Naked Acts

OCOpen Caption screening
Additional program content
SFSensory Friendly. Details HERE
  • Tuesday, Jul 16

Showtimes updated on Tuesday evenings

Naked Acts

Q&A with director Bridgett M. Davis moderated by Maya Cade

Celebrated as a key film in the canon of independent cinema by African-Americans in the 1990s, Bridgett M. Davis’s Naked Acts was included in the seminal anthology The 50 Most Influential Black Films by S. Torriano Berry. On July 16, join us for a special evening to watch Losing Ground and Naked Acts plus a conversation between director Bridgett Davis and Black Film Archive founder and Library of Congress scholar Maya Cade after Naked Acts about the film, its restoration, and the influence of Losing GroundAfter sold out shows at Film Forum and Brooklyn Academy of Music, don’t miss out on one of the most exciting rediscoveries this year.

Kathleen Collins’ landmark work Losing Ground was one of the first independent features made by a Black woman. As Milestone Films explain on their site: “Funny, brilliant, and personal, ‘Losing Ground’ should have ranked high in the canon of indie cinema. But the early 1980s was not an easy time for women or independent filmmakers, and the film was never theatrically released. It was shown once on PBS’s American Playhouse, and then it effectively disappeared…” until the negatives were rescued 25 years after Collins’ death.  In the 1990s, Bridgett Davis’ Naked Acts wrestled with similar topics of authorship, sexuality, and self-acceptance in the story of a young actress trying to step out of her mother’s shadow and conquer her insecurity over her body. Yet again, the film never found a distributor despite its director’s best efforts to screen the film on her own, and Naked Acts sat in an archive for years…until now.

Richard Brody of The New Yorker said of Naked Acts, “Davis’s film, made at a time when there were few Black women filmmakers, exalts the hard-won breakthrough of self-depiction, of controlling the means of production; it opens pathways to a future cinema more radical than itself.”

"Off-beat, razor-sharp comedy!"
The New York Times


Q&A with director Bridgett M. Davis, moderated by Maya Cade

Tuesday, Jul. 16 2024, 7:00

  • Maya S. Cade is the creator and curator of Black Film Archive and a scholar-in-residence at the Library of Congress. She has been awarded special distinctions by the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for the Archive. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Paris Review, Vulture, among other publications. She is the fall 2022 programmer in residence at Indiana University’s Cinema and was the fall 2021 research fellow at Indiana University's Black Film Center & Archive. Originally hailing from New Orleans, Maya is based in Brooklyn.
  • Bridgett M. Davis is a novelist, essayist, teacher, filmmaker, memoirist and curator. She is author of the memoir The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and named a Best Book of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews and Real Simple magazine. She is also writer/director of the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Naked Acts, which screened at a host of festivals in the US, Europe, and Africa before having its theatrical and DVD release. Indiana University’s Black Film Center/Archive honored Davis on the 20th anniversary of the film’s production. The film is now part of the Black Film Archive’s permanent collection.

Tickets: $15 (members), $20 (nonmembers)

Buy Tickets

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

Email Sign Up

Get updates on screenings at the JBFC Theater, upcoming events, and more!