Official Selections 2018

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KAFOU
Port-au-Prince by night. Doc and Zoe are just hired to deliver an unknown package. Their job comes with three essential rules: never stop the car, never roll down the windows, never open the trunk. At a crossroad, they stumble upon a dog. Each crossroad requires a sacrifice. Their decision will change their path irreversibly.
50:00
Haiti
by Bruno Mourral
in Shorts

Story Ave
Inspired by a true story. MTA conductor and life-long resident of the Bronx, Luis, gets off of the train one stop early at the Story Ave station and has an unusual encounter with 17-year-old passenger––a young artist named Kadir. Luis attempts to engage with skeptical Kadir on the train until Kadir senses Luis may have something he needs. As Luis exits the train car, Kadir decides to follow him. A dangerous moment on the train platform leads both gentlemen to a shared booth inside Luis’ favorite diner and a conversation that will alter Kadir forever
00:10:20
United States
Written & Directed by:
Aristotle Torres

The Broken Rose
Rose is a young girl who has grown up in foster care. Desperate to escape an abusive situation, she is saved by an older man named Shaka, but at what price?
01:51:21
Features
Local (Oakland)
Matthew McClelland

Buckout Road
Buckout Road is ‘The Omen’ meets ‘Urban Legend’A college class project on creation and destruction of modern myth, turns terrifying when a trio of young people come to realize the many evil urban legends surrounding New York State’s famed Buckout Road may, in fact be real. 1:37:00
Features
Canada
Matthew Currie Holmes

Backfire
After a botched robbery escalates to homicide, a north Philly gun runner has to escape or outsmart the south Philly Italian mob as they close in for vengeance.
1:37:00
Features
USA
Dave Patten

Woke
Is a drama that revolves around Brandon, a budding activist and college student fighting to maintain his relationships as he struggles to suppress the negative effects of a traumatic childhood.
1:00:04
Features
USA
Iman Shervington

LA Oposicion
Nick Morano has a comfortable desk job at the Department of Homeland Security monitoring immigration targets. When the Trump administration suddenly changes the game by declaring a war on immigration, Nick now must choose to work for this new system or against it.
0:20:00
Shorts
USA
Zoey Martinson

F.A.M.
A father’s life is complicated by a trio of women: his daughter, her mother, and his
wife, who are all taking him on a ride.
0:30:00
Lesbian/Gay
USA
Kyle Romanek

Ruin & Redemption
Mordecai is released from prison after doing hard time for a crime he didn’t commit. His only wish is to reconnect with the son he left behind. Will he find the redemption he is searching for or perhaps something else?
1:28:00
Features
USA
Benjamin Jaffe

1968
Is about a black radical fighting for racial equality while a white idealist struggles to help.
0:06:41
Student
Canada
Aaron Rota

To Raise a Child
A couple’s marriage has been strained due to the death of their son
because of police brutality. Seven months later during a family dinner, the couple find themselves in the middle of breaking news and discover who the true killer is…
0:20:00
Shorts
USA
Robert Henry

Blue Diamonds
A group of friends dealing with erectile dysfunction decide to resort back to their thieving ways to solve their problem and make some extra money in the process.
0:13:57
Shorts
USA
Patrick House

The Event
Two lovers share their final night together in this silent articulation of the beauty, pain, and uncertainty of Black love in the Black Lives Matter era.
0:06:27
African
USA
Tunji Bamishigbin

King of Stage (The Woodie King Jr. Story)
The story of legendary theatre producer Woodie King, Jr.
1:35:00
Documentaries
USA
Juney Smith

An Ode to Harold
A young woman hears conflicting truths about her father while at his funeral, and she must ultimately decide how she wants to remember him.
0:11:06
Shorts
USA
Ashley Chrisman

Fevah
A heartbroken single mom is about to plunge into a new relationship when her child’s father returns with a secret.
0:12:29
Shorts
USA
Randall Dottin

Marcus
A group of men struggle with a life changing decision. They find themselves on different sides of an argument that could possibly lead to a tragic ending.
0:09:59
Shorts
USA
J.R. Poli

Across
Is the true story of a slave boy’s attempt to escape to freedom with his family during the chaos of the American Civil War.
0:35:55 Shorts
USA
Chris Foley

Runaway Sue
An enslaved woman, attempts to help 2 runaway slaves under the nose of a seething overseer, all while trying to keep her daughter from being sold off the next day.
0:25:00
Shorts
USA
Daniel Fries

THE RED CAPE
A black child and his tenacious father struggle to survive against a mounting white supremacy campaign that incites the violent 1898 Wilmington Race Riot, a conspiracy that would reverse racial progress and become the only Coup d’Etat in United States history.
0:38:37
Shorts
USA
Nelson Oliver

Queen
‘QUEEN’ is a coming of age drama about an 11-year-old girl who must survive a night on Skid Row with her mother while crossing into adolescence.
0:20:00 Shorts
USA
Gabrielle Shepard

Never Heard
After Aaron is charged with murder, he uses prayer to help turn his life around and save his son from the street life before it is too late.
1:30:19 Features
USA
Joshua A. Webber

Office Sweats
Chris begins what is supposed to be a normal day at the job he hates, with the coworkers who are obviously obnoxious, but little does he know today will be a defining moment for him when he decides enough is enough, or does he? 0:09:45 Shorts USA Artii Smith
Where The Water Meets The Sand A young woman stuck in a relationship with her boyfriend is guided by her Gullah grandmothers teachings to find true love.
0:16:38
Shorts
USA
Torell Shavone

Father’s Kingdom
Father Divine was called an ingenious entrepreneur, a civil rights leader, a charlatan, a con man, and a fraud. His followers called him God. His religious movement once claimed to have millions of followers. Today, only a few remain, living as an interracial family on an exclusive estate outside of Philadelphia, struggling to keep Father’s legacy alive.
1:34:00
Documentaries
USA
Lenny Feinberg

A Man and His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story
In a city full of brilliant musicians, Leroy Jones, trumpet virtuoso and consummate New Orleanian, is a musician’s musician. Follow Jones life journey as he came up playing on the streets of the Saint Bernard Projects and 7th Ward, quickly establishing himself as one of NOLA’s most sought after trumpeters, founding the legendary Fairview Baptist Brass Band and Hurricane Brass Band. In present day Jones was touring and recording for the past 20 years with Harry Connick Jr. as the solo trumpeter. A decade after the storm that nearly destroyed his beloved city, Jones is navigating life as both a world renowned musician and a citizen amidst a rapidly changing New Orleans.
1:40:00
Documentaries
USA
Cameron Washington

The Yard
Is the politically incorrect animated comedy based off of life on a fictional HBCU Campus, Booker A&T. Our Animated Show can best be described as a Different World meets Boondocks.
0:13:46
Animation
USA
John Tucker

The Hopeless Journey
As a consequence of her mother’s selfish and bad life choices, a teenage girl is forced to live a dangerous life without hope it will end.
0:33:22
Shorts
USA
Dontell Antonio

Tomorrow is Too Late
A typical night at home for a wistful Harlem mother and her creative, strong-willed daughter is disrupted by their violent neighbors.
0:10:35
Shorts
USA
Diego Lummis

Grace
Grace’s younger sister Angela has made it clear that she has a family of her own and can no longer care for their father. On this particular day, we go on a journey with Grace as she struggles between taking care of her father who suffers from early signs of dementia or missing out on a job opportunity that could rekindle her love, teaching.
0:16:37
Shorts
USA
Eboni Adams

Hakkunde
Is an intriguing story of a young unemployed graduate who battles everything on his journey to self discovery and actualization. The story is characterized by actions and reactions that defines the everyday Nigerian society, with its ups and downs and with a particular focus on the life of a job hunting graduate who found himself in totality while searching for a job, and a better life. It highlights the merits of steadfastness, humility and self-denial and also espouses the gains of harnessing opportunities, delimiting the much celebrated mediocrity of high handedness, and divulging the demerits of pride, greed and inconsistency.
1:39:00
Foreign/Diaspora
Nigeria
Oluseyi Asurf

My People Are Rising
‘My People Are Rising’ is a documentary based on the autobiography of a 19 year old Seattle Black Panther captain named Aaron Dixon. The film traces his politicization and journey to Oakland as he fights alongside a generation of young people frustrated with injustice. Through his eyes we witness: the early forming of the party, the COINTEL PRO operation, the election of the first Black mayor of Oakland, the rise of the first female leader of the party, and the fall of Huey Newton as tried to run Dixon out of the party.
0:57:00
Documentaries
USA
Rafael Flores

Farias: An Afro Uruguayan Love Story
This short documentary film transports viewers to the quiet rural town of Melo, where a man shares his memories of his mother who was, in her time, the last known living Uruguayan person born in slavery. What results is a nuanced meditation on mother-son love, the struggles of a people, and the deep connections between national histories and intimate life.
0:11:33
Documentaries
USA
Pamela Harris

TRAFFIC STOP
Traffic Stop tells the story of Breaion King, a 26 year old African American schoolteacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped for a routine speeding violation. The encounter between her and her arresting officer caught on multiple police dash cams’ escalated into a violent take-down of Breaion. The film takes viewers into Breaion’s personal life, teaching math to her second graders, dancing, singing, the first in her family to earn academic degrees and purchase her own home. Then, what begins as a regular day ends up changing Breaionâ’s life, as the 112 pound woman is pulled from her car, pinned to the ground, and handcuffed. En route to jail, Breaion questions her escort officer about why blacks are treated differently by cops. The officer’s answers speak to are shocking to witness, and bely deep-seated bias in law enforcement Breaion continues to suffer from PTSD, but hopes her story will help people consider how police brutality effects even educated, law-abiding citizens. Unlike many victims, Breaion is alive to help imagine what it is like to walk in her shoes.
0:30:26
Documentaries
USA
Kate Davis

THE SYSTEM
Vastly different lives and perspectives become intertwined after a police officer suffering from reoccurring PTSD mistakenly shoots a deaf African-American kid, exposing layers of racial tension and corruption within the political, judicial and prison system.
1:32:00
Features
USA
IRIN DANIELS Daniels

Baby Steps
“Every year, on the anniversary of his fathers suicide, Kenny’s growing depression haunts what he fears will be his destiny.”
0:20:00
Shorts
USA
Eric Dyson

SAY HER NAME: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
In 2015, Sandra Bland, a young black woman, was found hanging in a small-town Texas jail cell days after a traffic violation. Ruled a suicide, her death fueled worldwide allegations of racially motivated police murder. The filmmakers embedded with Sandra’s family during their two-year battle to uncover the truth.
1:58:00
Documentaries
USA
Kate Davis

Sinners Wanted
A young unconventional pastor is ridiculed by his hypocritical church congregation after he falls in love with an unforgiven neighborhood prostitute.
1:45:00
Features
USA
Jimmy Jenkins

Found in a dream
Where the dark complex reality of the past challenges the ecstasy of today.
1:37:00
Features
Australia
Helen Kassa

With You Again
Kevin Stanford lost his father to prostate cancer on March 29, 2007. To help him cope with the loss and to pay respect to his dad, he wrote ‘With You Again’. Kevin eventually decided to make a video in hopes of bringing more awareness to this dreadful disease.
0:04:21
Music Video
USA
Kevin McQuarn

Flourishing Explosions & Luminosity
A conscious introvert embarks on a train ride to reunite with friends and family.
0:09:06
Emmanuel Burton
Shorts
USA

Breaking Down Barriers: The C.R. Roberts Story
Is a very timely story about C.R. Roberts, a civil rights pioneer who was born in Mississippi in 1936 and grew up in Oceanside, California prior to attending the University of Southern California in the 1950s. This documentary explores the beginning of the civil rights movement through the viewpoint of a little known civil rights pioneer, who continues to bring people of all colors and races together.
1:28:42
Documentaries
USA
Jeremy Sadowski

Under Four Trees
This is the true story of Nomusa Zikhali and the Nkomo Primary School in rural South Africa. Mrs. Zikhali takes us on her journey as she builds the school from the ground up. We watch her develop into an empowered and motivating woman, a leader.
0:54:28
Documentaries
USA
John Simpson

Gladys Brown
After being cheated out of her dream job, a long-suffering assistant seeks revenge.
0:12:29
Student
USA
Chad Scarborough

Ditches and Fields
After storming off from an argument with his father, a grieving boy is guided back home by unlikely visitors.
0:08:43 Student USA
Prakshi Malik

Night Skies
Vampires live in Detroit and kill criminals with the Mayor’s blessing. However, when college students get killed the mayor prepares for vampire war.
0:12:00
Shorts
USA
Brian Green

Civic Mind
A teenage, NYPD volunteer goes undercover to purchase alcohol and other items not permitted to be sold to minors. His methods are put into question when the biggest bust of his career is done illegally, jeopardizing everything he’s worked for and threatens a gentrifying, Brooklyn community.
0:19:07
Shorts
USA
Adonis Williams

Yemi’s Dilemma
Three sisters. A wedding. A family torn apart.
0:25:12
Shorts
USA
Sade Oyinade

The Jump Off
A gay young man in a passionate DL relationship struggles for legitimacy with his closeted lover.
0:04:41
Lesbian/Gay
USA
Jovan James

The Princess in the Alleyway
In the favela, you find many dragons… but you also find the heroes who fight them. 1:27:54 Foreign/Diaspora
Brazil
Rita de Cácia
Oenning da Silva

Tales from Shaolin: Pt One Shakey Dog
Tales From Shaolin reinterprets the works of the Wu Tang Clan as a Shakespeare-meets-Tarantino, crime-filled action dark comedy! Using the lyrics from the song “Shakey Dog” by Ghostface Killah, Part One: “Shakey Dog” stars Stephen Hill as our narrator “Ghost” and Dominique Spencer as the quiet yet eager Frank in this tale of a stick up gone wrong. Featuring an original score by indie Hip Hop producers Jake Summers, Eno Noziroh, and Wino Willy, Shakey Dog also stars Ninja N. Devoe, Angel Sanchez, Nasser Metcalfe, and Clinton Lowe – with special appearance by elusive Hip Hop super-producer Megahertz. Produced by Jeremy Sample, Stephen Hill, Marquette Jones, and Janie McFadden along with director Louis A. Moore and screenwriter J. Michael Neal.
00:14:56
USA
Jeremy Sample
Short, Web / New Media

Class 15
A cordial parents evening at a secondary school descends into accusations and chaos, when a teacher finally meets the mother of his difficult student.
00:13:06
Dean Leon Anderson
United Kingdom
Short

Damn Bro!
A Haitian-American, high school student is bullied by a star basketball player into doing his homework and digs in, doing the hard work for both of them, yet learns that helping someone, even when you break the rules, has its own rewards.
00:08:03
Travis Frick
United States
Short

Out From Smoke & Ash
In 1921, the Tulsa, Oklahoma neighborhood of Greenwood was one of the most affluent all-black communities in America. Known as the “Black Wall Street,” it covered 40 square blocks and boasted more than 600 businesses and 15,000 residents which was demolished, scores killed, and thousands left homeless. This is the retailing of this story through a mix of mediums and performances as well as spoken word.
00:21:56
Lisandro Boccacci
United States
Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student

Wanted: Dead or Abducted
After robbing a small bank in Dodge, two cowboy bandits lose a posse and encounter very weird events in their new hideout.
00:07:55
Ramiro Hernandez
United States
short

ROBOX
An imaginary friend searches for the boy that left him behind. 00:14:59
Bubba Murray
United States
Short

The Rough Part
An apprehensive twenty-something hires an escort to fake-seduce her boyfriend, and sabotage her dead-end relationship. 00:16:41
Ramiro Hernandez
United States
Short

Intercept
After spiraling into a deep depression, a young woman’s desperate plans are intercepted.
00:16:45
Bailey Brown
United States
Short

Pigeonhole
When you fear you can’t trust the very system you live under.
00:16:40
Andrea Melton
United States
Short

‘Breathless’ is the story of Larry, a middle aged Black man, whose trip to the bodega for coffee and cigarettes leads to his unwarranted death. Larry, a father “figure” and street “entrepreneur” in his Brooklyn community, stops by Major Deli to see the owner, and for his usual coffee and cigarettes. On his way out, he breaks up a fight between neighborhood teens, resulting in an illegal cigarette transaction. Consequently, two undercover officers approach Larry, accusing him of selling illegal cigarettes. This encounter with the police quickly escalates and leads to Larry’s untimely death.
00:07:09
Anaiis Cisco
United States
Short, Student

Wrath City
This is a story of a fictional, angry little town and the Haitian woman who’s getting deported out of it for committing an awful crime. Inspired by Black Lives Matter and the police brutality epidemic.
00:22:12
Raeshelle Cooke
Short

Mama I Wanna March
In 1968 Memphis, amid civil rights protests, young Allen wants to attend a march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His protective mother forbids it, but he sneaks out anyway and attends what turns out to be Dr. King’s final speech before his assassination.
00:15:08
Malcolm Baity
United States
Short, Student

Bitches Love Brunch
4 girls, 1 brunch date, 0 dollars. When all seems lost in love and the job market, Chantelle and her three friends show each other how to get by. SYNOPSIS Chantelle is meeting her three friends who she has promised to buy brunch… except she’s broke. Understandably unimpressed with the makeshift meal that becomes breakfast, her besties turn their let down into a catch-up on life’s highs and lows. While swapping stories of dating trials and triumphs, they take a look at Chantelle’s most recent attempt at finding love: an online dating app.
00:10:44
Sasha Leigh Henry
Canada
Short

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
Story is about a young African American man living his day to day life in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. Not only is he having trouble finding a job to support his girlfriend but he has trouble with gang-members, store clerks and boys in blue. In a strong effort to bring awareness to how much peace he wants for everyone, each situation gets worse and worse until he takes the ultimate stand. In this poetic stylish urban film, it touches on a innocent man’s plead for hope being destroyed over hurtful stereotypes.
Ja’Ron Thompson
00:15:35
Short

The Fearless One
Cody, a retired number one contender, is a straight laced working guy that doesn’t look for trouble – but trouble seems to look for him. Cody has been focused on rebuilding his life after a tragic blow and is trying to stay focused on the present while trying to leave all his misfortune behind him. When unresolved issues come back to haunt him, Cody is faced with the decision of his life. Either avoid his past or come face to face with it. It’s the ultimate decision to either pick up and leave again or prepare for his future ahead
by Jamal Hall
in Feature

Find a Way
“Find a way” music produced by the BAYCAT Fall 2017 music performance class. Video produced by the BAYCAT Fall 2017 youth filmmaking class.
00:04:31
Tomas Reyes
United States
Music Video

Intersectionality
A short documentary discovering what it means to identify with multiple communities. Produced by the Fall 2017 Youth Filmmaking program.
00:05:30
Tomas Reyes
United States
Documentary, Short, Student

News Travels Fast
A short Documentary about how technology and social media help communities in times of hardships, and keeping communities up to date with current events.
00:04:30
Tomas Reyes
United States
Documentary, Short, Student

Beginning of Community
A short animation on the importance of community beginning with family.
00:02:39
Tomas Reyes
United States
Animation

Re-Painting the Mission
A short documentary on the issue of displacement in the actively changing Mission District in San Francisco, CA. Produced by the Fall 2017 Youth Filmmaking program.
00:03:32
Tomas Reyes
United States
Documentary, Short, Student

Knockout Game
The Knockout Game: A disturbing and Brutal game amongst teens, targeting whites and immigrants in Inner city communities. Gregory wants to play. He wants to get in good with G-Life’s gang. He wants to be accepted and prove that he has heart. But G-Life demands he take the game to its sickest levels, attacking the elderly. His actions opens up a Pandora’s box of violence that will touch every innocent in his life. Knockout Game is a cautionary tale that explores the price of violence with an unflinching eye. 00:20:40
Jamal Hodge
United States
Short

“La Vie Magnifique De Charlie”
After her sister Brandy’s untimely death, everyone is taken aback by Charlie’s unorthodox (and seemingly quirky) approach to her grieving process. Follow Charlie and her friends Kayla and Keturah as they go along for a wild, hilariously exhilarating and bittersweet ride – which will surely be the craziest day of Charlie’s life
01:23:00
Bobby Huntley
United States
Feature

/smōkd/
Tempers flare when twelve grand jurors deliberate whether to indict, or not indict, a police officer who allegedly kills a man during an arrest.
00:15:01
Tamika Miller
United States
Short

All to Myself
After learning that her husband (Calvin) has been cheating on her, Evelyn is on a mission to gain revenge. It’s the night of a big speakeasy bash and Evelyn is prepared to cause a scene. Along her journey to the party, Calvin attempts to salvage his marriage but Evelyn has other plans which makes for an unpleasant surprise. 00:10:50
Maceo Lester
United States
Music Video, Short

One Bedroom
Breaking up is easy. Moving out is hard. After five years of ups and downs, an African American 30-something couple in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood spends their final afternoon together arguing and remember better days, as one of them moves out and hopefully on with her life.
01:23:00
Darien Sills-Evans
Feature

Jabari Keating
Upon making a life altering decision, Jabari Keating is a candid first person narrative film that explores his personal reflections, life experiences and trials and tribulations as an African American in present day America.
00:10:00
Stacey Larkins
Experimental, Short

Robert Mims – The Texan bull rider
This film is a portrait of Robert Mims, who after forty three years riding bulls is approaching retirement. Robert, one of the few competing black Texan riders, has become legendary in this tight knit community. In his more than four decades of dominating the chute, Robert has seen many of his fellow riders rise, fall and pick themselves up to ride again. “The world is changing, you either change with it or stay behind.” – Robert Mims.
00:16:10
Julian Hancock
Documentary

Iron Red
When the mob tries to erase him. Iron Red must fight to stay alive.
00:08:10
Julian Murphy
Experimental, Short, Student, Web / New Media

Arthur’s Bicycle
A grieving mother seeks to remove a curse brought on by her son’s suicide, while her younger sons grapple to understand the meaning of his death.
00:18:00
Tafadzwa Chiriga
Short

Under The Law
Adriel (Malachi Beasley), a qualified and determined individual, is looking for employment at a law firm, but a blemish on his record holds him back. However, everything changes when Karen (Christina Schulz) finds out what his motive was on the night of his incident. Karen asks for her boss, Mr. Manning (Mark Allyn), for his opinion as Adriel reminisces on his past experience.
00:10:07
Bill Anaya
United States
Short, Student

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask The life and legacy of poet/writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), the first African American writer to gain national and international fame.
01:58:45
Frederick Lewis
United States
Documentary

TIGERNUT
(Homeland of the Wholehearted Women) A worldwide trade war has broken out over the control and distribution of the new healthy Super Food, tiger nuts, which will soon be a part of all healthy diets. An investigation uncovers a plot of international corruption and abuses around the production of tiger nuts by European and American companies exploiting African resources. “Tigernut” shows the encouraging response of thousands of families resisting this attempt to control their resources through initiatives such as the Mousso Faso cooperative.
01:12:52
Andoni Monforte
Spain
Documentary, Feature

Living
A Award Winning Drama about an Angel’s descent from Heaven to Brooklyn looking too clear the air, bridging a Gap fining common ground addressing an important key of life between Law Enforcement and Minorities…
00:13:35
Marcellus Cox
United States
Short

Pushing Skills
A street-smart hustler uses his invention to give people extraordinary skills for few hours but finds himself in trouble when the wrong people hear about it.
00:17:00
Bill Anaya
United States
Short, Web / New Media

Rebirth is Necessary
This film explores the magic and dynamism of Blackness in a realm where time and space are altered. The now, the past & the future are rethought and reordered to create something soulful and mind bendingly visceral. Unfolding through the gaze of Jenn Nkiru, it is an audio – visual feast which pulls on broad yet unique sound and visual references to push the story forward. The soundtrack features music and sounds from James Baldwin, Sun Ra, Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Rotary Connection, Pharaoh Sanders and Shafiq Husayn. It also includes quotes and moments from Alice Coltrane, Audre Lorde, Kwame Nkrumah, Sun Ra and James Baldwin.
00:10:31
Bill Anaya
United States
Documentary, Experimental, Short

Congo Cabaret
Welcome to the world of Claude McKay, a gay writer of the Harlem Renaissance whose racy 1926 novel, Home to Harlem, became the first best-seller published by a Black writer. When you have your glass of bootleg gin at the Congo Cabaret, you will witness a colorful underground world with lots of drama: Zeddy the kept man cheating on his woman; Myrtle, his innocent mark; Billy the Wolf, the gay owner of the nightclub and his Pansy Dancer; Jake, Zeddy’s friend and moral center in a lawless world; Jakes’ singer girlfriend, Congo Rose, whose rendition of Bessie Smith’s “Foolish Man Blues” seduces the whole room, especially Zeddy. As a newcomer to the scene, you won’t know where all the stories come from or even where they’re going, but you will be riveted by the gorgeous cinematography, the strong acting, the vivid characters, and McKay’s flavorful dialogue. Surrender your preconceptions of story and how it’s told; you’re at the Congo Cabaret.
00:14:00
Robert Philipson
United States
Music Video, Short

Stevie’s Aliens
Greg, an aspiring writer whose dreams are shattered when he’s rejected from his top choice college, is reinvigorated after he sees what he believes is a UFO.
00:16:54
Austin Harris
Short, Student

The Color of Me
An adopted African-American named Lewis Clark, falls in love with a young woman named Lisa Adams, who has an unusual condition. Every hour, her skin magically changes color and she turns into 5 different races. Lewis and Lisa struggle with their relationship as Lisa continuously changes skin color, and the two of them explore their own opinions about race and how much it really matters in their relationship.
00:19:35
Sreejith Nair
Short

Breathe
A father and daughter in a tense relationship struggles to support one another when a cop all of a sudden shows up.
00:02:56
Aisha Ford
Short, Student

Training Wheels
Amari, a gifted little 9 years old with mind-reading capabilities, is waiting patiently for her dad to come home and teach her how to ride her bike without training wheels. Her father gets home but is distracted by mom’s concerns about missing belongings from the house. Amari watches as her parent grow more and more frustrated with each other and dad storms out. Curious to learn her father’s whereabouts, Amari uses her power to get more information from her mom while she takes a phone call at the dinner table. Amari gathers information claiming that he’s on 43rd Street. The very next day, she ditches school and sets off on an adventure to bring her father home.
00:14:40
Sandrel Young
United States
Short

’63 Boycott
In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Unseen 16mm footage of the boycott is combined with insights from the original participants and present-day protesters against school closings. ’63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism.
00:29:06
Rachel Dickson
United States
Documentary, Short

Unarmed
Unarmed follows a young African American male, David, who’s father was murdered by the police. David’s biggest fear is seeing his daughter grow up without a father the same way he grew up without father. The film follows the David on his journey to be a good father, while giving insight on the trauma remaining from his father’s death.
00:05:40
Elias Moreno
Student

A Beautiful Villain’s Greed
Consumed with the art of consumption, this beautiful villain takes her addiction to retail to menacing new heights.
00:01:49
Dominique Wilmore
Animation, Short

MAJOR CAPERS: The Legend of Team Broadminded
Major Capers: The Legend of Team Broadminded is an honest and unflinching documentary that portrays the extraordinary life story of Major James Capers, Jr. an American hero, who persevered through adversity and after 50 classified missions rose to become one of the most decorated Force Recon Marines in history.
01:33:00
Erich Recker
Documentary

Survivor 9
Yana is a refugee living in Los Angeles when she begins to suspect that Fundi, a taxi driver, is a war criminal from her country of origin. Yana recognizes Fundi’s voice as the radio DJ who urged murder and mayhem. It reignites the trauma of her past–especially her inability to save the lives of three school girls in her care. Haunted by these memories, Yana decides to track down the taxi driver, and with the help of zip ties and a machete, commence a private session of truth and reconciliation.
00:21:57
Roy Hurst
Short

Lost Kings – The Series
In Baltimore, Max, a dirt bike rider, seeks vengeance following the murder of her brother and in the process uncovers a conspiracy involving illicit drugs and crooked cops.
00:30:00
Terrance Smalls, Jr.
Short, Television, Web / New Media

Kyenvu
A young African feminist millennial finds love in a bittersweet moment as she struggles to find her footing in a patriarchal society.
00:20:00
Kemiyondo Coutinho
Short

KINGS
KINGS is a powerful short film that follows rookie African American police officer BRANDON BILLIPS his first night after being sworn into the Oakland Police Department and the difficult choices he’s faced with when his veteran partner starts to abuse the power of his badge. KINGS not only addresses the obvious issues of black and white stereotypes but also of the reprogramming of self imagery and what needs to be done in order to tear down the walls of ignorance within each individual.
00:27:25
Jamaal Scott
United States
Short

A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.
On the night of the 2016 Presidential election, Cass, an L.A. club promoter, takes a thrilling and emotional journey with Frida, a Midwestern visitor. She challenges him to revisit his broken dreams – while he pushes her to discover hers.
01:29:00
Jamaal Scott
United States
Feature

White Knuckle
When a serial killer begins targeting the gentrifiers of a dwindling, historically Black neighborhood, three young adults attempt to determine the murderer’s identity… before they’re next.
00:22:57
Philip Champagne
United States
Short

Life is Fare
Life is Fare is a Tigrinya / English feature film exploring three wildly different perspectives on the East African nation of Eritrea. The film’s premise follows Sephora, an idealistic young Eritrean American pitching a well meaning but ludicrous film idea to her traditional mother about a man (Haile) who fled their home country and ended up in San Francisco. As a recently arrived immigrant, Haile is terribly homesick for his native Eritrea, but will not admit it due to unease towards speaking ill of the country; and more consciously in hesitance of admitting hard truths about his culture and himself. Life is Fare is a cross cultural analogy to challenge how patriotism and nationalism are practiced by people of a country, and is inspired by current Eritrean and Ethiopian migration journeys.
01:01:31
Sephora Woldu
United States
Feature

Who Am I
Working with two primary schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, directors Wanuri Kahiu and Nick Reding intimately explore issues surrounding national identity. Using games and interviews the filmmakers ask 8-11 year olds what they understand about discrimination, tribe and religion, and how, when they are discriminated themselves, do they feel about their own identity. Inspired by Jane Elliot’s “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment, the film delicately picks at the religious and tribal tensions that exist in Kenya, by creating an exercise in which the class is arbitrarily divided into groups.
00:30:00
Cindy Mbae
Documentary

Then There Was Joe
With his gang-banging brother under house-arrest in their parent’s home, a straight-laced law student, struggling to study for his bar exam, is tasked with keeping his older brother out of trouble.
01:39:00
Justin Warren
United States
Feature

Hidden Treasure
Hidden Treasure is based in the real life story of a woman who suffered spousal abuse for over 15 years. Yvette flees her home one night after a savage beating form her husband. She meets two strangers Charles and Allen who help Yvette discover her inner journey to find her Hidden Treasure. At the same time Yvette gets Charles and Allen to examine their own ideas and beliefs about women that could lead to violence
00:29:00
Donald Lacy
Short

 

Where The Water Meets The Sand
A young woman stuck in a relationship with her boyfriend is guided by her Gullah grandmothers teachings to find true love.
17m, U S A
dir. by Torell Shavone
Shorts