The American Black Film Festival ( ABFF) has set its lineup for the 2020 virtual edition of the fest which runs August 21-30. In addition, IMDb will simulcast The Best of the ABFF Awards Ceremony on its homepage on closing night.
The online fest will bring the energy and magic of the live fest as it spotlights the best of independent Black cinema, studio premieres, conversations and panels, along with virtual networking events. ABFF will also introduce the inaugural John Singleton Award for Best First Feature for a director of African descent.
Of the 90 films featured in this year’s fest, 90% of the submissions are from Black filmmakers, 70% are first time filmmakers and approximately 40% are women.
“The more than 90 films in this year’s festival are the work of a group of powerful and passionate storytellers who reflect the diversity of voices in our industry,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO ABFF Ventures. “Creating an opportunity for these filmmakers to reach a broader audience is our core mission. We are thrilled to have IMDb on board to simulcast the Awards Show.”
ABFF will present a spotlight screening of the HBO documentary Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn. Directed by Muta’Ali Muhammad (Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee), the timely docu does a deep dive into the 1989 murder of Yusuf Hawkins at the hands of a group of white men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Hawkins’ death and the official response to it sparked outrage in New York, unleashing a torrent of racial tension and spurring tireless civil rights activism that exposed deep racial prejudices and inequities which continue to plague the country today.
The fest will also feature Chris Chalk’s (Perry Mason) pic Farewell as well as Jamal Hill’s The Available Wife and True to the Game 2: Gena’s Story starring Vivica A. Fox. Nick Cannon comes to the fest with his film She Ball starring Brian “Birdman” Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Chris Brown, Marla Gibbs and Big Boy among others.
U.S. Narrative Features – feature-length films directed by or written and produced by persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible for the following Jury Awards – Best Director, presented by Cadillac, (prize is $10,000), Best Narrative Feature, presented by Prudential Financial, (prize is $2,500), and Best Screenplay, BET Networks (prize is $2,500) and the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature, presented by Netflix.
International Narrative Features – International feature-length films directed by or written and produced by persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to compete for the Jury Award for Best International Feature, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The cash prize is $2,500.
Documentary Features – nonfiction feature films directed by persons or about persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible for the Jury Award for Best Documentary, presented by Amazon Studios. The cash prize is $2,500.
HBO Short Film Competition, now in its 23rd year – Each of the films in this section is directed and/or written by a person of African descent. The prize is $10,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the other finalists.
Web Series – short-form episodic television series directed by or produced and written by persons of African descent. Each series will compete for the Jury Award for Best Web Series, presented by Xfinity. The cash prize is $2,500.
Non-Competitive categories include Emerging Filmmakers, showcasing the work of emerging directors of African descent and Pride Films, a showcase of films that represent queer culture and reflect the LGBTQIA+ experience in the United States.
Read the lineup for the narrative and documentary features below. A full list of the 2020 ABFF Online Edition can be read here.
NARRATIVE FEATURES – U.S.
The following films represent the 2020 official selections in the Narrative Features category; a competitive section for feature-length films directed by or written and produced by persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated to compete for the following Jury Awards – Best Director (presented by Cadillac, prize is $10,000), Best Narrative Feature (presented by Prudential Financial, prize is $2,500), and Best Screenplay (prize is $2,500). In addition, if a person of African descent has directed a film in this section and it is his/her first feature, they will eligible to compete for our first annual John Singleton Award for Best First Feature.
A New York Christmas Wedding
USA | 88 min
Director: Otoja Abit
Screenwriter: Otoja Abit
Producers: Kory Apton, Otoja Abit, Ian Phillips, Chris Noth, Armando Gutierrez, Peter Lees
Cast: Chris Noth, Nia Fairweather, Cooper Koch, Adriana DeMeo, Tyra Ferrell
Logline: As her Christmas Eve wedding draws near, Jennifer is visited by Azrael (angel of death) and shown what could have been if she hadn’t denied her true feelings for her childhood best friend.
Asunder, One Flesh Divided
USA | 100 min
Director: Alana Barrett-Adkins
Screenwriter: Alana Barrett-Adkins
Producers: Alana Barrett-Adkins, Sigrid C. Moore, Tama Starr
Cast: Alana Barrett-Adkins, N’fa Thomas, Christian “C King” King, Justin Crowley
Logline: Asunder focuses on the life of a successful, prospering, yet distant married couple who is thrust into the den of conflict and potential divorce after an incident changes their relationship forever
USA | 80 min
Director: Chris Bailey
Screenwriter: Chris Bailey
Producers: Chelsea Davenport, Kimberly Hwang, Desi Bee Richardson
Cast: Dwight Henry, Alex Henderson, Thaddeus Street
Logline: Suffering from schizophrenia, a former basketball star is trigged down a dark path when he discovers his championship ring is missing.
Death of a Telemarketer
USA | 90mins
Director: Khaled Ridgeway
Screenwriter: Khaled Ridgeway
Producers: Datari Turner, Meagan Good, James Yi.
Cast: Lamorne Morris, Jacky Earle Haley, Alisha Wainwright, Haley Joel Osment, Sujata Day, David So, Matt McGorry, Woody McClain, Starletta DuPois, Gil Ozeri, Ian Verdun, Leli Hernandez, Fernando Martinez.
Logline: A smooth-talking telemarketer (Lamorne Morris) finds himself at the mercy of a father and his son (Oscar Nominees Jacky Earle Haley, Haley Joel Osment) he tried to swindle.
USA | 101 min
Director: Preston A. Whitmore II
Screenwriter: Preston A. Whitmore II
Producers: Manny Halley, Yolanda Halley
Cast: Lance Gross, Melissa L. Wiliams, Macy Gray, Tyrin Turner, Michael Blackson, Jeremy Meeks
Logline: James Bernard Jr., aka Dutch, is in charge of the East Coast’s most feared drug empire netting him a range of enemies including a vengeful Mafia heir, an ambitious DA, and a conscience-stricken former friend.
USA | 81 min
Director: Larick Mathews
Screenwriters: Angel Marie, Crystana Lattimore, Larick Mathews Producers: Toni Brooks, January Curry, Mike Merrill, Relentless Studios
Cast: Mike Merrill, Shuntel Renay, Davien Harliss, Michael Anthony, Ryan Ashley, Dutchess of Ink, Benzino, Quentin Harris, Curtis Washington, Dominique Danielle, Shauna Brooks
Logline: Dylan Foster is a successful businessman who has his life all figured out until a series of events transpires in a matter of days causing Dylan’s life to change in this romantic-drama-comedy in a space where perception potentially drives reality in a world full of “False Advertisements”.
USA | 79 min
Director: Chris Chalk
Screenwriter: Chris Chalk
Producers: Lex Kimbrough, KD Chalk, DeWanda WIse, Alano Miller, Melissa Giovana Garcia, Lex Kimbrough, Eden Marryshow
Cast: KD Chalk, Chris Chalk, Cesa Pledger, Eden Marryshow, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut
Logline: Grace and Chance Charles have one last night with their best friends. What is supposed to be a celebratory send-off turns into a struggle to survive.
G.O.D. – Givers of Death
USA | 97 min
Director: Addison Henderson
Screenwriter: Addison Henderson
Producers: Addison Henderson, Leah L. Cohen-Mays, Mac Cappuccino, Trent Boling
Cast: Louis Lombardi, J.J. Alfieri, Josie DiVincenzo, Addison Henderson
Logline: An apocalyptic tale of a hitman, detective, and an entire city of people all seeking peace through atonement, revenge, and resolution respectively.
Intolerance No More
USA | 80 min
Director: Sergio Guerrero Grazafox
Screenwriters: Jennifer Irons, Sergio Guerrero Grazafox
Producers: Sergio Guerrero Grazafox, DeWayne Cox
Cast: Paulette Patterson, Christina Morrell, Helen Kennedy, Lizza Monet Morales
Logline: “Intolerance No More”, a timely action/drama story about an African American woman that has an encounter with a Police officer that leaves him dead, while the world watches a real-time hunt for her and the truth.
USA | 94 min
Director: Antoine Allen
Screenwriters: Antoine Allen, Gregg DaCosta, Julia Aaryn Montanez
Producers: Antoine Allen, Eugene N. Walked
Cast: Taja V. Simpson, Ashlee Evans-Smith, Nakia Dillard, Kazy Tauginas
Logline: Lola’s world is turned upside down when a fun night out with friends goes horribly wrong. When Lola is forced to fight off a sexual predator, she fights back with everything to lose.
USA | 84 min
Director: Josh Kidd
Screenwriter: Josh Kidd
Producer: Freddie Connor
Cast: Josh Kidd, Maria Mercedes Galuppo, Freddie Connor, Astante James
Logline: British musician Nathan is nearing his final days on his visa when he meets and falls in love with Vanessa, a drug trafficker who has just entered the US.
No Ordinary Love
USA | 97 min
Director: Chyna Robinson
Screenwriter: Chyna Robinson
Producer: Chyna Robinson
Cast: Lynn Andrews III, Eric Hanson, April Hartman, DeAna Davis
Logline: When two women are betrayed by their manipulative husbands, they begin plotting to find a way out.
USA | 88 min
Director: Tyler Moore
Screenwriter: Tyler Moore
Producer: Tyler Moore
Cast: Tyler Moore, Keon R. Mitchell, Brittany Williams, LaDonna Jackson
Logline: Set in the 1990’s, this romantic drama tells the story of a young married couple, Roman and Alexys Newly, who find that their first child together will be born with Down Syndrome.
USA | 90 min
Director: Derrick Perry
Screenwriter: Derrick Perry
Producers: Mario Becerra, Elijah Boothe
Cast: Elijah Boothe, Ruby Park, Chaim Dunbar, Daniel C, Jeremy Ford, Susan Elle, Aaron Dominguez, Chris Markle, Bill Miltenberger, Kris Kil, Milo Scott, Jenny Katrina
Logline: While struggling to finish his thesis documentary required to graduate, Travis Wolfe reconnects with his estranged uncle and navigates a budding romance against the wishes of his girlfriend’s older brother.
USA | 97 min
Director: Nick Cannon
Screenwriter: Nick Cannon
Producers: Nick Cannon, Brian “Birdman” Williams, Chris Brown, Benjamin Sumpter, Roger Ubina
Cast: Nick Cannon, Brian “Birdman” Williams, Cedric the Entertainer, Chris Brown, Evan Ross, DC Young Fly, Marla Gibbs, Faizon Love, Luenell, K.D. Aubert, Melody Rae, Jaliyah, Big Boy
Logline: Avery Watts, a single father who lost his NBA dreams to gang violence, struggles to keep his family’s community center open amidst rising gentrification in his Inglewood community.
Take Out Girl
USA | 100 min
Director: Hisonni Mustafa
Screenwriters: Hedy Wong, Hisonni Mustafa
Producers: Hedy Wong, Melissa Del Rosario, Alberto Triana, Hisonni Mustafa, J. Spencer, Dijon Talton
Cast: Hedy Wong, Dijon Talton, Ski Carr, J. Teddy Garces, Lynna Yee, Lorin Alond Ly, Mier Chasin
Logline: Tera Wong, who worked at her others struggling restaurant, takes a job from the local drug kingpin in order to get both her and her family out of their crime and violence-ridden neighborhood.
USA | 120 min
Director: Solomon Onita Jr.
Screenwriter: Solomon Onita Jr.
Producers: Tricia Woodgett, Frank Cohen, Karl Soelter, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Benny Boom, Gerald Rawles
Cast: Abraham Attah, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Adepero Oduye, Kwesi Boakye
Logline: After moving to Arlington, Texas, a 19-year-old Nigerian immigrant struggles to balance his conflicting desires of joining a college fraternity and bonding with his strictly religious father.
The Available Wife
USA | 100 min
Director: Jamal Hill
Screenwriters: Tressa Azarel Smallwood, Jamal Hill, Kyjuan Cleveland Producers: Tressa Azarel Smallwood, Audrea Topps Harjo
Cast: KJ Smith, Terayle Hill, Clifton Powell, Roger Guenveur Smith
Logline: When money, affairs, power and lies collide, Nicole Wright, a beautiful and successful music CEO’s life is about to crumble in front of her. While having an affair with Kingston, the sexy artist on the rise who promises her everything, Nicole learns the hard way that looks can be deceiving and his motives are as dark as the secrets she keeps.
The Birth of Deceit
USA | 85 min
Director: Yaw Agyapong
Screenwriters: Yaw Agyapong, Ella b. Lynn
Producers: Yaw Agyapong, Devin Richardson
Cast: Vanessa Noel, Terrence Keene, Jennifer Silverstein, Devin Richardson, Dennis Scarfeo
Logline: In a peaceful town where all seems to be normal lies a dark cold secret that takes the town by surprise as a couple befriends their neighbor as well as their neighbor’s close friends and granddaughter for their own psychopathic needs.
The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain
USA | 83 min
Director: David Midell
Screenwriter: David Midell
Producer: Enrico Natale
Cast: Frankie Faison, Anika Noni Rose, LaRoyce Hawkins, Steve O’Çonnell, Enrico Natale, Ben Marten, Angela Peel, Tom McElroy, Christopher R. Ellis, Antonio Polk
Logline: Based on the true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder, who was killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to check on him.
USA | 93 min
Director: Chris Larceny
Screenwriter: Chris Larceny
Producers: Chris Larceny, Tina Larceny, Deb Antney
Cast: Clifton Powell, Michael Blackson, Miguel Nunez Jr, Trick Daddy, Sam Monroe Jr, Paul Campbell, J Anthony Brown, Noel Gugliemi
Logline: Rich, freshly released from a 20-year jail sentence, is looking to score money through his street connections. But to do so, he needs to get past not only his old rival, but the FBI and a plethora of rival gangs as well.
True to the Game 2: Gena’s Story
USA | 81 min
Director: Jamal Jill
Screenwriter: Preston Whitmore
Producers: Manny Halley, Rodney Turner II, Yolanda Halley
Cast: Vivica A Fox, Andra Fuller, Erica Peeples, Jeremy Meeks, Tamar Braxton
Logline: Picking up a year after the first installment of “True to the Game”, Gena has reinvented herself as a journalist in NYC. But no matter where she goes, her life in Philly seems to always make an appearance.
Young & Reckless
USA | 89 min
Director: Timothy Barker Jr.
Screenwriter: Timothy Barker Jr.
Producers: Stewart Spraggins, Timothy Barker Jr Cast: Aaron Valentine, Binkey Lew, 2am Ricky
Logline: Young and Reckless is about the promiscuous world of young adults growing up in Atlanta and how the reckless decisions they make, will affect their future. It’s will also showcase the culture of music, style, and life.
NARRATIVE FEATURES – INTERNATIONAL
The following films represent the 2020 official selections in the International Narrative Features category; a competitive section for feature-length films directed by or written and produced by persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated to compete for the Jury Award for Best International Feature, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The cash prize is $2,500.
A Rose Between Thorns
Saint Kitts and Nevis | 76 min
Director: Nigel Lewis
Screenwriters: Agustin, Nigel Lewis, James Galloway
Cast: Bernel Huggins, Roberitine Webbe
Logline: Hailing as the first movie ever to be made on the island nations of Saint Kitts and Nevis, “A Rose Between Thorns” follows a young girl named Rose who uses dance as a means to escape from the pain caused by her abusive family.
South Africa | 90 min
Director: Elvis Chuks
Screenwriter: Nic Guerrier Uyai Etim
Producer: Elvis Chuks
Cast: Michael Blackson, Wanda Morganstern, Siv ngesi,Maia Kavchak,Eninna Nwigwe, Linda Ntoba,Nino B,Aviva Vuvuzela
Logline: The quest for greener pastures, and a dream too good to be true.
Believe in You
Canada | 120 min
Director: Isioro Tokunbo Jaboro
Screenwriter: Isioro Tokunbo Jaboro
Producer: Isioro Tokunbo Jaboro
Cast: Nosa Obaseki, Karen Simpson, Beverly Naya, Martin Lindquist, Linda Osifo, Bobby Obodo, Victoria Kayode Jaboro
Logline: A music producer determined to help young talents with big dreams crosses paths with an estranged singer struggling to survive an abusive marriage.
Coming from Insanity
Nigeria | 99 min
Director: Akinyemi Sebastian
Screenwriter: Akinyemi Sebastian Akrinropo
Producer: Ibidolapo Ajayi
Cast: Gabriel Afolayan, Damilola Adegbite, Dakore Akande, Bolanle Ninalowo, Sani Danja, Odunlade Adekola, Udoka Oyeka, Wole Ojo, Wale Ojo, Sharon Ooja, Sambasa Nzeribe, Tina Mba
Logline: After being kidnapped at a young age, a young boy with genius-level intelligence creates a path for himself by mastering the art of counterfeiting money.
Nigeria | 112 min
Director: Joshua Ojo, Funmi Holder Screenwriter: Joshua Ojo
Producer: Funmi Holder
Cast: Clarion Chukwura, Alex Usifo, Funmi Holder
Logline: The true story of Efunsetan Aniwura, one of the wealthiest women in Oyo Empire and the second Iyalode of Ibadan, Oyo State in Nigeria.
Get Luke Lowe
United Kingdom | 84 min
Director: Drew V. Marke
Screenwriter: Drew V. Marke
Producers: Drew V. Marke, Jay Glazer
Cast: Emma McDonald, May Kelly, Barney Jones, Maggie Bourgein
Logline: Two women abduct an alt-right online troll in an act of vengeance but it doesn’t go to plan.
Mozambique | 73 min
Director: Sol de Carvalho
Screenwriters: Mia Couto, Sol de Carvalho, José Magro
Producers: Sol de Carvalho /Promarte – Mozambique, Ricardo Freitas / Bando à Parte – Portugal
Cast: Emílio Bila, Wilton Boene, Medianeira Massingue
Logline: “Mabata Bata” tells the story of a young orphan shepherd Azarias and his ox Mabata Bata while touching on life after the civil war.
The Malê Revolt
Brazil | 80 min
Directors: Belisario Franca, Jeferson DE
Screenwriters: João Ademir, Cristina Gomes, Francine Barbosa Producers: Belisario Franca, Bianca Lenti, Maurício Magalhães
Cast: Shirley Cruz, Jamilly Mariano, Raphael Logam, Alan Rocha, Gabriela Luiz, Rodrigo dos Santos, Sérgio Ricardo loureiro, Licínio Januário
Logline: A young Muslim mother turns to the looming uprising as a means to survive and provide for her daughter.
The New Normal
Nigeria | 138 min
Director: Teniola Olatoni Ojigbede
Screenwriter: Tunde Babalola
Producer: Sourmash Stories Production
Cast: Mercy Johnson Okojie, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Kehinde Bankole, Bimbo Akintola, Sani Muazu, Femi Jacobs
Logline: The New Normal revolves around the love and intertwining lives of four couples
and a singleton, on either side of 40, as they navigate the murky waters of one mid-life crisis after another with sometimes dire, often hilarious and always surprising results.
South Africa | 81 min
Director: Lineo Sekeleoane
Screenwriter: Julie Hall
Producer: Lineo Sekeleoane
Cast: Nondumiso Tembe, Darrin Dewitt Hensom, Carl Payne, Pallance Dladla, Makgano Mamabolo, Jerry Phele
Logline: Caught between two men, two families, and two countries, Lou has to come to terms with who she is so she can fight for what she wants.
The following films represent the 2020 official selections in the Documentary feature category; a competitive section for nonfiction feature films directed by persons or about persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated to compete for the Jury Award for Best Documentary, presented by Amazon Studios. The cash prize is
Canada | 88 min
Director: Elizabeth St. Philip
Producers: Steve Gamester, Elizabeth St. Philip
Logline: The “9/11 Kids” provides a window into the lives of a generation of Americans who not only bore witness to the very moment a new American reality was born but have lived and found their footing in a post 9/11 America.
USA | 95 min
Director: Sonia Lowman
Screenwriter: Sonia Lowman
Producers: Sonia Lowman, Malcolm Jenkins, Elliot Kotek
Cast: Carmelo Anthony, Malcolm Jenkins, Vic Mensa, Chris Carter, Malcolm London, Jemele Hill
Logline: Through an intimate, intergenerational conversation at the intersection of sports, education, and criminal justice, “Black Boys” serves as a powerful reimagining for black males in America.
Dark City Beneath the Beat
USA | 65 min
Director: Tedra Wilson
Producers: Issa Rae, Deniese Davis, Rose DiFerdinando, Astrid Curet Cast: Errigh Labo, Marquis Gasque, Terry Wedington, Tedra Wilson
Logline: Inspired by an original Baltimore club music soundtrack, “Dark City Beneath the Beat” is a Baltimore club musical experience highlighting local Baltimore club artists, DJs, dancers and producers pioneering the sound while rising above social and economic turmoil.
Growing Up Milwaukee
USA | 115 min
Director: Tyshun Wardlaw
Cast: Tiana Gee, Brandon Haney, Marquell Jenkins
Logline: Three inner-city youth growing up in Milwaukee struggle with the daily dilemma of growing up Black and avoiding becoming just another statistic.
Harlem Rising: A Community Changing the Odds
USA | 101 min
Director: Rayner Ramirez
Screenwriter: Rayner Ramirez
Cast: Geoffrey Canada
Logline: “Harlem Rising” chronicles the remarkable history and lives transformed by The Harlem Children’s Zone.
USA | 71 min
Director: Ri-Karlo Handy
Screenwriters: Ri-Karlo Handy, Rashad Mubarak
Producer: Rashad Mubarak
Cast: Brandy Grant, Lucy Hall
Logline: Lucy Hall, the founder of one of the nation’s most successful women’s treatment facilities, shares her story of generational addiction to help Georgia families.
Hungry to Learn
USA | 85 min
Director: Geeta Gandbhir
Producer: Rose Arce
Cast: Shaquara Peters, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Isabella Moles, Joey Galan, Eve Brescia
Logline: This documentary film by Soledad O’Brien and Geeta Gandbhir, introduces the faces behind an American crisis — college students so strapped to pay tuition that they don’t have enough money to eat or a place to live.
Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back
USA | 94 min
Director: John Carluccio
Screenwriter: Tracy E. Hopkins
Producers: John Carluccio, Tracy E. Hopkins, Debbie Allen, Charles Randolph -Wright, Ron Gillyard
Cast: Maurice Hines, Gregory Hines, Chita Rivera, Debbie Allen, Mercedes Ellington
Logline: An intimate portrait of an outspoken showman who with humor and grace has navigated the highs and lows of a seven-decade career, and a complex relationship with his superstar brother.
Brazil | 84 min
Director: Tatiana Lohmann
Screenwriters: Tatiana Lohmann, Claudia Schapira
Producer: Marina Leão
Cast: Fernando Macario, Edith Macario, Fernando Negotinho, Vera Pereira, Kleber Braga, Fabiana Calixto, Fatima Rodrigues, Jo Maloupas
Logline: In homes without a father, a solitary mother acquires the aura of a holy warrior.
Mozambique | 60 min Director: James Byrne
Screenwriters: James Byrne, Gráinne Keegan, Jared Lipworth, Carla Rebai
Producers: James Byrne, Gráinne Keegan, Carla Rebai
Cast: Dominique Gonçalves
Logline: Gorgongosa National Park in Mozambique has become one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife restoration stories. By bringing large-scale, long-term health care, agriculture support, and girls’ education to surrounding communities, “Gorongosa” is redefining the identity and purpose of this national park.
Public Enemy Number One
USA | 70 min
Director: Robert Rippberger
Screenwriters: Robert Rippberger, Brian Welsh
Producers: Robert Rippberger, Chris Chiari
Logline: From Executive Producer Ice-T. Public Enemy Number One is a documentary feature about the USA’s war on drugs, focusing on major shifts in policy from Nixon to today, incarceration, racial biases, and solutions for the future.
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
USA | 76 min
Director: Jacoba Atlas
Screenwriters: Monique W. Morris, Jacoba Atlas
Producers: Jacoba Atlas, Denise Pines, Monique W. Morris
Logline: “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives – education.
River City Drumbeat
USA | 94 min
Director: Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté
Producers: Owsley Brown, Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté
Cast: Ed “Nardie” White, Albert Shumake, Jailen Leavell, Imani Keith, Emily Carey Logline: Mr. White trains his successor Albert Shumake to take over, while high-schoolers
Imani and Jailen, and preteen Emily navigate adolescence in this multigenerational story of music, love, and legacy set in the American South.
Belgium | 62 min
Director: Michiel Thomas
Screenwriter: Michiel Thomas
Producers: Michiel Thomas, Ben Severance, Mathew Perez-Mora, Ricardo Rivera
Cast: Clifford Chalmers, Ahmani Armstrong, Nicholas Burton, William “Bill” Mickler, Ebonie Martin
Logline: The award-winning feature documentary “That’s Wild” tells the inspiring journey of Cliff (16), Ahmani (13) and Nicholas (13), three troubled teenage boys from Atlanta, attempting to climb four 12,000 ft snowcapped peaks in the heart of the Colorado wilderness, all while overcoming their own personal mountains.
The Prison Within
USA | 86 min
Director: Katherin Hervey
Screenwriters: Eric Frith, Jeremy Sell, Erin Kenway, Katherin Hervey Producers: Katherin Hervey, Massimo Bardetti, Erin Kenway, Eric Frith
Logline: “The Prison Within” is a relevant and timely documentary exploring the destructive impact of untreated trauma on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in circle inside San Quentin prison.
Two Beats One Soul
Cuba and United States | 73 min
Director: Sara Nesson and Billie Woodruff
Producers: Ray Chew, Vivian Scott Chew, Mark Grier and Kathy Grier
Cast: Ray Chew, Vivian Scott Chew, Antonio Martinez, Kathy Grier, Louie Vega and Anané Vega, Sergio George, Eric Benét, Jon B., Josh Milan and more
Husband and wife music producers Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew embark on an ambitious journey to Havana, Cuba to create a collaboration of sounds bringing together artists from the U.S. and Cuba
USA | 81 min
Director: Ashley O’Shay
Producers: Morgan Johnson, Ashley O’Shay
Logline: Set during the height of the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago, “Unapologetic” captures a community of millennial organizers confronting an administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents.
When Liberty Burns
USA | 111 min Director: Dudley Alexis
Screenwriter: Dudley Alexis
Producers: Dudley Alexis, Femi Folami-Browne, Betty Antonio Andrews
Logline: When Liberty Burns examines the life and the death of Arthur Lee McDuffie, a black insurance executive who died at the hands of Miami’s law enforcement officers.
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