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Art of Cinema: Shut Up and Paint, A Film by Titus Kaphar & Alex Mallis

January 10, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Painter Titus Kaphar looks to film as a medium in the face of an insatiable art market seeking to silence his activism.


A Film by Titus Kaphar & Alex Mallis
Produced by Chloe Gbai
Executive Produced by Matthew O’Neill & Perri Peltz


Called “a fascinatingly layered piece…unusually occupied by questions of process and power,” SHUT UP AND PAINT (20 minutes, 2022) is a new documentary short about the Painter Titus Kaphar as he looks to film as a medium in the face of an insatiable art market seeking to silence his activism. SHUT UP AND PAINT was recently recognized as one of fifteen films to advance in the Documentary Short Film category for the 95th Academy Awards. This award-winning film received the Grand Jury Prize at both the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and Independent Film Festival Boston. It was also selected for DOC NYC’s “Shortlist: Shorts” and is a Cinema Eye Honors nominee for Outstanding Nonfiction Short. A co-production of DCTV and Revolution Ready, SHUT UP AND PAINT is directed by Titus Kaphar and Alex Mallis, produced by Chloe Gbai, and executive produced by Matthew O’Neill and Perri Peltz.

Most non-fiction storytelling severs author from subject and brings into question the nature of power and representation. This is especially true of Black stories told through the lens of white storytellers. From the inception of this project, which is at its core an artist profile, we made the conceptual and political decision to include the Artist as co-director. This film centers the agency of a successful Black artist to protect his creative process and guard against the corrosive influences of the market. We wanted our process as filmmakers to be part of that journey.

We decided not to use traditional interviews. This presented an exciting challenge: to capture authentic and observed moments with a subject who would remain acutely aware of the role and goal of the camera. To do this, we chose to break the fourth wall both on screen and off. We drew a lot from formally expansive films such as William Greaves’ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm and Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, even creating our own take on the famous “Radio Raheem” scenes from the latter – collaborator Reginald Dwayne Betts performs original poetry directly to the camera, serving as our guide. For Alex, co-directing with the subject meant examining ethical approaches to altering and editing of words and ideas, i.e. when that person is in the edit room and pushing back on the way they are being represented…you have to listen!

As directors, we hope that this film is experienced by our viewers not just as entertainment but as an expression of art itself.

— Titus Kaphar and Alex Mallis, Directors

**NOMINEE – Cinema Eye Honors 2022 – Outstanding Nonfiction Short**

**DOC NYC Shortlist: Shorts – Official Selection**

**WINNER – Grand Jury Prize Short Competition**

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2022

**WINNER – Grand Jury Prize Documentary Shorts**

Independent Film Festival Boston 2022

**Tribeca Film Festival 2022 – Official Selection **

**BAMCinemafest 2022 – Official Selection**

About Titus Kaphar (Director, Producer)

Titus Kaphar (b. 1976, Kalamazoo, Michigan) received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and is the recipient of a 2016 Robert R. Rauschenberg Artist as Activist grant, a 2018 Art for Justice Fund grant, and a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, among others. Kaphar’s painting was featured on the cover of the June 15, 2020 issue of TIME. His lauded 2017 TED talk has received 2.8 million views to date. Kaphar’s work is included in the collections of Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, amongst others. Kaphar founded his production company Revolution Ready in 2019 and is currently working on two feature length films.

About Alex Mallis (Director, Producer)

Alex is a Cuban-American, Jewish filmmaker raised in New Hampshire now living in Brooklyn, NY. His films have been selected for multiple festivals internationally. Online, his work has been featured by The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Pitchfork, The Huffington Post, and Vimeo Staff Picks. His documentary series AMERICAN BOYBAND (2017) was broadcast on ViceTV. His short documentary SHUT UP AND PAINT (2022) was awarded the Grand Jury Prize Documentary Shorts at IFFBoston and the Grand Jury Prize Short Competition at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Alex received an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College and is an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and the Meerkat Media Collective.


January 10, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Juli Lowe


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