"You write in order to change the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks or people look at reality, then you can change it."
James Baldwin's faith in the power of art inspire us still. The faculty and staff at Film at Mason believe in this power and in using our art -- filmmaking -- to tell stories that matter. Moreover, we believe in our artists, who can change the world. Our mission statement speaks to our commitment: "Film at Mason is a community of cinematic storytellers that fosters creativity, analysis, and diverse perspectives, professional practice and socially conscious filmmaking."
Today, we send our condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Sandra Bland, and the countless other victims of police brutality and racist violence. We are also encouraged by the current -- ongoing, resilient -- movement.
Black Lives Matter.
The way forward is at once clear and complicated, premised on protest, education, and communication. The way forward is also premised on the past, a past from which we can learn even as we resist it. As Baldwin asserted, "History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history." History, like art, like filmmaking, and like the future, is a process. That process must be inclusive and intentional, educational, empathetic, and self-aware. That process is our present, and it will be our work and our commitment in the days, weeks, and years to come.