s founding, a classroom and screening venue at the new BFC/A facility was named “The Phyllis Klotman Room” in her honor.

The BFC/A holdings include several photographs that document Professor Klotman’s time at IU and at the BFC/A. Below is a photo gallery of some of our favorites of Klotman with colleagues, visiting filmmakers, and other notable public figures.

Photo Gallery

Klotman_Chisolm0001

Phyllis R. Klotman with Shirley Chisholm, 1973

From left to right: Phyllis Klotman, Alile Sharon Larkin, Frances Stubbs, Gloria Gibson

From left to right: Klotman, Alile Sharon Larkin, Frances Stubbs, Gloria Gibson

From left to right: Julie Dash, Monique Threatt, Phyllis Klotman

From left to right: Julie Dash, Monique Threatt, Phyllis Klotman

Camille Billops and Phyllis Klotman

Camille Billops and Phyllis Klotman

Zeinabu irene Davis and Phyllis Klotman

Zeinabu irene Davis and Phyllis Klotman

Phyllis Klotman with Maya Angelou

Phyllis Klotman with Maya Angelou

Phyllis Klotman with Marlon Riggs

Phyllis Klotman with Marlon Riggs

Klotman and Sembene0001

Ousmane Sembene and Phyllis Klotman

Phyllis Klotman with Scatman Crothers

Phyllis Klotman with Scatman Crothers


See also: 

“Phyllis R. Klotman, Archivist of African-American Cinema, Dies at 90,” New York Times, Apr. 5, 2015

Leslie Houin, “The Black Film Center/Archive: Thirty Years of Archival and Educational Progress” Black Journal 3 no. 2 (Spring 2012): 220-236.

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

One response to “In Memoriam: Phyllis R. Klotman, Founder of the Black Film Center/ Archive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: