2014 Black History Film Festival
The following list of films were submitted for consideration. Thirteen short films with "*" will be shown.
* A Different Tree
A short film about an eight-year-old year girl’s journey to build a relationship with her absent father, through a class assigned family tree.
* A Higher Power
A father mourning the death of his child commits a unthinkable crime causing his world to collide with two other individuals in crisis. This award winning short film was Written & Directed by Jacolby Percy.
A Lovely Day
In 2009 independent filmmaker Kerri Gawryn teamed up with Beats, Rhymes and Life and the Oakland High School Fifth Element Hip Hop Club to produce a feature-length film documenting the trials, tribulations, and achievements of a group of Oakland youth. The young rappers embark on a six-month journey to find their voice, their talent, and their path to healing within Hip Hop culture. The result is A LOVELY DAY, which chronicles the lives of the nine youth as they set out to make music that communicates their experiences of adversity and hope for change as they build a stronger community.
An American In Hollywood
A young and talented filmmaker from New York sets off to Los Angeles and discovers that the Hollywood dream is not all that it seems.
The lead-in short film for Koo’s forthcoming narrative feature MANCHILD, which follows a 13 year-old athlete through the competitive world of youth basketball. Koo’s script for MANCHILD was awarded a Tribeca All Access grant by the Tribeca Film Institute; it was selected for IFP’s Emerging narrative program; and it was selected for IFP and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s first inaugural Emerging Visions program.
On July 31, 2010, in Brooklyn, New York, the first ever American Beatbox Championship took place. Beatboxers and beatbox fans from all over the world converged at Littlefield, Performance and Art Space, to witness and participate in this historical event. Contestants of all races and from the all across the United States competed. Now it’s down to the eight finalists! This documentary honors the evolution of the most neglected genres of Hip Hop culture, juxtaposed against the final day of competition to crown the first American beatboxing champion!
Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister's wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right. Using her airline connections to "accidentally" meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.
Iraq, 2009. Little Hamoudi is totally obsessed with football. Just as the rest of the world, he and his friends are eagerly looking forward to the Champions League finale FC Barcelona-Manchester United. The long awaited clash between Messi and Ronaldo. But then Hamoudi’s television breaks down.
Black Swan Theory
A psychiatric casualty of war recently returned to the US, Sonya’s imagined sense of normalcy crumbles around her; she must hunt or become the hunted.
An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.
Somewhere in the world every 90 seconds a mother dies. Inspired by the true story of Angela Burgin Logan (Jazsmin Lewis) first published on www.ladiesliveandlearn.comthe film "Breathe" showcases how a mothers dream can turn into a nightmare. Set against the breath taking backdrop of Niagara Falls and Western New York, the beauty falls in love with Samson Logan (Samson Logan). She's a successful marketing executive and he is a recording artist on the rise. The two seem to have it all. When they decide to marry and become one their idyllic life begins to shatter shortly after they receive news that they are expecting. Angela gets a sense of foreboding; she feels ill and unknowingly begins to get stalked by a silent killer. Although mysterious and unusual signs are present with her doctor telling her it's in her head, her fears and cries for help are diminished. Angela always wanted the fairytale; the job, the husband and the kids. But with a killer lurking will she have her happy ending? Also starring Clyde Jones, Angelea Preston and Ken Kushner. Presented by Nia Enterprises, Produced by Samson Logan, Angela Burgin Logan and Directed by J Jesses Smith. Original Story by Angela Burgin Logan. Screenplay by Jeanette Branch.
For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, “brotherhood” is literal: they’re all sons of anti-establishment jazz legend, Phil Cohran. Cohran and their mothers raised them together on Chicago’s South side on a strict diet of jazz, funk and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM. Now grown, as they raise eight brass horns to the sky— while playing in the streets of New York City, collaborating with Mos Def, or wowing a jazz festival— they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether his principles really are their own. "Brothers Hypnotic" is a coming of age story, for eight brothers, and for an ideal.
12-year-old Josh is a mixed race boy and a promising baseball player. He is abused by his mother's boyfriend Byrd, and neglected by his mother Debbie. He manages to forge his own path in life when his estranged grandfather Solomon insists he study for his Bar Mitzvah.
During a routine stop, a cop comes across a dangerous criminal.
Children Of The Wind
Children of the Wind tells the story of the Bonaire windsurfers, a group of native Caribbean kids, who under the mentorship of the remarkable Elvis Martinus, overcame insuperable odds to not only dominate an inherently elitist sport but to revolutionize it. The film focuses on brothers Tonky and Taty Frans and their cousin Kiri who come from a poor fishing family and began windsurfing before the age of ten, using whatever broken or discarded equipment they could scrounge, and who are now, twenty years later, global superstars. Winner of 7 festival awards.
* Close Your Eyes
Thirteen-year-old Imani Cortes is a gifted photographer longing to experience her first kiss. She has a crush on a quiet artist, Junito, with whom she has a natural connection, but she also faces an enormous challenge: she is slowly losing her sight to retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye disease. Will Imani let her disease stop her or be the path to independence?
One of college basketball’s most prolific coaches, hall-of-famer C. Vivian Stringer became more well known to the non-sports world when the words “nappy headed hoes” were used to describe the young women she was then leading to the 2007 national championship game. A mother whose career has long been mixed with personal tragedy, Stringer’s handling of the incident is a perfect example of grace under fire.
* Colored My Mind
BossLifeOnline brings you into the world of Autism...this condition is sweeping the nation.
Autism effects 1 in every 100 children.
Autism effects 1 in every 54 boys.
40% of autistic children do not talk at all.
25% - 30% of autistic children have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them.
The lifetime cost for an individual with autism is estimated to be $3.2 million.
Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to increase dramatically in the next decade.
In 18th century Holy Roman Empire, a series of events will turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary experience for a woman whose life will never be the same.
* El Doctor
A drama about an undocumented day laborer in Arizona, the family that hires him, and the storm of fear that unleashes.
Mónica has made it clear that she wants to be just friends. Feeling sad, Danny starts working with his friend Andrés in their workshop on a new invention. A big challenge for 12 year old boys: to solve the magic of photography and the mysteries of women. On a golden afternoon in 1976 they discover the power of friendship and love. It all starts with a magnifying glass, a small flashlight and a broken heart.
Finding The Funk
Conducts a passionate archeology of funk music—the crucial bridge between ’60s soul and ’80s hip hop—replete with loving testimonials about Dayton, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, in their funk heydays, where in the basements of now-mythical music makers like Sly Stone and P-Funk, the funk explosion was catalyzed. With The Roots member Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as our guide, and warm regaling from notable musicians such as Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Sheila E. and Mike D of the Beastie Boys, we’re transported to the hippie-ish ’70s when a mad fever of savvy creativity saw the transmutation of jazz, soul and R&B into infectiously danceable funk.
On the first day of his Probation sentence, Will gets a desperate call for help from a friend in crisis. Met with suspicion by his friends, and driven ultimately towards a confrontation with a young teenage mother, Will is forced to weigh his own needs and security with the compassion he has for others.
* Fly On Out
Follow 11 year old Dayvon after he rescues a caged pigeon from two older boys on a Brooklyn rooftop. Being pursued by the boys, Dayvon must dodge and weave his way through the vibrant and diverse streets of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, passing by true to life neighborhood characters, all in an attempt for free the bird. The film was shot using visually stunning high speed cinematography and cinematic camera movement.
* Free Lunch
A dramedy about a hard lucked military vet, Strick, who has decided who has decided to break into a house to obtain food that he feels his time served abroad has earned. Sophie arrives home from a day at work and finds Strick, a complete stranger has invaded her home. Though unfamiliar, their interaction quickly reveals two people who needed to crash into each other.
A young pizza delivery boy, Anthoni, faces a life-changing crisis when his curiosity pulls him away from his delivery order into an adjacent apartment's open door. He cannot resist the temptation when he stumbles across a large sum of money in the aftermath of what seems to be a drug deal gone bad. After taking the money his life is thrown into turmoil as everyone he knows and cares about is put in jeopardy. Anthoni's focus turns to revenge when a close friend is killed for his actions. Anthoni goes on his comically charged journey for vengeance as outlandish characters banter throughout in this musically infused, urban set comedy-action-drama. Anthoni is focused on avenging the death of his close friend even if it means going up against the neighborhood's most notorious thug, Lomatic.
Grace follows a dozen interconnected lives in the emotion-filled hours after nuclear war breaks out. Grace follows Rodney as he takes what he wants, and Sam deals with the consequences. Her mother, Paula, struggles to be there for her, while Charles and Vanessa spend the night bickering. April is too far from home. Jamal drives off a homeless man. Barry fights his way onto the streets. Bob misses his long-departed wife, and Jack and Danny just come up short.
Identical twins on opposite sides of the law. Bird is an undercover agent with a secret task force. Trane is a recently released convict who plays by a different set of rules. When Bird is brutally murdered, Trane assumes his brother’s identity in hopes of finding the killer, and gaining a second chance at life. Grappling with morality, fatherhood and love, Gun Hill asks this question: Can someone who is unredeemable become redeemed?
A searing drama in the vein of City of God, Home Again tells the story of three young people deported ‘home’ to Jamaica after being raised abroad since infancy. Once landed in Kingston and without a compass of any kind, each of the characters embarks on a journey that pushes their endurance beyond measure and forces them to discover who they truly are. On the most fundamental level, Home Again asks the question, “How would you survive?”
In Search Of the Black Knight
A relationship documentary that takes a humorous look at a topic on the tongues of professional black women everywhere…the shortage of eligible black men. There are many theories on why this problem exists: education, prison and the 'down low' to name a few. We follow director Tamarat Makonnen as he travels across the country in an attempt to find the truth behind this hot button topic. Combining professional advice, street interviews and sketch comedy; this funny and thought-provoking film will have you rethinking what you assumed about the opposite sex.
After a conversation with fellow trainers opens an old wound, Fitz is forced to confront his guilt over losing a fighter, Booby, 10 months earlier following a brutal bout. When Booby shows up in the gym, the two hash out what happened the night he died, who was to blame, and if there was any way to stop it. After an impromptu sparring session, Fitz is momentarily hurt. It is here, vulnerable and exposed, when Fitz realizes that the fighter he thought of as a son is at peace and it’s time for him to try and do the same.
Ivan is a reclusive narcoblogger anonymously documenting the drug war from the safety of his home in Juarez, Mexico. When basic necessity forces him into the outside world Ivan sets in motion a series of events that leads to a confrontation with an infamous member of the local drug cartel. Forced to make a choice between life and death – Ivan discovers a new way to fight back against the drug cartel’s reign of terror.
Anita, Tommy and Stacey, all they want is to go home. All they have to do is behave. But it's hard when there are so many triggers. Knockaround Kids follows the lives of three troubled kids caught between their dysfunctional families and the social welfare system.
La Hora Senalada
In a school playground, Figueroa, a small and lonely boy, is accidentally pushed against the biggest kid of his class: Almendros. The boys around them decide they should fight, so it’s decreed the two of them must face each other, outside the school when the noon bell rings. The ticking clock will become Figueroa’s worst enemy, while he has to face his fears and insecurities as well as the pressure of his peers, in order to confront his enemy just outside the school at high noon.
On the eve of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the British rulers of the Indian subcontinent prepare to depart the region amidst waves of ethnic violence. Arastu Jan, a troubled and isolated native servant to a British master, takes a dose of poison and finds himself with ten minutes to record the confession of his brief lifetime.
Set against the backdrop of New York City, LITTLE BALLERS tells the story of 4 diverse eleven-year old boys and their legendary coach as they set out to win an AAU National Championship. For these young men, basketball is more than a game. It is a deep passion that holds a special meaning for each of them: escaping poverty, getting an education, living the American dream and bonding with a father, but more than anything, basketball offers them hope.
Little Black Boy Wonder
Brought together several black male actors such as Aaron D Spears, Affion Crockett, Bill Duke, Brian Dobbins, David Oweloyo, Eriq LaSalle, Gary Dourdan, Isaiah Roberts, Jay Ellis, Marlon Wayans, Mo McRae, Omar Benson Miller, Omari Hardwick, Robbie Jones, Pastor Toure Roberts, Sugar Shane Mosely,Wesley Jonathan,and Wren Brown for a poem entitled “Little Black Boy Wonder.” Hardwick wrote and produced the video of the poem.
Based on true events, LU is a marine diagnosed with PTSD who searches for an innocent woman who was wounded during a firefight in Iraq to ask for her forgiveness.
Explores how this trend went from being championed by niche communities to the world's biggest pop stars, and its’ surprising impact on women entrepreneurship.
Follows the story of six bullets, and how each of them view society/the world from their own perspective. What the bullets really represent is society as a whole, and the pain that different attitudes can cause towards others. The bullets are played by six different people sitting inside the barrel of a revolver waiting to be expelled. Dressed as Special Forces ready to touch down in a hot zone, we get to go inside the inner workings and minds of our psyche through them.
Nameless is a short film starring Quinton Aaron who also EP and Brandon Fobbs, based on gun violence taken from the view points of the six revolver bullets of the gun. Each with the distinct personalities we see in society that can lead to the act of pulling a trigger with no regard for the outcome.
Ana, a young medical student, and Olga, her quietly resentful mother, struggle to come to terms with each other and see one another for who they truly are.
A Brooklyn photographer searching for inspiration has a chance encounter with a mysterious woman in Prospect Park. What starts as a simple acquaintance winds down a complicated path, that will leave him forever changed.
* Room 8
This is one of five different films from the same script. As part of Bombay Sapphire's Imagination Series, Oscar winner Geoffrey Fletcher wrote a script stripped of any stage direction and asked people to imagine their film.
* Rosita Lopez For President
A 14-year-old girl runs for President of the United States of America. As she tries to garner votes, she renews more than just a faith in democracy in the people she meets.
A beautiful story exploring the complex psychology of love, sex and race amongst four very different couples whose lives intertwine with one another through a series of unfortunate events.
Explore the power of the affirmative and the beauty that blossoms from embracing life. Inspired by the Fashion Fair lip color called Say Yes, award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay created this vision of what happens when you welcome the unexpected.
Sweet Honey Chile
A film about a young boy who is larger than life, but is trapped within the confines of an absurd, suffocating world weighed down by the trappings of poverty and a short-fused ailing mother. Honey is a kid entangled in his own imagination and fascination with embracing his own identity in the wake of his grandfather’s recent and untimely death. Honey seeks to honor his grandfather’s wishes with the help of a mystical neighborhood friend, Mr. Jolene and a spiritual adventure ensues.
A couple on the verge of breaking up suddenly find themselves in a life or death situation, exposing the depths of their love for each other.
The Grown Ups
Zadie and Tavio are recent college graduates. As community organizers in their Brooklyn neighborhood, they fight to make it through the ups and downs of everyday life. Frustrated by their troubles, Zadie decides to return to the comfort of her childhood home with her former Civil Rights activist parents. However, Zadie and Tavio begin to understand that life doesn't necessarily grow easier with age, and that there comes a time when you can no longer rely upon your elders to alleviate your struggles.
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
During a sweltering summer in New York City, 13-year-old Mister’s (Brooks) hard-living mother (Hudson) is apprehended by the police, leaving the boy and nine-year-old Pete (Dizon) alone to forage for food while dodging Child Protective Services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. Faced with more than any child can be expected to bear, the resourceful Mister nevertheless feels he is an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles. But what really keeps the pair in the survival game is much more Mister’s vulnerability than his larger-than-life attitude.
The Last Letters
The intriguing tale of Cathrine (Sharon Leal) and Michael Wright (Omari Hardwick) who are lovers in the purest sense, although Cathrine harbors a dark secret born of her ominous past. She suffers from a debilitating sleep disorder that blurs the line between her dream world and the real world. Michael, carrying the weight of the real world, is forced to find a way to reach his wife and help protect her from herself and their child.
The Magic City
The summer begins to look up when two sisters are placed in the care of their foster mother. “Aunt Georgia” gives the girls a place they can call home and feel safe. They make friends with Amiya who is staying next door with her Aunt Jennifer (Jenifer Lewis) and the girls begin having fun. When their beloved Aunt Georgia suddenly dies, leaving them alone they panic. Attempting to avoid being returned to the foster system, the girls plot to conceal the death. Using their street smarts to get money, the girls do whatever it takes survive on the harsh streets of Liberty City.
The New Black
A documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
The New Public
In fall 2006, former DJ, point-guard and teacher turned first-time principal, James O’Brien, opened a small public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where 1/3 of residents live below the poverty line and the graduation rate is 40%. With infectious optimism, O’Brien and his staff of eight undertook a new and unconventional approach––emphasizing strong individual support with an arts & media-based focus.
* The Painter
A boy, barely 12-years-old, lives in a world where violence surrounds him. His sole means of survival is to escape the outside world by creating art. He is alone - abandoned for as long as he can remember. He begins this day like every other: quietly sipping a cup of coffee in his run-down kitchen, walls covered with newspaper clippings that chronicle the epidemic death toll in the inner city. Amid wailing sirens and a squawking police scanner, he sits uncomfortably...cleaning a paintbrush. An interviewer's voice, unsure of what he is witnessing, asks the boy to explain his existence...his art. Step inside the line...his art - a world at war. Are you ready?
The Rebel Prince
A ruthless street-hardened criminal is not the typical role model and cool life-style to admire. But, for an eleven-year-old boy with no guidance, it seems like the perfect life. He has the potential to be a prince and a scholar because he’s smart and talented. However, his princely personality is conflicted until he witnesses the menacing mentality it takes to live such a lifestyle. In the end, the choice he then faces determines what kind of man he wants to be.
A modern day version of the Julius Caesar story set in the inner city of Buffalo, NY. Earl Roman runs his empire with an iron fist but a soft heart towards the people who live and strive in his neighborhood. His rival, the insidious Cicero Murphy and the corrupt Councilman Green, threaten his Domain. His son Reverend Eric Roman and his former portage Brucey B are left behind to pick up the pieces of this deceitful empire.
After dramatically leaving her successful but soul-crushing career, forty-something Leigh finds herself wondering if there's more to life, to love, to everything. Overwhelmed by apathy and a vague sense of guilt, she decides to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. There, she begins an unexpected and electric affair with a homeless man, Ethan. Leigh attempts to hide Ethan from her long-time boyfriend, her family, and her new coworkers. However, after a series of troubling encounters, she realizes Ethan’s charm may be masking a troubled past.
They Die By Dawn
Four outlaws with a bounty on each head, set a date for a shootout in Langston, Oklahoma. The last man takes the collective bounty. Violence and mayhem ensue.
Things Never Said
An aspiring poetess, but inside she’s an artist who’s lost. Haunted by dreams deferred and a dangerous marriage, this Los Angelean yearns to perform on New York’s most acclaimed spoken word stage. Wounded by a miscarriage and saddled with RONNIE (Elimu Nelson), an angry husband, Kal desperately seeks an outlet for her struggling artistic voice. Adding to her distress is best friend and compatriot DAPHNE (Tamala Jones), who also grapples with relationship issues. Kal’s inner turmoil is escalated by the surprise and uncertainty of new love found in CURTIS JACKSON (Omari Hardwick), a talented spoken word artist with a scarred past. Through their forbidden love, Kal helps Curtis heal a damaged relationship with his estranged young daughter. In turn, Curtis inspires Kal to dig deeper, discover her voice, and ultimately reclaim her sense.
Traces Of Joy
His tale puts the crystal clarity of computer animation to the task of depicting the gritty and ambiguous reality confronting kids seeking life's simplest joys on the wrong side of the social divide.
An unemployed single dad struggles to raise his kid right until a confrontation with a neighbor goes wrong.
Explores the little-known all-black rodeo subculture in Oklahoma in a film scored by experimental musician Flying Lotus.
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