Alile Sharon Larkin

Hour Glass (1971)

Alile Sharon Larkin is an artist-educator and award-winning independent film and video maker. Larkin was a public school teacher in Los Angeles for over 25 years. She taught at 32nd Street/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School from 1993-2013. Her teaching experience ranges from pre-K to college and filmmaking is part of Larkin's interdisciplinary curriculum. She has received 10 Video in the Classroom Awards for teacher-produced films, documenting students learning about textile arts, storytelling, yoga, jazz, women's history, Kwanzaa and African-American dance.

Her film, Your Children Come Back To You (1979), presents a child's perspective on wealth and social inequality, and has screened throughout U.S. and Europe. A Different Image (1982), about an African-American woman contemplating self-identity, heritage and perception, received critical praise and earned her first prize from the Black American Cinema Society, won Best Production of 1981 from the Black Filmmaker Foundation, and was named runner-up for best short film at FILMEX. The screenplay of A Different Image was published in Screenplays of the African American Experience (Indiana University Press, 1991).

Larkin's critical essay, "Black Women Filmmakers Defining Ourselves," appears in Female Spectators (Verso Editions, London). Larkin was honored to write the prologue for Charles Burnett: A Troublesome Filmmaker (Play-Doc Books, 2016). Her essay is titled: "Who Will Protect and Respect, Inspire and Nurture This Black Woman Filmmaker (For Charles and All the Brothers)."

Larkin's production company Dreadlocks and the Three Bears Productions creates Afrocentric and global multimedia and arts experiences for children and families. Larkin recently resumed shooting Tie-Dye after 26 years, with a multigenerational crew including her son and granddaughter. Tie-dye features black children celebrating everyday life through global black music genres.