Rukiya Hite is a documentary filmmaker, screen writer, photojournalist and cultural editorial writer. She focuses on humanitarian based cultural issues in an effort enhance awareness of current day social occurrences.
Rukiya Hite was born in Pomona, California and lived in Southern California up until she finished high school. Rukiya was raised by her mother and father, Patricia and Alvin Hite. She grew up in a family full of entertainers. She is the second youngest of five very talented siblings. Since she was a child Rukiya had aspirations of becoming a filmmaker and music producer. She began performing mock radio interviews with her siblings and writing commercials at the age of five. Rukiya was always looking for ways to express her creative talents to any audience.
Upon completing high school, Rukiya moved to Columbia, South Carolina where she gained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Carolina. It was here where she developed her craft of filmmaking by majoring in Media Arts with an emphasis in film. Rukiya also minored in African American Studies giving her an even stronger background in Liberal Arts and history. While in college Rukiya produced a number of student films; however no one was prepared for the magnitude in which her work would be received by audiences. With her focus on tackling serious subject matter rather than popular culture, Rukiya offered entertaining documentary projects that intrigued as well as educated audiences.
Her first documentary was a collaborative effort entitled An Eye for an Eye (2003). The documentary was an in-depth look at the death penalty in South Carolina. It was produced during the last two weeks of the life of Jerry McWee, a former police officer sentenced to die for the murder of a convenience store clerk. Her next major production was Tainted Past (2004), a documentary that illustrated the political unrest of the Dirty War in Argentina. The two documentaries were shown in separate screenings at the Nickelodeon Theater in Columbia, SC, a great feat for a student at any University.
In 2004 Rukiya began production of what was her most challenging as well as rewarding documentary to date, Uprooted: A Glance at Gullah and Geechee. This film is a historical documentary that offers first hand accounts of the Gullah/Geechee culture on the Sea Islands of South Carolina. Through oral accounts of Gullah history, Uprooted is a searing examination of the origin of Gullah. The documentary describes modern issues that the Gullah society faces as its land has become coveted territory for tourism and vacation resorts.
The success of this documentary proves that Rukiya is worthy of holding the title of filmmaker. The documentary was aired on SCETV, a local PBS station in the state of South Carolina. It has been screen at numerous venues including, the McKissick Museum, the Penn Center, and the McClellanville Museum.
Uprooted was also used as an educational aid for teachers who interact with Gullah students throughout the states of Georgia, and North and South Carolina.
Rukiya’s success was furthered when she wrote and successfully pitched several commercials to the South Carolina Education Lottery in which she assisted with the production of the commercials.
Rukiya is currently working on several freelance productions and is preparing to attend Northwestern University to gain her PhD in Screen Cultures.
My intrests and hobbies fall right in line with my work. I love writing, photography, filmmaking, film viewing, reading, pottery and anything geared towards making a positive difference in the world.
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