O.Funmilayo Makarah is a writer and director of films and videos that explore cultural identity, as well as an educator. She came to Los Angeles in 1974 and entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. After spending a decade in Europe, she returned to the MFA program in the late-1980s. She later founded In VISIBLE COLORS, a network of film and video makers.
In 1988, Makarah wrote and directed the short video DEFINE, a piece which examines ethnic female identity. She later made The Joke Series (1994), which was shown at the School of Art Institute in Chicago, and Creating a Different Image: Portrait of Alile Sharon Larkin (1989), a short that affirms Larkin’s identity as an artist. She also made a video installation on the Rodney King incident for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.
Makarah has contributed scholarly works on race, representation and media to various publications, such as Black Women Film & Video Artists (Routledge, 1998) and Afterimage. She has also served as director and founder of the Heritage Film Festival in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as Chair of the Media Committee for the Cultural Affairs Dept. of the City of Los Angeles. Makarah is also a founding member of L.A. Freewaves, a worldwide media arts organization.