LONG BEACH — Where better to connect independent filmmakers, artists and academics than the Long Beach Indie, International Film Festival, Conference and Artist Summit, Aug. 27-31st, 2014. This is the first year for the event. Participants included academics (myself, included) who convened the Digital Edutainment Conference, Saturday at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Whilst the professors pondered big questions, filmmakers and their supporters screened shorts and features across the street from the Convention Center at The Pike. The festive and scholarly gathering attracted a national and international audience.
The Edutainment session opened with a Big Question Roundtable where panelists discussed the question, “What are the limitations of Internet Freedom?” The Roundtable was followed by a dozen additional presentations and panels covering diverse topics such as Hip Hop and philosophy, sexuality, reproductive justice, mental health, pop culture and stardom, slut-shaming, fashion, and race and gender in reality TV. I was pleased to be a part of both The Roundtable and the “Fashion Politics” discussion and panel. The latter event also featured Dr. Chetachi Egwu, of Nova Southeaster University and Christina Ying of Northwestern University.
This was the inaugural event and Dr. Ebony Utley, a California State University Long Beach professor, and her team of interns, rolled out the red carpet for Edutainment Conference presenters and participants in the beautiful Long Beach Convention Center.