The inaugural African American Film Festival, which celebrates the history and culture of African Americans and blacks in America, will be hosted by Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture between October 24 and 27.
The four-day festival will celebrate the visual culture and films of African American filmmakers. Apart from screening historic films, films on contemporary times by emerging and veteran filmmakers like Barry Jenkins, Julie Dash, Adepero Oduye, Haile Gerima, Cauleen Smith, Kevin Jerome Everson, Bobitto Garcia, Bradford Young and others will also be screened at the festival.
More than 80 films made in recent decades and some iconic films on African Americans will be shown at the festival. Post screenings, the filmmakers will also be taking part in panel discussions with other filmmakers and scholars. Presentations on the art of filmmaking and editing are also lined up at the festival.
According to the festival website, this year’s festival is thematically organised around the Museum’s collection and inaugural exhibitions. The films will explore three thematic categories – Making a Way Out of No Way, Power of Place, and Cultural Expressions.
Films made in recent years on the black experience in America will also be screened at the festival. The films scheduled for screening for the four days include, among other films, Diasporadical Trilogia (2016), Four Women (1978), I am Somebody (1970), Killer of Sheep (1978), Milford Graves Full Mantis (2018), Rock Rubber 45S (2018), Sankofa (1993), The Fight (1974), and Tonsler Park (2017).
In the category of “Making a Way Out of No Way,” a collection of films will show how African Americans created many possibilities in a world where opportunities were denied to them. In the “Power of Place” category, the films screened will explore the communities and lives of African Americans living in Detroit, New York City, and Washington, D.C, among other places. In the third category of “Cultural Expressions”, films on the diaspora culture of Africans and African Americans will be shown.
The film screenings and other events will be hosted at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW, National Gallery of Art, and the Saccler Galleries.
Tickets for screenings and other events are available here.