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Black History Month: Hans Charles

Hans Charles

Black History Month is an opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of African-Americans in our nation. This February, Spring Arbor University will take this opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of many prominent African-Americans in history, specifically four of our own African American alumni, as part of the month-long celebration.

Hans Charles ’02 is an Emmy-nominated cinematographer, professor and filmmaker with over ten years of experience in the film industry. He has shot for a range of directors, including Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Nefertite Nguvu, Salim Akil and Gloria LeMort. Hans’s films have won a BAFTA (British Academy Film Award), a Peabody Award and several Emmy Awards, and they’ve been nominated for an Oscar and an Independent Spirit award. His projects, including the film, “13th,” have screened at festivals all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, the Urbanworld Film Festival, the New York City Latino Film Festival, OutFest, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Zanzibar Film Festival and the BlackStar Film Festival. They’ve also aired or been available for streaming on Netflix, HBO, ESPN and Hulu.

Hans created and hosts a weekly film podcast, “Back of the Theater,” with his creative partner, Menelek Lumumba. His latest work includes the feature-length film, “1 Angry Black Man,” directed by Lumumba, which premiered at the Blackstar Film Festival in 2018, and “Mr. Soul!” directed by Melissa Haizlip, a documentary film on Ellis Haizlip and his legendary TV show, “SOUL!” “Mr. Soul!” won “Best Documentary” at the Urbanworld Film Festival. “1 Angry Black Man” has continued to make the rounds on the festival circuit, with screenings at the BronzeLens Film Festival, the Baltimore International Black Film Festival (where it won “Best Feature”), and the Urbanworld Film Festival (where it received an honorable mention for “Best Narrative Feature”). “1 Angry Black Man” also won “Best Feature” at the Gary International Black Film Festival. The film made its international premiere at Da Bounce Urban Film Festival in Amsterdam in 2018. Hans’s latest feature, “WuTang Clan: Of Mics and Men,” directed by Sacha Jenkins (“Fresh Dressed,” “Word is Bond,” “Rapture”), about legendary rap supergroup WuTang Clan, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film will appear on Showtime in May 2019.

Hans is a principal partner at Align Pictures with co-founders/producers Caroline Onikute and Cordielle Street. He currently resides on the East Coast with his family.