Clinic Students Secure Fair Use Rights for Ground Breaking Documentary

The ground breaking documentary film, Black Ballerina, tells the story of several generations of women of color who overcame racism, exclusion  and unequal opportunity to become pursue careers as ballerinas.

Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic student attorneys Margaret Mrzyk, Jung Kim, Nick Crovo, and Yenu Wodajo, provided legal assistance necessary to release the film Black Ballerina.

The film tells the story of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet, and explores the struggles they face entering the “white world of classical ballet.”

The Director Frances McElroy commended the students “thoroughness, patience, and knowledge” of what she considers “a highly complicated matter.” McElroy expressed her admiration with the student attorneys’ dedication to addressing issues of social concern.

Black Ballerina is a feature length documentary produced by Shirley Road Productions and is being distributed nationally by American Public Television in the hopes of “stimulating discussion about diversity, inclusion, and opportunity.”

Black Ballerina was selected by the XXXI Black International Cinema in Berlin for “Best Film/Video Documentary Production.”

PBS will begin scheduling public broadcasts this month, and the DVD is available for purchase on the Black Ballerina Documentary website

Thus far, BLACK BALLERINA has been screened at:

  • Dance on Camera Film Festival (rough cut) – Lincoln Center – February 2015
  • Corps de Ballet International Annual Conference (rough cut) – June 2015
  • Scribe Video Center (rough cut) – Philadelphia – November 2015
  • Let’s Dance International Frontiers, UK – May 2016
  • Black International Cinema Festival – Berlin, Germany – May 2016
  • American Dance Festival – Movies by Movers – Durham, NC – July 2016
  • African Diaspora International Film Festival – New York City – November/December 2016
  • San Francisco Dance Film Festival – San Francisco – October 23, 2016


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