Black Hollywood: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

  • Saturday, May 4, 2024 / 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM (PDT)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: Sony 4k digital projection (140 minutes)
  • With Kemp Powers (director)
  • Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry

Web-slinging hero Miles Morales returns in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023), released five years after the Academy Award-winning smash hit Into the Spider-Verse. This time, Miles faces off against The Spot, an elusive supervillain capable of traversing parallel universes. Reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Miles catapults across time and space and encounters the Spider Society, a team dedicated to safeguarding the equilibrium of the multiverse. The film boasts a vibrant cast of Spider-People, paying homage to the character’s extensive history across decades, countries, and media forms, and reflexively critiques questions of narrative canon and the conventions of the superhero genre itself. With breathtaking animation that pushes the limits of the form, the film sets a remarkable new standard for animated films.

As part of the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Black Hollywood series, we are delighted to welcome director Kemp Powers, who will join moderator Mireille Miller-Young for a post-screening discussion of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

All available seats for this event have been reserved at this time. However, we will be running a first-come, first-served standby line on the evening of the screening, in addition to admitting our ticketed patrons. In order to best serve all guests, we kindly ask that all ticketed patrons be seated in the Pollock Theater no later than 1:55 PM. If you are not scanned in and seated in the theater by 1:55 PM, your seat may be released to a standby patron. Please plan to arrive on campus early to give yourself time to find parking and walk to the theater. If you have made a reservation for this event, but anticipate being unable to attend, please contact us at to request a cancellation.

Please note: This event was rescheduled from its original date of March 16. All existing reservations will be honored. If you have any questions about your reservation, or would like your tickets re-issued please contact

All available seats for this event have been reserved. A first-come, first-served standby line will be formed at the door on the night of the event.


A headshot of director and producer Kemp Powers. He poses against a neutral background and wears a black and brown patterned button up shirt.

Director Kemp Powers

Kemp Powers is a Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, playwright, producer, and director who was named one of Variety’s 2020 “10 Screenwriters to Watch.” Powers wrote the critically-acclaimed Amazon feature One Night in Miami…, adapted from his 2013 award-winning stage play of the same name. Directed by Regina King (in her directorial debut) and starring Eli Goree, Leslie Odom, Jr., Aldis Hodge and Kingsley Ben-Adir, the film currently stands at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. He is also the co-director and a screenwriter of Disney/Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated feature Soul, and made history as the first Black person to receive a director or screenwriter credit on any Pixar project. Most recently, Powers directed Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to the Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, along with Joaquim Dos Santos and Justin K. Thompson. Returning producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller said “Kemp’s work is incisive and ambitious and funny — with a writer’s wisdom and a director’s heart — he just knows what matters in every scene.” His stage plays include the award-winning One Night in Miami…, Little Black Shadows, Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue, The Two Reds and A Negro by Choice. Kemp’s most recent stage play, The XIXth (The Nineteenth) premiered at The Old Globe in San Diego in March of 2023. Prior to his work in stage, television and film, Powers was a journalist for seventeen years.

A headshot of Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB Mireille Miller-Young. She is wearing a leather jacket, statement necklace, pink lipstick, and blue undereye shadow. She is posing with part of her jacket obscuring her face in front of a neutral white background.

Moderator Mireille Miller-Young

Mireille Miller-Young is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB. The former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow researches and teaches about race, gender, and sexuality in US history, popular and film cultures, and the sex industries. Her groundbreaking book, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography (Duke University Press, 2014), was awarded the Sara A. Whaley Prize for Best Book on Women and Labor by the National Women’s Studies Association and the John Hope Franklin Prize for Best Book by the American Studies Association. Serving on the editorial boards of journals like Porn Studies and Signs, as well as book series like Screening Sex (Edinburgh University Press) and Feminist Media Studies (University of Illinois Press), Miller-Young has won prizes for her research and teaching, including UCSB’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center as part of its Black Hollywood series.

Black Hollywood

Black Hollywood is a new programming focus at the Carsey-Wolf Center at UC Santa Barbara, guest curated by Dr. Mireille Miller-Young (Department of Feminist Studies). Black Hollywood innovates new academic research and public-facing engagement projects focusing on the work of Black creators and technicians, as well as the histories of Black artists and stories. Addressing issues ranging from diversity in entertainment industry labor, to representations of race, gender, and intersectional identities, to questions of technology, democracy and law, Black Hollywood provides a platform for cutting edge questions, conversations, and tools for media professionals, academics, and wider publics.

Storytelling for the Screen

Since their emergence, cinema and television have been in a state of constant technological and industrial flux. But even as our ways of distributing and accessing moving images have changed, and even as tastes and styles continue shifting with the times, our passion for compelling onscreen storytelling persists. At the Carsey-Wolf Center, we are committed to fostering a nuanced understanding of cinematic and televisual storytelling across genres, formats, styles, and historical periods. To this end, we sponsor a wide range of events, programs, and workshops designed to cultivate a new generation of media storytellers, and to help audiences better understand the evolving role of narrative across diverse media forms.