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20th Annual Chicago Black Harvest Film Festival Lineup Announced

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act July 16, 2014 at 7:55PM

The 20th annual Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago has officially announced its lineup, schedule and dates for this year's event
3
Hogtown

Alas! How time flies! Another year has gone by. And this August, as always in Chicago, at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago, the annual Black Harvest Film Festival will take place, from Friday August 1 to Thursday August 28 (Yes it’s always a month long, Longer than even Cannes, Sundance or Toronto).

And this year is special since it marks, believe it or not, the 20th anniversary of the festival. You have to admit, that’s a remarkable achievement for any film festival anywhere.

And during those 20 years that I’ve been personally involved - since the beginning – when I consider all the pain and sorrow, good things and bad things, the joys and heartaches that putting together any film festival entails, I can honestly say that being involved with Black Harvest has been one of the true highlights of my life.

And I think we have put together a really solid festival this year, including some films we have profiled several times already here on S&A, like James Richards' feature "The Bicycle;" the Venezuelan film "Pelo Malo" ("Bad Hair"); the documentary about Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor's daughter, "That Daughter's Crazy," with Ms. Pryor present; the gorgeously photographed South African film "The Forgotten Kingdom;" and a sneak preview of Daniel Nearing’s new feature "Hogtown" (pictured above).

And of course there’s the tribute to Chaz and Roger Ebert which I reported on (HERE), and the special screening of Bill Duke’s "A Rage in Harlem," followed by a Q and A with Duke after the screening (I wrote about that HERE). There will also be filmmaking panels, and a do's and don’ts talk on screenwriting by yours truly.

But instead of just telling you about all the films that will be screened - all 50 of them, including features, documentaries, and shorts - as well as all the personal appearances and panels, why not take a look for yourself at the complete schedule below:

Opening Night Celebration

Join Master of Ceremonies LeeAnn Trotter of NBC 5 Chicago for the
opening night celebration.  The “Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence
in Community Leadership” will be presented to Chaz Ebert and
(posthumously) Roger Ebert.  Immediately following the show, the
audience is invited to join our celebrity guests for a reception
across the street at Joffrey Tower (8 E. Randolph St.), home of The
Joffrey Ballet Chicago, with music by “Musicians of the Chicago
Sinfonietta.”

The Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Sinfonietta congratulate the Gene
Siskel Film Center on the “20th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.”

Friday, August 1, 6:15 pm

Opening night films!
A Black Harvest Feast
2013-14, Various directors, USA/UK/Martinique, 73 min.

Friday, August 1, 6:15 pm

Enjoy a sneak preview of the 2014 “harvest” through six short films.
In Delmar Washington’s CHRIS’S BRISS (2013, 12 min.), a recently
engaged man discovers that love cuts both ways.  Schizophrenia results
in a wildly imaginative ride on a London bus in Oliver Azis’s FRAYED
(2013, 9 min.).  In Elizabeth Myer’s STRANGE FRUIT (2014, 12 min.). a
1930 Indiana lynching is rousingly repurposed.  Two beauties spar over
opposing views of love in THE WAY YOU LOVE by Lydia Darly (2014, 10
min.).  A schoolboy’s vision of the future gives his teacher a
colorful lesson in reality in VIVRE by Maharaki (2013, 13 min.).
Derrick Sanders’s PERFECT DAY (2013, 17 min.) takes a charming high
school romance to another level.  Various formats.  (BS, MR)

Directors Delmar Washington (CHRIS’S BRISS), and, tentatively, Derrick
Sanders (PERFECT DAY) will be present.

Special admission prices for this program:  General Admission $25;
Students $20; Members $15.  Proceeds from this screening benefit the
educational programs of the Gene Siskel Film Center.  No free passes,
blue tickets, or “Black Harvest” festival passes will be valid for
this screening.

Closing night film!
Filmmakers in person!
FROM ABOVE
(aka CHASING SHAKESPEARE)
2013, Norry Niven, USA, 112 min.
With Danny Glover, Mike Wade, Chelsea Ricketts, Clarence Gilyard, Jr.

Thursday, August 28, 6:30 pm

“A unique take on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ blended with some crazy Native
American folklore…a wild and heartfelt story.”--Jory Carroll, Slug
Magazine

The love of a lifetime strikes with the force of lightning in this
magic realist tale steeped in Native American myth and the poetic
power of Shakespeare.  The story unreels in flashback as William Ward
(Glover in one of his best roles in years) and his cherished wife
Venus (Tantoo Cardinal) face a climactic meeting of the heavens and
the earth one stormy night.  Young William (Wade) long ago fell for
Native American Venus (Ricketts), would-be star of a small-town “Romeo
and Juliet,” but her Lightning Clan ancestors set a course of trials
for the impulsive African American suitor, not least of which is
coming to terms with her Broadway ambitions.  DCP digital.  (BS)

Actor Mike Wade and, tentatively, Danny Glover and Clarence Gilyard,
Jr. will be present for audience discussion.  Immediately following
the show, there will be a reception hosted by Whole Foods Market.

No free passes, blue tickets, or “Black Harvest” festival passes will
be valid for this screening.

Chicago connection
Filmmakers in person!
Shorts Program:
Made in Chicago
2013-2014, Various directors, USA, 77 min.

Saturday, August 2, 8:30 pm
Wednesday, August 6, 8:30 pm

Five films featuring Chicago talent:  In Derek Dow’s tense and twisty
CONDOMS (2014, 11 min.), the title item sparks discord between a
couple.  In Lonnie Edwards’s impressionistic PARIETAL GUIDANCE (2014,
14 min.), a young girl's daily journey to and from school exposes her
to both threat and kindness.  A female pastor’s unholy past threatens
her future in Marion McMillan’s heartfelt CROSSING JORDAN (2014, 19
min.).  An anti-eviction movement fights to save a neighborhood in
Jessica Murphy and Elissa Nadwerny’s effective documentary TAKING
OVER, TAKING BACK (2013, 16 min.).  Derrick Sanders’s PERFECT DAY
(2013, 17 min.) takes a charming high school romance to another level.
Various formats.  (MR)

Directors Derek Dow (CONDOMS) and Lonnie Edwards (PARIETAL GUIDANCE)
will be present for audience discussion at both screenings; Derrick
Sanders (PERFECT DAY) on Saturday only.

Kevin Willmott in person!
JAYHAWKERS
2014, Kevin Willmott, USA, 106 min.
With Justin Wesley, Kip Niven

Sunday, August 3, 5:15 pm
Monday, August 4, 8:00 pm

This expertly recreated historical drama tells the story of basketball
legend Wilt Chamberlain’s epochal early years at the University of
Kansas.  The first “big man” to be considered a great athlete,
Chamberlain led the Jayhawks to the 1957 NCAA Championship Game with
UNC--one of the greatest battles in sports history.  He also created
fireworks off the court, openly dating white women and defying “Whites
Only” prohibitions.  Director Willmott (DESTINATION: PLANET NEGRO!)
deftly situates an exciting sports saga within the larger context of
the burgeoning Civil Rights movement.  As Chamberlain, real-life KU
hoopster Justin Wesley combines athletic skill with authentic acting
ability.  DCP digital widescreen.  (MR)

Director Kevin Willmott will be present for audience discussion at
both screenings.

Shorts Program:
Black History--Lost and Found
2012-2014, Various directors, USA/South Africa, 90 min.

Monday, August 4, 6:00 pm

Four thought-provoking films with historical themes:  A 1930 Indiana
lynching is rousingly repurposed in Elizabeth Myer’s STRANGE FRUIT
(2014, 12 min.).  Samantha Knowles’s WHY DO YOU HAVE BLACK DOLLS?
(2012, 25 min.) combines nostalgia and politics in exploring the world
of black-doll collectors.  American filmmaker Joyce Guy journeys to
Senegal in search of the roots of African dance in the personal
documentary DANCING LIKE HOME (2013, 31 min.).  In Shane Vermooten’s
FREEDOM ROAD (2013, South Africa, 22 min.), Truth Commission hearings
are the trigger for a powerful drama of forgiveness.  Various formats.
(MR)

Chicago connection
Maia Wechsler in person!
MELVIN & JEAN: AN AMERICAN STORY
2012, Maia Wechsler, USA, 60 min.

Tuesday, August 5, 8:15 pm
Wednesday, August 6, 6:15 pm

“Masterful…not to be missed.”--Richard Z, Chesnoff, Huffington Post

In 1972, as an act of protest against the Vietnam War, Melvin and Jean
McNair hijacked a plane from Detroit to Algeria to join Eldridge
Cleaver and the Black Panthers.  Their dreams of a revolutionary
utopia and freedom from racial oppression were soon burst by the grim
political and economic realities of the aftermath.  Filmmaker Wechsler
(SISTERS IN RESISTANCE) movingly chronicles their reflections on the
past and their ongoing struggle toward reparation and repatriation
from their home in France, where they’ve lived as model citizens for
forty years.  DigiBeta video.

Preceded by FREEDOM ROAD by Shane Vermooten (2013, South Africa, 22
min.).  Forgiveness is an unearned gift in this moving tale set in the
aftermath of apartheid.  DVCAM video.  (BS)

Director Maia Wechsler (MELVIN & JEAN) will be present for audience
discussion at both screenings.

Chicago connection
Panel discussion
LORD THING
1970, DeWitt Beall, USA, 52 min.
THE CORNER
1963, Robert Ford, USA, 26 min.

Thursday, August 7, 8:00 pm

Chicago Film Archives has restored two remarkable “lost” films that
shed new light on an overlooked chapter of Chicago history: the role
of gangs in West Side neighborhoods in the 1950s and 1960s, especially
the organization known as the Vice Lords and, later, the Conservative
Vice Lords.  LORD THING in particular qualifies as a major
rediscovery, not only for its eye-opening subject matter, but also for
its dynamic style--an urgent mosaic of speeches, recollections,
on-the-spot footage, and vigorously staged rumbles.  Spawned by
poverty and police harassment, the Lords eventually turned from
destructive street violence to constructive social activism, only to
be targeted by the Daley administration as a political and economic
threat.  Preceded by THE CORNER, which uses a collage of voices to
accompany evocative images of gang-dominated life at the corner of
Lake and Holman.  Co-presented by Chicago Film Archives; special
thanks to Nancy Watrous.  Both in 16mm.  (MR)

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring
youth-violence expert Dr. Lance Williams of Northeastern Illinois
University; street-gang prevention specialist Benneth Lee of the
National Alliance For The Empowerment of The Formerly Incarcerated;
and prison-reform advocate Cynthia Kobel of Second Chance Initiative.

Chicago connection
Filmmakers in person!
FINDING FOREVER IN LOVE
2014, Deri Tyton, USA, 72 min.
With Tyrell Crawford, Dan-Neika Clay

Friday, August 8, 6:30 pm
Saturday, August 9, 8:15 pm

Former Chicagoan and BHFF veteran Tyton (TOOT’S AND BLOW’S, THE PARTY
LINE) returns with a grown-up romantic drama featuring a likeable but
immature protagonist.  Transplanted from Chicago to Atlanta, Preach
(Crawford) is a talented poet whose inability to get over his fondness
for weed or his grief for his late girlfriend Gail inhibits both his
writing career and his current relationship with the mature and
challenging Arika (Clay).  The arrival of a Chicago friend carrying a
dangerous secret brings Preach to a crossroads where he must find--or
lose--his destiny.  As in his previous films, Tyton’s easygoing,
actor-friendly approach pays off richly in character authenticity and
development.  DigiBeta video.  (MR)

Director Deri Tyton and selected cast and crew members will be present
for audience discussion at both screenings.

Chicago connection
Filmmakers in person!
THE 4TH MEETING
2013, Josh MacNeal, USA, 67 min.
With Malynda Hale, Aayisha Chanel

Friday, August 8, 8:30 pm
Thursday, August 14, 8:30 pm

In their first feature, the Chicago-based brother-sister team Josh
MacNeal and Cy Weisman craft an intriguing character study that avoids
stereotypical characters and screenwriting clichés.  Diana (Hale), a
successful career woman, has been struggling with survivor guilt since
the death of her husband in an auto accident.  She takes out her anger
on her wayward younger sister (Chanel), but, as flashbacks reveal,
Diana has a few skeletons in her own closet.  The smartly written
screenplay keeps us on our toes by adding new twists and characters
that continually redefine the situation, until the pieces fall into
place with a devastating mixture of catharsis and irony.  HDCAM video.
(MR)

Director Josh MacNeal and writer/producer Cy Weisman will be present
for audience discussion at both screenings.

Festival workshop
Free admission!
The Realities of Screenwriting

Sunday, August 10, 1:00 pm

Thinking about writing a screenplay?  Get the real scoop on
screenwriting in this free workshop conducted by our “Black Harvest”
consultant, critic Sergio Mims, who’s been there, done that.  In this
informative session, circa 90 minutes, Mims reveals what screenwriting
books don’t tell you, and why hiring those self-proclaimed writing
coaches and gurus is a waste of your time and money.  (BS)

Rob Underhill in person!
DAR HE: THE LYNCHING OF EMMETT TILL
2012, Rob Underhill, USA, 70 min.
With Mike Wiley

Sunday, August 10, 6:00 pm
Monday, August 11, 8:15 pm

There have been numerous treatments, in various media, of the horrific
1955 murder in Money, Mississippi, of 14-year-old Chicagoan Emmett
Till, but none like this concise, stunning dramatization in which
actor-writer Mike Wiley plays all 36 roles--black, white, male,
female, young, and old.  What might sound like a distracting stunt is
in fact the film’s distinctive strength.  Relying on subtleties of
acting rather than heavy makeup, with seamless digital compositing in
multi-character scenes, Wiley’s tour de force defamiliarizes the
material with startling effectiveness and compels us to get under the
skins of all the major players in the tragic events.  HDCAM video.
(MR)

Director Rob Underhill will be present for audience discussion on Sunday.

Shorts Program:
International Visions
2012-13, Various directors, Various nations, 84 min.

Monday, August 11, 6:15 pm

Five striking films from around the globe:  Schizophrenia results in a
wildly imaginative ride on a London bus in Oliver Azis’s FRAYED (2013,
UK, 9 min.), while a schoolboy’s vision of the future gives his
teacher a colorful lesson in reality in VIVRE by Maharaki (2013,
Martinique, 13 min.).  Family separation brings heartache for a foster
mother in Lisa Harewood’s AUNTIE (2013, Barbados, 16 min.), and a
little girl faces the peril of the Darfur dessert alone in the hope of
saving her family in HALEEMA by Boris Schaarschmidt (2013,
Germany/USA, 18 min.).  A medical researcher is the target of a
sinister offer in the thriller BURNING DOWN by Jacqueline Kalimunda
(2012, France, 28 min.).  Various formats.  (BS)

Darious Britt in person!
UNSOUND
2013, Darious Britt, USA, 93 min.
With Darious Britt, Toreenee Wolf

Tuesday, August 12, 8:30 pm
Wednesday, August 13, 6:15 pm

Based on the filmmaker’s own life experience, this story of love
challenged and a relationship torn and mended portrays an epic battle
of wills between mother and son.  Regi (Britt), a filmmaker embarking
on his dream project, is pulled back into the darkness of his wily
mother’s schizophrenia when she goes off her meds.  As played by
Toreenee Wolf in a fearless charismatic performance, mom Darolyn is an
ultra-clever schemer capable of bamboozling medical staff and
authorities with her charm, only to turn on her son in destructive
wrath.  HDCAM video.  (BS)

Director Darious Britt will be present for audience discussion at both
screenings.

Filmmakers in person!
Shorts Program:
Family Matters
2012-14, Various directors, USA, 87 min.

Wednesday, August 13, 8:30 pm

Love ‘em or simply tolerate ‘em, they’re family!  Four films testify:
A clueless mom and dad make a production out of telling their teens
about the birds and the bees in Joel Mahr’s comedy SWADHISTHANA (2014,
20 min.).  When a faithless lover does her grandma wrong, a Texan
firebrand vows to set things right in RED (featuring Irma P. Hall) by
Channing Godfrey Peoples (2012, 21 min.).  In the period drama
DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE by Dawn Kamoche (2012, 22 min.), a family crisis
threatens to expose the secret of a Hollywood star passing for white.
In the documentary DEEPER THAN BLACK (2013, 24 min.), filmmaker Sean
Addo considers the impact of his Ghanian heritage on his life.
Various formats.  (BS)

Director Channing Godfrey Peoples and producer Neil Creque Williams
(RED), and director Sean Addo and producer Harry Locke IV (DEEPER THAN
BLACK) will be present for audience discussion.

Filmmakers in person!
Shorts Program:
Love African American Style
2013-14, Various directors, USA/UK, 87 min.

Friday, August 15, 6:15 pm
Thursday, August 21, 8:15 pm

The course of love runs anything but smooth in this provocative
five-film selection:  A lover lives in the realm of imagination in Zoe
Sailsman-Asghar’s LONGING (2013, UK, 8 min.).  Two beauties spar over
opposing views of love in THE WAY YOU LOVE by Lydia Darly (2014, 10
min.).  A romantic evening goes very wrong when a young frat brother
listens to his buddies instead of his heart in Shadae Lamar Smith’s
DIVINE RITE (2013, 19 min.).  A breakup precipitates an isolationist
crisis in CONTAMINATION by R. Shanea Williams (2014, 23 min.).  Two
friends trade identities to find out how the other half loves in
Shequeta L. Smith’s comedy THE TAKEOVER (2013, 27 min.).  Various
formats.  (BS)

Directors Lydia Darly (THE WAY YOU LOVE) and Shequeta L. Smith (THE
TAKEOVER), and producer Anthony Davis (CONTAMINATION) will be present
for audience discussion on Friday.

Filmmakers in person!
THAT DAUGHTER’S CRAZY
2014, Elzbieta Szoka, USA, 58 min.

Friday, August 15, 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 16, 8:30 pm

Growing up the biracial daughter of comedy legend/activist Richard
Pryor wasn’t easy, as Rain Pryor demonstrates through zinging
satirical impressions of her famous father, cranky, pole-opposite
grandmothers, and New Age Jewish mother in her one-woman show “Fried
Chicken and Latkes.”  Stunningly hilarious excerpts from the show are
only one dimension of this portrait that explores Rain’s present bid
for a place in the treacherous world of showbiz, and a childhood spent
in a fractured multi-cultural family.  DCP digital.

Preceded by two shorts.  In CHRIS’S BRISS by Delmar Washington (2013,
USA, 12 min.), a just-engaged man discovers that love cuts both ways.
In THE BATHROOM ATTENDANT by Deon H. Hayman (2013, USA, 14 min.), that
deferential guy in the men’s room isn’t quite who he seems.  Both in
HDCAM video.  (BS)

Directors Elzbieta Szoka (THAT DAUGHTER’S CRAZY) and Deon H. Hayman
(THE BATHROOM ATTENDANT) will be present for audience discussion at
both screenings.

Festival panel discussion
Free admission!
Action!  The Real Deal About Filmmaking: Money, Casting, Production,
and Distribution

Saturday, August 16, 5:00 pm

Our “Black Harvest” panel discussion, which annually debates issues
relating to black filmmaking, will dissect the process of making a
film, from getting the money to casting, production, post-production,
and distribution.  “Black Harvest” festival consultant Sergio Mims
heads up a panel of filmmakers; check our website for updates on the
participants.  The audience is invited to participate with questions
in this provocative forum.  (BS)

Special advance screening!
BAD HAIR
(PELO MALO)
2013, Mariana Rondón, Venezuela, 93 min.
With Samantha Castillo, Samuel Lange

Sunday, August 17, 3:00 pm
Monday, August 18, 6:00 pm

“Gorgeous cinematography…powerful and meaningful.”--Mark Young, Sound on Sight

A young Latin American boy’s social and sexual identity becomes
invested in the status of his ‘fro, even as it triggers a mother-son
standoff.  Obsessed with straightening his kinky hair, the legacy of
his dead father, Junior incurs the wrath of his harried working mother
with his primping and preening.  He finds favor with his lonely
paternal grandmother, but emulation of her favorite pop star and his
innocent boy-crush on a handsome news vendor are behaviors that send
ripples of homophobic fear through the dysfunctional family.  Special
advance screening courtesy of FiGa Films.  In Spanish with English
subtitles.  DCP digital.  (BS)

Chicago connection
Filmmakers in person!
CASS
2012, Hugh Schulze, USA, 112 min.
With Rachel Hilson, Linda Boston, David Dastmalchian

Sunday, August 17, 5:00 pm
Monday, August 18, 8:00 pm

Still reeling from the untimely death of her mother, fifteen-year-old
Cass lives in Detroit with her little brother and their widowed dad,
who’s trying to hold it all together.  A vagrant takes up residence in
the boarded-up house next door, and what first seems a threatening
occurrence becomes a catalyst for this young girl’s ambitions as an
artist when she forms an unexpected friendship and learns that there
are many ways of being different.  The city of Detroit in all its new
creative energy and faded glory is front and center.  HDCAM video.
(BS)

Director Hugh Schulze and actors Rachel Hilson and Linda Boston will
be present for audience discussion on Sunday.  Schulze will be present
on Monday.

Movie Club!
Lacey Schwartz via Skype!
LITTLE WHITE LIE
2014, Lacey Schwartz, USA, 66 min.

Tuesday, August 19, 6:15 pm
Wednesday, August 20, 8:15 pm

Until she was eighteen, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up as a white
middle-class Jewish girl whose darker skin and black hair were
attributed by her parents to a mysterious olive-skinned Sicilian
ancestor.  In time, she uncovers the lie that haunted their marriage
and made her the secret that was hiding in plain sight.  Embracing her
African American heritage, Schwartz begins the journey to reconcile
her past and her present.  HDCAM video.  (BS)

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz will be available for audience discussion via
Skype following both screenings.

The August 20 show inaugurates "Movie Club," our monthly series of
facilitated post-screening conversations.

Janice Sequiera in person!
THE BICYCLE
2014, James Richards, USA, 73 min.
With Cinque Northern, Stormi G. Smith

Tuesday, August 19, 8:15 pm
Wednesday, August 20, 6:15 pm

Ten-year-old Bobbi (Smith) has a chip on her shoulder against her
prospective stepfather Teddy (Northern).  After her bicycle is grabbed
by a fearsome bully, Bobbi and Teddy become reluctant partners in a
search across Queens to track down the thief.  A loose and lovely spin
on the classic BICYCLE THIEVES, director Richards’s first feature
imaginatively uses social observation and brief animation segments to
enrich a journey whose distance might be short but whose unexpected
outcome broadens the horizons of those involved.  HDCAM video.  (MR)

Producer Janice Sequiera will be present for audience discussion at
both screenings.

GRAND GESTURE
2014, Dana Verde, USA, 65 min.
With Alfred E. Rutherford, Serena Reeder

Friday, August 22, 6:15 pm
Saturday, August 23, 8:15 pm

This romantic comedy plays out as a rousing shaggy-dog story when
recently dumped Craig camps out for a day in a Harlem diner awaiting a
reunion with the ex-girlfriend who may or may not show up.  A nosy
waitress, a clutch of know-it-all male customers, and a psychic are
among those dispensing conflicting advice, accompanied by flashbacks
of the highlights and low-points in this star-crossed relationship,
including a romantic hotel rendezvous-gone-wrong.  There’s hope for
love yet when a prediction comes true, but not precisely the way Craig
had imagined.  HDCAM video.  (BS)

Chicago connection
Special advance screening!
Filmmakers in person!
HOGTOWN
2014, Daniel Nearing, USA, 113 min.
With Herman Wilkins, Diandra Lyle

Friday, August 22, 8:00 pm
Monday, August 25, 8:15 pm

Daniel Nearing’s CHICAGO HEIGHTS drew turnaway crowds at the 2010 BHFF
and was deemed “brilliant” by Roger Ebert.  Nearing’s new film HOGTOWN
(the second in a trilogy begun by CHICAGO HEIGHTS) is his most
ambitious and accomplished yet.
The story begins in Chicago in the winter of 1919 and initially
centers on a police manhunt for a missing millionaire.  By
adventurously marrying a postmodern sensibility with the classic
American naturalism of Ernest Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson (both of
whom are characters in the huge cast), HOGTOWN expands into a
multilayered, multicultural tapestry of a city and a century.  Though
made on a miniscule budget, HOGTOWN is epic in its scope and
ravishingly photographed (mostly in luminous black-and-white),
designed, and scored.  Special advance screening courtesy of  9:23
Films.  In English, Spanish, and Mandarin with English subtitles.  DCP
digital.  (MR)

Director Daniel Nearing, actor Herman Wilkins, and selected cast and
crew members will be present for audience discussion at both
screenings.

Bill Duke on Skype
A RAGE IN HARLEM
1991, Bill Duke, USA, 109 min.
With Forest Whitaker, Robin Givens

Sunday, August 24, 5:15 pm

“Delightful…a funny, sexy, and violent crime comedy.”--Jonathan
Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Bill Duke has had a long and distinguished career as actor (CAR WASH,
PREDATOR, MENACE II SOCIETY), director (THE KILLING FLOOR, DEEP COVER,
NOT EASILY BROKEN), and humanitarian (the Duke Media Foundation).  We
honor his achievements with a personal appearance by Mr. Duke and a
special screening of his first feature film.  A highly entertaining
package of action, comedy, and romance based on pulp maestro Chester
Himes’s 1950s-set ghetto tall tale, A RAGE IN HARLEM features a
sensational (and sadly never equaled) screen debut by Robin Givens as
a voluptuous Mississippi vixen who sashays into Harlem with a trunkful
of gold that acts as a magnet for a colorful assortment of crooks, con
men, and killers.  Also in the cast are Danny Glover, Gregory Hines,
Zakes Mokae, George Wallace, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Forest
Whitaker as the super-straight square who falls hard for the curvy
visitor.  35mm. (MR)

Director Bill Duke will be present by Skype for audience discussion

Special advance screening!
Sejake Matsela in person!
THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM
2013, Andrew Mudge, USA/South Africa, 97 min.
With Zenzo Ngqobe, Nozipho Nkelemba

Tuesday, August 26, 8:15 pm
Wednesday, August 27, 6:15 pm

“A sense of spirituality that permeates every frame…tremendous
authenticity.”--Richard Propes, The Independent Critic

A prodigal son reluctantly returns to his roots in this story in which
a journey of self-discovery awakens a newfound respect for the past.
Atang (Ngqobe), a tough Johannesburg bad boy who kicked the dust of
rural Lesotho from his feet long ago, is forced to escort his father’s
body back to his native village.  It will take another journey, led by
a mysterious child through myth, witchcraft, and Lesotho’s stunning
mountainous landscape, to pierce Atang’s hard heart and prepare him
for the possibility of love once he understands the meaning of home.
Special advance screening courtesy of  Kino Lorber.  In Sesotho with
English subtitles.  DCP digital.  (BS)

Assistant director Sejake Matsela will tentatively be present for
audience discussion at both screenings.

Shorts Program:
Black Noir
2012-2014, Various directors, USA, 81 min.

Wednesday, August 27, 8:30 pm

Five films take a walk on the dark side:  In Evita M. Castine’s
dazzling ONLY LIGHT (2014, 13 min.), a suburban teenager discovers a
dark secret in the house next door.  James Pilson’s gritty and
lyrical BUG (2013, 13 min.) follows an eight-year-old boy through the
dangerous streets and golden beaches of early 1990s L.A.  Two
Cameroonian immigrants pursue the American Dream in Ari Dassa’s
pessimistic EIGHT COUNT (2013, 15 min.).  In Marques Green’s THE
BLUEST NOTE (2012, 15 min.), a nightclub singer hits the skids,
haunted by a femme fatale.  In Daniel E. Williams’s Kafkaesque HACKED
(2013, 25 min.), a black white-collar worker suddenly finds himself on
the wrong side of the law.  Various formats.  (MR)


This article is related to: Festival Dispatch


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