Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival


Tributes and Retrospectives - L.A. Rebellion


Screenplay: Bernard Nicolas
Production: Bernard Nicolas
Cinematography: Bernard Nicolas

Daydream Therapy

A film by Bernard Nicolas

This shortfilm was Bernard Nicolas first project at UCLA, and portrays the life of an african-american hotel worker along with her frustration at the undignified work conditions. Musically, Daydream Therapy starts with Nina Simone’s rendition of “Pirate Jenny” and is partially filmed at the Californian Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey. It demonstrates the worker’s heavy workload and her daydreams of escaping the workplace. Symbolically, the shortfilm’s soundtrack changes to Archie Shepp’s “Things Have Got to Change.” as it concludes.
  • Cast:

    Marva Anderson, Keith Taylor, Gay Abel-Bey, Larry Bell, Jeff Cox
  • Original Title:

    Daydream Therapy
  • Country:

    United States of America
  • Year:

  • 8' EN, Subtitles: PT


Screenplay: Bernard Nicolas
Production: Bernard Nicolas
Cinematography: Bernard Nicolas


Medeia Nimas Cinema

Conversation with Billy Woodberry, Charles Burnett, Julie Dash and the curators


Bernard Nicolas

Bernard Nicolas is an Haitian actor, producer and director. Born in Port-au-Prince, he escaped the political situation in Haiti with his family and settled in San-Pedro, California. There, Nicolas became a co-National Coordinator of the National Association of Black Students, driven to its political responsibility.

The filmmaker obtained a B.A. in Economics at UCLA before enrolling in its M.F.A. in Film and Television Production. He would be considered part of the movement L.A. Rebellion, also known as ‘Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers’: a generation of filmmakers from the 60s to the 80s of UCLA, creators of a revolutionary Black Cinema diverging from Hollywood conventions and attentive to the real african-american lived experiences. His works include social issue documentaries such as Boat People (1982) and Daydream Therapy (1977), where Nicolas’ personal care for mental health as a licensed therapist. Nicolas also won the Leigh Whipper Gold Award from the Philadelphia International Film Festival.

He has worked in cinema production in Zimbabwe, where he moved in the 80s. In 1992, he also founded  Inter-Image Video, the first enterprise to commercially release African Cinema on home video in the U.S. His work is still being exhibited internationally, in venues such as Tate Modern Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Toronto International Film Festival Cinematheque, and the Harvard Film Archive.
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