An aerial shot of an orange apartment film set, set up on a black box studio.

The Inheritance

Ephraim Asili
Studio 1—Goodman

Hudson Valley–based filmmaker Ephraim Asili was in residence between 2018 and 2020 for the production of his EMPAC-commissioned feature film The Inheritance. Based on real events, the film’s protagonist inherits a house in West Philadelphia that becomes home to an urban collective for activists of color. The increasingly claustrophobic drama unfolds as the group attempts to live together and find consensus through Black political discourse and social philosophy. 

The Inheritance, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in early September 2020 and headlined Currents at New York Film Festival later in the month. The film is subsequently touring to festivals world-wide and will be presented at EMPAC once the Center is able to reopen to the public. 

Special preview screenings of the film in EMPAC’s theater are available for Rensselaer faculty and students during the current fall semester. For more information on campus protocols and to book a screening for your class, please contact the box office.


Main Image: Production still from The Inheritance in Studio 1, June 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Mick Bello/EMPAC.

Presented By

EMPAC 2017–20



Press Mention

The Brooklyn Rail
Cinema Scope
Bomb Magazine

Spring 2020


EMPAC Spring 2019 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with continuous support from the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; and the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.