Marquise Mays

  • Assistant Professor, Film, Video, Animation and New Genres


MA, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Southern California
BA, Journalism and Communication Arts, UW-Madison


Marquise Mays is an award-winning filmmaker and film professor living and working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Experienced in a variety of film and arts practices, Marquise’s films and research are careful renderings of individual and collective Black life on and off screen, specifically as it relates to the Black Midwestern experience. His work has been distributed and featured on the renowned Criterion Channel, PBS, BET, AspireTV & The Redford Center, alongside a slew of national and international film festivals. One of his crown achievements is when he served as an Associate Producer on the Student Academy Award-winning film, THE DOPE YEARS: The Untold Story of Latasha Harlins.

As an independent filmmaker and film studies scholar, Marquise’s work and research is rooted within his Black Queer existence, thus allowing his films and research to be careful and intimate renderings of individual life. He presents a range of access points for participation in dialogues, theoretical deliberations, and creative enterprises related to the projections of Black life on screen.

Whether it be a sweeping study of one woman’s blindness and insight (Blindspot, Director, 2020); or surveying the intimate history of Latasha Harlins, an often-overlooked figure in the L.A. riots depicted in the Student Academy Award Winning Film, The Dope Years (Associate Producer, 2019); or interrogating the unrequited love between Black kids and the city of Milwaukee (The Heartland, Director, 2021); or interrogating the function of first responders (BLACK STRINGS, Director, 2023) Marquise seeks to capture the humanity of individual subjects with precision and integrity. Indeed, Marquise’s films and multimedia work evince a sympathetic depth and clarity of voice.