Born in Dallas, Texas, Billy Woodberry is one of the founders of the L.A. Rebellion film movement. His first feature film, Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), is a pioneer and essential work of this movement, influenced by Italian neo-realism and the work of Third Cinema filmmakers. The film was awarded with an OCIC and Ecumenical Jury awards at the Berlin International Film Festival and was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2013.
And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead (2015) was the opening film of MoMA’s Doc Fortnight in 2016. The film premiered at the 53rd Viennale, Vienna International Film Festival (2015), and has been featured at festivals nationally and internationally.
His short film/documentary, Marseille Après La Guerre (2016), is a portrait of dock workers in post-WWII Marseille, many of whom were of African descent, and pays homage to Senegalese film director, Ousmane Sembéne. Marseille Après La Guerre received acclaim after its screenings at the Roy and Edna Disney Theater CalArts’ Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles (2016), Courtisane Film Festival, Gent (2016), and Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro (2016).
Woodberry’s films have been screened at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, Viennale, Rotterdam, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Harvard Film Archive, Camera Austria Symposium, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou.