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Official Selections 2019

We would like to thank all those who participated and congratulate you for bringing us such wonderful film. We could not do this without you and love to watch the theme of films change yearly. It is like having you finger on the pulse of what it means to be black (and brown).

One Last Spin
Fantasy, Thriller, Horror, Drama, Mystery
Ali Matlock
An engaged couple struggling with the financial pressures of the upcoming celebration, receive an unsolicited package. The package contains a peculiar item that has the potential to change their lives significantly.

Marcellus Cox
A Award Winning Drama about a young African American man who spends his last free day before heading to prison apologizing to everyone near and dear to him for betraying their trust in him.

The SixTripleEight
Women, War, World War II, African American
James William Theres
This documentary includes interviews with the surviving six members from the 855 women of the SixTripleEight (6888 Central Postal Directory battalion), the first, and only, all-black female battalion sent to Europe during World War II. Their mission: clear the backlog of over 17 million pieces of mail stuck in warehouses in Birmingham, England and Rouen, France. They faced racism, sexism, and the Nazis. After dodging German U-boats, they arrived in Birmingham in February 1945. They were given six months to complete the mission in each city. Both times they finished in half the time. The last of the women returned to the United States in March 1946 with little fanfare. Their story was hidden in American military history until now. On November 30, 2018, a monument was dedicated in their honor at Buffalo Soldier Park, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On February 20, 2019, the Secretary of the Army approved the Meritorious Unit Commendation for the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion for the period of service March 4, 1945 to March 30, 1946. On February 28, 2019, Sen. Jerry Moran submitted legislation, the Six Triple Eight Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, for the unit to receive the nation’s highest civilian award.

Lalo’s House
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Suspense Thriller, African American, African, Women, drama
Kelley Kali
Inspired by true events. After being taken from their home in Jacmel, Haiti, two young sisters must escape a child sex trafficking ring, disguised as a Catholic orphanage.

Paris Blues In Harlem
Nadhege Ptah
Paris Blues in Harlem is the story of a young woman and her attempts to save her grandfather’s insolvent Harlem jazz nightclub. She has a few hours to convince her rigid elder to accept a realtor’s briefcase with mounds of cash in exchange for his nightclub. But, as time runs out, he struggles to let go. With only a few seconds left, she is faced with a choice between legacy and money.

Freedom’s Name is Mighty Sweet
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
period piece, historical, biopic, Canadian production, UK production, co-production, black narratives
Joe Murphy
Set in 1897, this is the incredible story of Charles and Lucille Hunter, two African American prospectors in the Klondike Gold Rush. Inspired by true events, it’s a film about the power of the human spirit and how, no matter the odds, we can survive if we stick together.

Trying To Find Me
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
filmmaker, black narrative, female director, female protagonist, youth, mental health, debut short
Dominique Tipper
A woman dissects and shares her inner self in an attempt to navigate her way through depression and the ups and downs of life.

The God Given Talent: The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell
African American, Disability, Artist, Poetry, Painting, Creativity, Educator, Elderly, Poet, Culture, Cultural Arts
Jeff M. Giordano
Charles Curtis Blackwell: the Oakland poet, painter, playwright and teacher — takes us on an intimate journey into his past and present. From his challenging upbringing in both California and Mississippi, to his current creative life, we follow as he discusses loss, love, pain, and redemption — all through the prism of his artistic endeavors.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Drama, Dark Comedy, Romance Archie Zhang
Heroes explores the identity crisis of a hero who realizes his damsel no longer needs him. TEASER For the princess with Daddy issues and for the daddy with Princess issues. SUMMARY Told in fairy-tale-esque format, a man swoops up a vulnerable princess off the street and brings her home for sex and comfort. However, the next morning, the princess tells the man she has to go to work now and thanks the man for his one-night-stand. However, in response, the man breaks down in his identity and approach as he desperately wishes her to stay.

Just Keep It 100
Bryan Bostic
Gus(Tevin Jackson) and Angela(Yazzmyn Shelby) meet up after finding each other through online dating. They both find out some lies were told. The only thing left for them to do is keep it 100 with each other.

Ina Sotirova
On a utopic Caribbean island, a young priestess must overcome her insecurities, defy tradition and step into her power to save her people from impending danger.

The High Bridge
Benedict Campbell
A Bronx teenager reluctantly confronts fatherhood when his young daughter visits her doctor.

Don’t Expel the Blacks
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Suspense, Race Princess A. Hairston
Don’t Expel the Blacks is a short film about gentrification in Brooklyn. Residents in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn explain the effects gentrification has on their community.

United States vs White Men
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
drama, suspense, mystery, crime
Princess A. Hairston
The year is 2050 and the dynamics of power have changed hands. White Men are being interrogated for humanitarian crimes across the US. United States vs White Men showcases the new world order of adapting to various cultures and all races through interrogation. In order to change society, white men are now on trial and are forced to deal with their inability to respect all cultures.

Max Philisaire
A bi-racial black woman struggles with her journey to self discovery while trying to live up to her father’s expectation.

A Craftsman
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Sanford Jenkins Jr.
Overcome with grief, a rural woodworker builds a coffin.

My Brother Wes
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Tom Suzuki
Wes (10), has always looked up to his older brother Dre (13) and has always wanted to be included in his older brother’s group of friends. As a playful prank to try and deter his younger brother from bad influences, Dre tries to coerce Wes into stealing some sodas and snacks at the local bodega, not unlike a scene in one of their video games, thinking that Wes will be too scared to accept. Without fully understanding the possible consequences, Dre ups the ante by convincing Wes to use a toy gun to hold up the store owner. Wes, not wanting to look like a little kid, doesn’t give in and soon both boys find themselves at the bodega. They enter the store as their nerves start to get unhinged. When things turn terribly wrong.

Justin Spray
Tabu, a school girl in rural Tanzania, is desperate to go to school to improve her chances in life but the risks she takes to get here, threaten the very thing she cherishes the most: her education. This narrative fiction was created from the testimony of young women and made by first-time filmmakers in the community of Lindi, Southern Tanzania in collaboration with filmmaker, Justin Spray and the NGO, VSO.

The Reckoning
Christopher Malcolm Reese
In order to save his own life, a gangbanger being held hostage must appeal to the empathy of his kidnapper.

Comedy, Drama Paul Rivet
Andre Willis wants nothing more than to be taken seriously as an actor. There’s just one thing. He’s black and that’s all that the casting directors see. Sick and tired of stereotypical roles and typecasting in Hollywood, Andre decides to audition for a television remake of “Glengarry Glen Ross” in whiteface. After landing the role, the show becomes a sensation. But for Andre, the fame comes with a price. He feels that he is sacrificing his racial identity for a successful career. After witnessing a young fan mimic him, he can no longer mask the guilt and shame he feels. He walks away from the fame and fortune with the hopes of producing his own content.

Birth of Afrobeat
Music, Documentary
Opiyo Okeyo
African music pioneer, Fela Kuti once said, ‘Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”. In this hybrid live-action/animated short, filmmaker Opiyo Okeyo documents drum legend Tony Allen as he recounts his contribution to the birth of Africa’s most exported music genre–Afrobeat.

Wax Print: 1 Fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History
Aiwan Obinyan
In African homes across the world a benign textile lies unassuming and taken for granted. With a multitude of names from ‘Dutch Wax’ to ‘Liputa’ and ‘Kitenge’ to ‘Ankara’ this textile has become an important part of African cultures across the diaspora. A symbol of strength and identity in the face of oppression. Surprised to learn from her Nigerian grandmother that ‘traditional’ African wax printed fabrics were a colonial invention made in the UK and Holland, British-born filmmaker and fashion designer, Aiwan Obinyan, sets out on a journey across four continents to trace the two-hundred year history of this iconic textile that has come to visually represent Africa and Africans. The Industrial Revolution. Cotton is king. Mills across Europe spin and weave cotton sourced from North America. Colonialism leads to the discovery of batik in Indonesia. Dutch and English traders copy the designs and industrial innovators mechanise the process leading to the creation of Wax Prints. In the scramble for Africa, Wax prints are brought on merchant ships and sold by missionary trading companies in the bustling markets and village squares of West Africa. Local women are economically and politically empowered by this new import. Business is booming for all. But at what cost? The late 20th century sees the influx of Chinese counterfeiters flooding the market with cheap copies (?), business declines and one by one the big Wax Print companies close their doors. From this decline emerges a new cottage industry, where designers reclaim the means of production in their homes, studios and local communities. But when all is said and done, is Wax Print African? And who gets to decide?

Aimiende Negbenebor Sela
In this surreal drama about self-acceptance, an aspirational sunny California blond wakes up from a coma in Uganda; and no, nothing is as it seems.

I Will Not Forget You
Romance, family, drama, holidays
Laila Petrone Peynado
Still struggling with loss, a caring father and his daughter are inspired by the Christmas spirit to connect with their Puerto Rican roots by reaching out to victims of the hurricane.

Charles Anderson
In the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, we are not informed of Sarah’s reaction to the news that Abraham will sacrifice Isaac to Elohim. Sarah takes place the morning Abraham makes his announcement.

A Gift for My Sister
Angela Gordon
A chance encounter in a hospital ER between two single mothers, from two different walks of life change their lives forever

The Last Taboo
Emily M. Blake
An ode to Toni Morrison’s, “The Bluest Eye,” and based on a true story. The Last Taboo explores the themes of colorism and unrequited love through seventeen year old Jonathan, who goes mad after suffering intolerable rejection, humiliation, and pain.

The Talk
Emily M. Blake
For African Americans, The Talk, is about more than just the birds and the bees. On his way to a big date, seventeen year old J.J. has a talk with his dad, but Dad couldn’t prepare him for this.

Darren Mallett
It’s a time of mounting tension when tenacious and free-spirited political activist, Carrie Cook returns home to Baltimore to protest the acquittal of police in a public and brutal killing of a Black man. An invitation to a party from a childhood friend brings Carrie’s personal life into collision with her politics as an intimate betrayal tests her deepest values and complicates her quest for justice.

Dara – The first time when I went to sky
Renato Candido
Dara is a 10-year-old black girl from the rural area of Bahia/Brazil in the 1960s. On the eve of moving to São Paulo, Dara wants to set up a swing in a cashew tree where she lives with her grandparents and her little brother. Her parents are already in São Paulo, it’s time for the girl to leave.

Rondo: Beyond the Pavement
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Historical, African American, Cultural Studies, Story Telling, Community
Bianca Rhodes
A film made by students at High School for Recording Arts in Saint Paul, MN, in partnership with Saint Paul Almanac and SPNN. In the 1920s, Rondo, Saint Paul’s largest African American neighborhood, was flourishing. With music, theatre, African American newspapers, and businesses booming, the community was thriving—until September of 1956, when construction of Interstate 94 tore through the Rondo community. Rondo homeowners resisted the construction, and protests began. Residents were forcefully removed from their homes. Thousands of Rondo homeowners were displaced. Homes and successful businesses were demolished, and a community was torn apart. The construction of 94 shattered homes, businesses, and families. It did not shatter Rondo’s spirit. These are the stories of “RONDO: Beyond the Pavement.”

“Belonging in the USA: The Story of Michael D. McCarty”
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Arielle Nobile 00:58:41
The Story of Michael D. McCarty” shares the journey of a man who even in the face of great obstacles spreads joy wherever he goes.  Follow Michael as he evolves from aspiring scientist to Black Panther Party member, from FBI target to soldier, from drug addict to health nut. The twists and turns of Michael’s life will fill you with hope, laughter and a living example of resilience. Blending interviews with stop motion animation and archival footage, Michael’s story reminds us how we grow through the challenges life throws our way.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Ajani Amiri Thomas
A man struggles to remember the sound of his mother’s voice when his dreams force him to confront the past.

Every Nine Hours
Adam Margolis, Jim St. Germain
A modern-day exploration of skin color and gender and how they affect one’s ability to participate in relationships and society.

Jamaal: Through The Lens
A young man from the South Bronx discovers photography as his way to escape his past history of abuse and neglect.

S.T.E.A.M CITY with Dr. T
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
educational, news, journalism, science, tech, engineering, arts, math, silicon valley, scientist, scifi, cosplay, experiments
Brian G Watson
Dr. T is on a mission to make S.T.E.A.M more accessible to urban and rural communities.

On Mother’s Day
Ellie Wen
An intimate look at how mass incarceration impacts a mother on Mother’s Day.

A Knight’s Tour
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Post-apocalypse, chamber
Marvin Choi
It is a post-apocalyptic world where nature has unapologetically moved on from the memory of human civilization. A young man, J.D., flees through the mountains bleeding from his arm. He stumbles upon a cabin in a clearing, and when he attempts to break in for shelter, he is captured by a man named Henry, a detached hermit who has been surviving by himself in the mountains for twelve years. Henry attempts to befriend J.D. out of loneliness, but J.D.’s checkered past as well as possible invaders from the outside world force their relationship to a head.

Simone – Stories in Train Transfer Station
Renato Candido de Lima
The short film “Simone – Stories in Transfer Station” brings a daily break of the Simone character. She make a date with her boyfriend at CPTM’s Júlio Prestes station and waits for him for long and harrowing hours. In this anguish we enter Simone’s imagination. In this, André and other males figures appear as Stereotypes in the history, memory and actuality of Simone. Traversing imagination and the reality of waiting, Simone exorcises her anguish and finds herself in dignity as a Black Woman.

Pride Is Costly
Shauntay Cherry
An urban drama about a young man with dreams of success finds himself grappling with choices and consequences when moving back to the hood poses a threat to his future.

Marissa High
Abby & Chris are pushed together romantically by their friends, but neither have dated within their race before. They confront their vulnerabilities and explore their relationship experiences.

Emails to My Little Sister
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Solomon Mekonen
Not another-film-about-refugees or “the misery” of Africans for there is never a single story. Emails to My Little Sister is an anthropologically intended film created as part of an MA thesis project concerning the phenomenology of Blackness in Berlin. The film, however, takes place in Ethiopia where becoming Black is reflected back on in siblings’ email conversations.

Sanelle Sibanda
Priscilla Smith’s sanity is tested when she is separated from her beloved husband Adolph who is called for military service in Afghanistan. Left to raise their only child Sophia alone, Priscilla struggles with self-esteem issues and hopelessly uses prescription drugs to help her cope with the emptiness she feels in a community that has lost its men to war and prisons.

Halimat (I’m a woman)
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Okusanya Bayonle Samson
A young girl faces the struggles of accomplishing her goals of becoming a doctor and breaking away from the shackles of sex slavery from her mother

Familiar Faces/Unexpected Places: A Global African Diaspora
Sheila S Walker
Tens of millions of Africans were scattered throughout the world during the centuries of the notorious process of enslavement. The African Diasporan communities that resulted used knowledge and skills brought from Africa to contribute to the building of new societies. Torn from the world they knew, Africans and their descendants forged new identities and created new cultural forms that have enriched global civilization. They preserved ancestral worldviews to which they they adapted the cultures of others to create dynamic new fusions. This 30min documentary shares African technologies that developed the Americas, visits unsuspected African Diasporan societies in the Americas and beyond, and reveals cultural commonalities uniting African Diasporan communities in distant lands.

Kitwana’s Journey
Ng’endo Mukii
This is the story of a boy named Kitwana, A boy who laughed and played, and went to school, and did all the things that children do. One day Kitwana’s life would change and not for the better, This however, nobody knew.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Donta Storey, Dontai Storey

Director Bio
Donta Storey grew up in Compton, California and grew up flexing his creative muscles in drama, marching band, debate, and dance. Donta studied acting and filmmaking at California State University, Los Angeles and various acting studios in Hollywood. Donta considers themselves a storyteller and creative director who focuses on telling stories that start conversations that add to the narrative. Through storytelling, they believe you can change the world.
Film Synopsis
Set in the urban jungle of Compton, CA in the early ’00s, LiME tells the story of Deshawn, a young man who discovers how hard it is to walk and live in your truth after he experiences the bitterness of the real world.Lime pays Homage to the beauty of the city while juggling the sound of the drums, the sway in the walk and the world of Drill.

Knock Out Blessing
Black Comedy
Dare Olaitan
Knock Out Blessing a feminist film, wherein a young, small female boxer named Blessing teams up with a gang of prostitutes to take down a corrupt president.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Kia Moses, Adrian McDonald
From Jamaica, the little island of big dreams, an inner city youth KEMAR has the biggest dream of all – to fly to the moon. At its core, this is a story that explores dreams bigger than us, what fuels them, what stands in the way of them, their ability to transport us and those around us, if they take FLIGHT.

Swipe Club
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Curtis Wyatt
When Dustin and Jett find out their lifelong dreams are no longer a reality they decide to team up and assemble a crew to take their money back from the University

Murder in Mobile
Adam Fischer
In 1948, in Mobile, Alabama, a black man named Rayfield Davis was beaten to death by a white man who was not prosecuted. The crime was forgotten until 2012 when a Northeastern law student was assigned to investigate – culminating in a shocking conclusion. Murder in Mobile is a film about race, murder, and one family’s search for the truth 70 years later.

Carl Reid
A man’s Uber refuses to pick him up because of his race. The incident sparks an intense conversation between two friends that proves more eye-opening than the initial event itself.

Quiet and Clear
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Andre Rangiah
When Aurelian blocks her on Facebook after taking her virginity, 13 year-old Peezoo senses life in Franklin, Louisiana, where the water is still, is coming to a halt. As her father’s grip tightens and his glare ensnares, Peezoo feels an even greater force drawing nearer. To reclaim control over her body, Peezoo enters an arm wrestling match with small-town patriarchy. From the sidelines, her father’s world splits in two.

Teddy Pendergrass – If You Don’t Know Me
Olivia Lichtenstein
The inspiring story of Teddy Pendergrass, who was poised to be the greatest soul singer of all time. His was the immortal voice of Don’t Leave Me This Way, The Love I Lost and Close the Door. He was also the first black male artist to have five consecutive platinum albums in the US, before a devastating accident changed his life forever. Featuring interviews with his family, friends and colleagues including Philadelphia soul legends Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, rare archive footage and a superb soundtrack, this revealing and poignant documentary charts the life of Teddy Pendergrass. His rise to fame within the complexities of 1960s America, his tragic fall and his triumphant comeback.

Sanelle Sibanda
Emma Manningham’s patience is tested to the limit when a prominent film producer Zach fails to fulfill his promise. Left with no choice she is forced to find comfort in a local bar where weirdos hang out while Zach struggles to find her.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Jamaal Bradley
Based on True Events; Jason, the oldest of two boys loves his home but battles with wanting to change the deteriorating community and the desire to leave it behind. Tension turns to anger as Jason and his brother John battle over the decision to embrace the drug culture while simultaneously endangering John’s daughter. Her symbolic gesture will change the future of the family and change her father’s SUBSTANCE.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Drama, Comedy, women, LGBTQ
Searit Huluf
An amateur female gamer is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to try out for a pro league gaming team, only to be repressed by self-doubt.

Code Switch
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Drama, Experimental, student, short
Alba Roland Mejia
This film is about a young black man named Amir who is directly impacted by code switching. Amir is so determined to meet these unrealistic standards that he doesn’t even recognize the harm he is causing to himself. ‘Code Switch’ is about illustrating the psychological damage of hiding who you are.

Daniel Etim Effiong
Skin is a feature documentary about exploring through identity the meaning of beauty in all the different shades of black. It is set in present day Lagos, where Nollywood actress Beverly Naya goes on a journey to learn about contrasting perceptions of beauty. She speaks to school children, traders, artists, beauty entrepreneurs and sex workers. This narrative is interwoven by poignant personal accounts of individuals who have dealt with the pressure to conform to certain standards of beauty, revealing how colourism continues to shape the face of the entertainment industry in Africa. Beverly concludes her journey with a trip to her hometown exploring her rich cultural heritage with her mother and grandmother. Between them, we have three generations of beautiful black women who through sheer hard work and self-love have built useful businesses, laying a solid legacy for her and many like her to build upon.

Victor Okoye
A young man’s attempt to rob a local grocery store, results in the birth of an unusual friendship.

Thriller, Horror, Drama, Crime
Steven DeGennaro
A traffic stop turns sinister when two black men encounter a small-town cop on a power trip.

The Fisherman
Zoey Martinson
An aging fisherman goes out to sea one day and returns with a talking fish. Set in Ghana West Africa, this quirky comedy explores our need to stay relevant against the backdrop of a developing nation.

Demarcus Brown
A young woman tries to save her relationship by prostituting herself to save her relationship.

Me Time
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Iyabo Boyd
After a long work week, Deborah is exhausted and needs to relax. One part of her psyche, Sexy Deb, appears and tries to bully her into going out to a bar for a hook-up. Soulful Deb also shows up- she lights some incense and tries to guide her into some self care stroking. Then Scaredy Deb pops in and whines that she just wants to eat oatmeal and watch Gilmore Girls. When they finally rally together to get-it-on solo, Scaredy Deb questions aloud if they’ve ever truly had an orgasm, undermining each aspect of the Debs and threatening to derail their whole plan. Through laughter and introspection, ME TIME explores women’s sexuality, self care, and highlights the richness of our inner lives.

Robert Rippberger
Kalani (Joi Campbell), is a teenager living in Harlem with her older brother Jacob, and her younger sister, Bebe, while her mother struggles to make ends meet. Her college counselor Mr. Rose (Danny Glover) sees great promise in her educational future. As Kalani’s siblings get caught in a myriad of hardships, Kalani teeters on the brink of ruin as she struggles to keep both her family and her dream intact. Strive reminds us that hard work, optimism, and perseverance, in the face of overwhelming adversity, is the essence of what it is to be American.

My Mistake
Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Psychological
Antjuan Ward
While being overcome with mixed emotion, Jason sits us down to explain his story. Each part of his story is broken down as he tries to piece together what he is missing. Jason shows us how blind love can really be while the sense of guilt overcome his partner until the potentially fatal end.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Nani Sahra Walker, Grace Oyenubi
Forced is a feature documentary film on three women forced to flee their homes when the dreaded militant group Boko Haram invaded their village in Gwoza, Borno State in northeast Nigeria, and their stories of reconstruction. The women – Ruth, Esther and Saratu – symbolize thousands of girls and women who were abducted, raped and displaced during the decade-long insurgency.

Michael “Lyfelong” Foster
“#aSocialLoveAffair”, is the tale of two torrid love affairs on a crash course with each other. Leo Michaels, owner of a Social Media Marketing firm, has his engagement to fiancee Andrea challenged by an old flame that resurfaces after a three year hiatus. Is their relationship built to withstand the pressures of social media? Who should Leo end up with is the question you’ll be stuck on.

The Big WTF
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Cassie Beasley
After meeting online, a couple discovers that dating comes with several unexpected surprises and casualties at every turn.

Disparity: A Tale of 2 Pushaz
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Justin Givens
Meet Charlie, he’s white and was just arrested for selling powder cocaine. Meet Syd, he’s black and was just arrested for selling crack cocaine, Despite being caught with the same drug, the differences in their treatment will highlight how race and class influences your fate navigating the broken U.S justice system.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Moussa Djigo
Oscar has just arrived in Montreal with his son Jose en route to a small city in Quebec to introduce the boy to his mother. They miss their bus and are stranded for the night in this unfamiliar city. Later, when Jose is fast asleep, restless Oscar decides to get some air. This is where he meets Diane, looking for her lost dog. They walk side by side through the night streets of Montreal. But are they really looking for a dog? Where will the twists and turns of their stroll lead them? Does Diane’s husband Vincent, set out on a search for his wife, have reasons to worry? After wandering all night like tortured souls, and meeting a bunch of special characters, among whom the homeless Barack Obama himself, these three scoundrels find themselves together at the bus station in the wee hours of the morning along with dumbfounded Jose. With the help of the cold light of the rising day, all accounts can finally be settled.

Building Blocks
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Arthur Gallery
An Oakland born filmmaker named Diggy develops conflicting emotions for an ethereal poet named Faith. After a ground-breaking night of screening his short film, he’s approached by a distributor who promises to make all his dreams come true. Amidst one-sided advice, he decides to end things with Faith in order to move to LA and pursue his seemingly picture-perfect dreams.

Night Diner
Khaled Ridgeway
A twenty-something African-American foodie (DEVIN), currently on vacation, uses a Yelp-like app to locate a 5-star reviewed local diner. After narrowly beating their closing time, Devin finds himself the lone customer to a too-eager-to-please Chef (PAUL) and waitress (RITA), both Caucasian. His dining experience soon goes from awkward to bizarre to downright scary, ultimately leaving Devin to contemplate whether he should challenge their coveted 5-star rating.

Unalienable Rights
Froilan Cuesta
During the mid 70’s and 80’s there existed a stench of racial inequality in the city of “Brotherly Love”. In Philadelphia there was a small, vibrant liberating organization that helped forge communal-ism and voiced the continued struggle for civil rights. The MOVE organization led by John Africa, a philosophical, magnetic and mesmerizing man was able to lead a group of Philadelphians in unison with hopes to achieve the ultimate humanistic utopia of connecting as one with nature and ridding the land of racism and police brutality; especially since “All men are created equal.”  Also during this time period author, revolutionary, radio personality and political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal who was a MOVE supporter and a Black Panther, covered many of their trials throughout his journalism career and even asked John Africa to represent him during his own trial for allegedly killing a Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop involving Mumia’s brother, William Cook.  Unalienable Rights is a four part docudrama that merges the struggles of two men: John Africa and Mumia Abu-Jamal against the racially divided, “in-justicetized” city of Philadelphia where the Italian Mafia, corrupt city government and Black Muslim Mob ran amok with devilish intentions in a major cover up.  This is a condensed version of part 1 of 4, stay tune!

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Gabriella Blumberg
The untold stories of the indentured Indian community who sailed across the seas from India to Africa. A short film documentary about a modern generation reflecting on their past history and how it shapes their future.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Princess Garrett
This documentary is about the loss of identity and its systemic impact on black males. By exploring the complexities of mental slavery, Sankofa calls it’s audience to free themselves from the system in which they were born.

Charles Murray
A disgraced journalist has to deal with his cousin’s suicide after she’s been shamed in social media.

Let This Be Therapy
Justin Leyba, Dougan Khim
Chicago artist Brandon Breaux, best known for his series of Chance the Rapper album covers, chronicles his mission to change the negative perception of South Side Chicago through his art, as the deadline for his first exhibition in Singapore looms.

Diego Aldabaldetrecu
Two persons going through the emotions that come with the loss of love and how they ultimately make peace with that reality.

First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Kyle Solomon
A missed call. A tired heart. Another earth-shattering day of being Black in America. “THE VOICEMAIL” explores the everyday traumas experienced by Black people in America, told from the perspective of a son who takes heed of his mother’s warning. Part of a film scoring series by writer, director, and composer Kyle Solomon.

The Lockdown Club
Valerie Udeozor
Six students are stuck in a classroom with their teacher while their school is on lockdown.

Song For Our People
Music, African-American, Art Mustapha Khan
Song For Our People tells the inspiring story of a group of socially-committed professional musical artists who come together one day to create a powerful new anthem to honor their African American ancestors, and to inspire the on-going fight for social justice in America. Featuring renowned New York studio musicians, singers, a rapper and a tap dancer, the film is a celebration and testament to the power of collective action to create both art and social change. Song For Our People… because the revolution will need a soundtrack.

We Do What We Can
First Time Filmmaker: Yes
Director: Kwaku Awuku-Asabre
We Do What We Can is a film that looks at one of the miracles in the journey of diaspora Africans. It follows two twenty-something newlywed immigrants who have a child when they don’t have much of a place to live. The film follows the couple as they reflect on their ambitions, while striving to make a way – both for themselves and for their offspring – to be all that they see themselves to be.

Guitar Man
Director: Rocky Capella
1 hr 40 min 18 sec
Lifelong Musician Buzzy Martin began teaching at-risk kids about music to help them through the trial of their daily lives. Through this experience he was given the opportunity to teach a music class inside San Quentin State Prison. Intimidated at first by the brutal surroundings, he soon found a common language between him and the inmates: music. He returned to his younger students with stories about the reality of prison life, desperate to teach them that prison was not a streetwise “badge of honor.” The dangerous paths down which they were headed could be replaced by real dreams, hope and the redemptive muscle of liberating jailhouse rock. , the way they discover the true gift of music…and the deeper meaning of freedom.

Director: Starling Thomas
20 min
Max is a ruthless organ hustler making millions from human trafficking. He is approached by Scott Winesfield, a billionaire tech company CEO whose wife is in desperate need of a liver transplant. Everything runs accordingly until the family of Kamal Wright, a young teenager they killed for his organs, exhumes the body and begins asking questions that opens an investigation into the business of organ dealing in America.

Director: Amit Bhalla
20 min 45 sec
Los Angeles, 1969. Authorities have laid siege upon the Black Panther Party and killed General Othello’s most trusted lieutenant. The painful loss pushes the valiant leader to broker a truce with the police and direct his troops to serve their community. In aid of this peace, Othello appoints Cassio his new second-in-command, passing over Iago, and leaving himself vulnerable to a secret campaign to reignite the violence. Boiling with jealousy and power-hungry narcissism, Iago sets in motion a devilish plan to undo Othello, Cassio and Othello’s secret wife, Desdemona.

The Robeson Effect
Director: Juney Smith
1 hr 40 min
The extraordinary journey of Actor Danny Glover and his lifelong friendship with fellow Actor Ben Guillory that examines their early life,discovery of acting, their shared admiration of Paul Robeson and the creation of The Robey Theatre Company

Rinse Cycle
Director: Diante SIngley
9 min 49 sec
A man recalls an important lesson from his mother about identity and blackness as he washes his clothes in a frightening laundromat

The Unforgiving Minute
Director: Nelson Glen
(aka: Dr. Robert Nelson)
9 min 6 sec
A teenage boy, who struggles with golf and is disgusted by his girlfriend’s betrayal, gets more than he bargained for when he seeks his ailing grandad’s advice.

5th of July
Director: Monty Fisher
1 hr 40 min
Orlando Leal, a young black French professor, travels to the mountains on the 4th of July to complete his dying fathers last wish, to spread his ashes on the surface of Mosquito Lake. Orlando reluctantly complies, but when he curses his father at the lake, the universe turns on him. First he gets robbed of his wallet and keys by thieves named Dakota and Cowboy, then he gets drugged by some Burning Man neo hippies. On the 5th, he escapes farm work slavery by stealing the farm bosses motorcycle, which he drives home to find that those thieves have stolen everything out of his house. Meanwhile. Karen, the greatest new love of his life, is flying in tonight from Washinton D.C. and if he isn’t there to meet her, he’s going to lose her too. Can Orlando recover his life, undo his curse and return the stolen motorcycle in time to reunite with Karen?

Little Cousin
Director: Robert Everett Williams Jr.
11 min 20 sec
Isaac, a young boy obsessed with superheroes and adventure, learns the important consequences and responsibility of being a role model.

The United States of Paranoia or: How I Stayed on the Line to Repair My Air Conditioner
Director: Rashan Castro
15 min 5 sec
A middle-aged black man struggles to raise his impressionable son, care for his cantankerous father, and deal with constant, racially charged hallucinations, all while desperately trying to repair his air conditioner on the hottest day on record.

The Rolex
Director: Kingslee Purcell
14 min 30 sec
A female photographer stalks a man searching for his missing Rolex.

Blind Sight
Director: Corbin Reid
19 min 29 sec
A woman forced into a hurricane shelter must face different perspectives on an event she’s been avoiding from the people she’s been avoiding

Nineteen Summers
Director: Rod Scott
1 hr 58 min 53 sec
Born in the generational Los Angeles street culture a 19-year-old father seeks a better life in the midst of a turf war.

The Night to Remember on 21st Street
Director: Aaron Doughert
1 hr 2 min 27 sec
The tale of two detectives trying to solve a murder case, following the night of a local party. They have seven witnesses from the party, which plead to tell their side of the story. Each witness has a story to tell, but which story is true?

The Other
Director: Brittani Noel
9 min 10 sec
Inspired by real-life events, ‘The Other’ explores the struggle of being in-between races. Multiracial Mia discovers that society has a need to put each of us in an ethnic box. And not all boxes are equal. That’s when things get twisted, really fast. Fearing rejection, Mia gets herself tangled up in a web of lies. Are her fears valid? Or is she paranoid? If she comes clean to her fiancé, will he accept her? And most importantly, can Mia learn to accept herself

Director: Pascal Giacomini
Out of Chaos, An Artist’s Journey in Haiti is a multimedia project by artist Pascal Giacomini. It includes a 60-minute documentary film (French and English versions available); and an exhibition of sculpture and photography, with accompanying 90-page catalog.

Black Privilege
1hr 19min
Director: Mark Harris
A group of middle-class black people fight to keep their neighborhood economically strong even when the city moves people from the projects into their thriving community.

100 minutes
Director: Justin Foia
Tatyana Ali (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
Mira Srvino (MIGHTY APHRODITE) … Faithe Herman (“This Is Us”)
A man wakes up with no memory of his past but the remarkable ability to fluently speak dozens of languages. After finding a clue about his former self, he must race against time to discover his true identity.

A Place at the Table
by Kathy Cotton
Documentary film about the African American Pioneers
of Silicon Valley

Director: Darren Curtis
1h 35min
Boost is a thrilling look at the lives of two teenage best friends from Montreal who become entangled with the mob after a car they stole is involved in a fatal accident. Hakeem is the teenage son of east African immigrant parents living in Montreal’s tough Parc-Ex neighbourhood. Along with his best friend ‘A-Mac’, they work after school at Hakeem’s uncle’s car wash ’spotting’ luxury sports cars for a local crime syndicate to make extra money. A-Mac eventually persuades Hakeem to boost a car on their own leading to dire consequences and forcing Hakeem to make a life altering decision and define the type of man he will become.


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