a shot from above the studio of an film production.

The Inheritance

Ephraim Asili
Studio 1—Goodman

Spring 2020

Hudson Valley–based filmmaker Ephraim Asili is in residence to work on post-production for his EMPAC commissioned feature film The Inheritance. Based on real events, the film’s protagonist inherits a house in West Philadelphia that becomes home to an urban collective for activists of color. The increasingly claustrophobic drama unfolds as the group attempts to live together and find consensus through Black political discourse and social philosophy.

Summer 2019

Asili returned to EMPAC to continue production on his EMPAC-commissioned feature film The Inheritance. The Super 16mm project weaves together the fictional story of young African American “Walt” with histories of the West Philadelphia collective MOVE, Bethune Cookman College, the Black Arts Movement, and dramatizations of the life of the artist when he was a member of a Black Marxist Collective. Asili and his ensemble cast will be in residence in Studio 1—Goodman during the summer to shoot many of the film’s scenes in a custom built film set. Alongside his cast, the film features cameos by Ursula Rucker, Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr., and Mike Africa Jr.

Spring 2018

Asili was in residence with eight performers to workshop the script for his new feature-length film, The Inheritance. An accompanying performance in three acts was presented on Jan. 24 in Studio 1.

Main Image: Production still from The Inheritance in Studio 1, June 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Mick Bello/EMPAC.

Presented By

EMPAC 2017–20


Spring 2020


EMPAC Spring 2019 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with continuous support from the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.