Young filmmaker seeks to change perception

The FAMU Student-Produced Film Screenings were held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Coleman Library Annex Friday.

One film that stood out was “Black Face” produced by Augustine Rho, a 2003 FAMU graduate.

Rho’s 90-second film conveyed the pathetic state of racism through images and sounds.

“Black Face” was a piece Rho describes as an artistic representation of racism.

“Everyone is clean when they are born, yet through bad experiences many people choose to not forgive resulting in black face,” she said.

Rho also said she chose to attack racism through the film because of her experiences as an immigrant from Haiti, a student at FAMU and the encounters she’s had in film school at the University of Miami.

“Being one of the two black students enrolled at the University of Miami Film School, it’s tough battling with those who are uneducated about black people,” Rho said.

In the opening seconds of “Black Face,” quick snaps of bizarre photographs are shown along with a white male looking into a mirror. Throughout the film, the young, white male begins to smear black paint on his face until his face is completely covered in black paint, which represents his state of racism, and the state of many who have become black-faced by racism.

“Although many asked why did I choose to use a white man,” Rho said.

“I can’t help but respond to the bigger picture and that is that racism is something taught.”

“In my choice of music I chose Lauryn Hill’s, ‘Forgive them Father’ because it said everything I would say to someone who has chosen to become a racist.”

As a result of many personal accounts with racism and discrimination, Rho said she remembers times when she could have put on a black face every time she was discriminated against but knew she had to forgive and move on.

As a student at the UM film school, Rho admits racism still lingers among the elite. However, she explained her purpose as an inspiring filmmaker is to change at least one perception of blacks.

“The perception of black males has been torn, and I want to help piece it back together,” she said.

Rho’s vision is to one day own a film company that portrays black people in what she calls “a real state of being.”

“I want to inspire youth to go to school whether its film school or law school,” Rho said.

“But most of all, I want to show people how we are all interconnected and the only difference is our experiences.”

On a personal note, Rho commended journalism professor Kenneth Jones for pushing her to the point of finding her niche in film.

“Mr. Jones gave me the freedom to express myself through film,” Rho said. “

“He really cares and that’s what I love about FAMU.”

Contact Christina Hordge at