Do the Right Thing

(Advanced sign-up required.)

Thursday, 2/14/19 @ 10am-12pm

Spike Lee’s tour de force from 1989. On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone’s hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.


SNEAK PEEK / TV & Online Works-in-progress

Thursday, 2/14/19 @ 4-5:30pm

Be the first to get a glimpse of some of the edgiest TV and online projects being made by makers in North Carolina! By invitation and open to All-festival pass holders.


Opening Night Reception + Program

Thursday, 2/14/19, Reception @ 5:30, Program @ 6:30-9pm

First, join us for hors d’oeuvres and refreshing beverages before a program that will have the town talking! Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Black Durham, the 40th anniversary of Black Public Media, and then watch the award-winning documentary that’s burning up the festival circuit, Mr. Soul! Performances by J. Gunn, Dasan Ahanu, and the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble.


Black Feminist Film School

(Free with advanced sign-up.)

Friday, 2/15/19 @ 9:30am-1pm

In this half day workshop Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Sangodare will introduce the theories and praxis of Black Feminist Film School. Drawing from griot traditions in the African diaspora and from the literature, films and testimonies of Black Feminist authors and artists such as Akasha Hull, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Barbara Smith, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Julie Dash, Pauli Murray, Cheryl Dunye and others, participants will enter a safe space accountable to queer people, people of color, queer people of color and those underrepresented in film and media industries.

During the workshop, these filmmakers will use the tools of Black Feminist Film School to respond to a prompt by creating a 30 second film. Participants will walk away with a 30 second film and the tools to start articulating their own purpose and visionary futures through film.


Doc Shorts + The Revolution of the Fairytales

Friday, 2/15/19 @ 1:30pm

The Revolution of the Fairytale is a creative Caribbean collective, coming together to rewrite fairy​tales from popular culture, incorporating unknown heroes from the Caribbean. This film is preceded by two shorts from Durham, NC makers. Paul Newman’s, Which Durham, looks at the history of East Durham as told by one of its beloved griots. Soul Survivor is Episode 2 of Lana Garland’s The Reservoir docuseries which centers on Black mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.


JINN + talkback w/Director of Photography Bruce F. Cole

Friday, 2/15/19 @ 3:30pm

Summer is a 17-year old carefree black girl, whose world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular meteorologist named Jade Jennings, abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person, prompting Summer to reevaluate her identity. Followed by a talkback of the film’s Director of Photography, Bruce F. Cole.


While I Breathe, I Hope + (possible talkback w/Producer Diane Robertson)

Friday, 2/15/19 @ 6pm

What does it mean to be young, Black, and a Democrat in the American South? While I Breathe, I Hope follows South Carolina politician Bakari Sellers as he runs to become the first African American candidate elected statewide in over a century.



Friday, 2/15/19 @ 8-9:30pm

Alternate worlds and sci-fi fantasies take center stage in this block of fictional shorts. The five senses and the four elements are re-mixed to create new worlds, new frontiers in a cinematic movement which addresses today’s challenges.



Saturday, 2/16/19 @ 9:30-11am

From lost identity to self-empowerment, from life to death—this block of fictional shorts is about as human as human can get. Characters making life decisions must deal with its aftermath that challenges their perceptions of the world.


Battledream Chronicles: A New Beginning + Children’s Writing Workshop

(Advanced sign-up required.)

Saturday, 2/16/19 @ 9:30-11am

In the Hayti classroom middle school-aged students will watch the first episode of the sci-fi animated first episode of Battledream Chronicles: A New Beginning, and then write additional episodes.

This series centers on Syanna, a young, Black girl from the Caribbean who wakes up as an amnesiac in an Afrofuturistic world where she has been enslaved by the global colonial empire of Mortemonde. Every day, she is forced to play a dangerous video game in where losing has serious consequences.

Battledream Chronicles: A New Beginning


60th Anniversary screening of Black Orpheus

Saturday, 2/16/19 @ 11:30am-1:30p

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Academy Award winner in 1960 for Best Foreign Language Film.

Black Orpheus



Saturday, 2/16/19 @ 1:30-3pm

Resistance takes many different forms in this block of fictional shorts. The fight against the system, the self, and the society morphs into tales filled with arresting visuals and unexpected story twists.



Saturday, 2/16 @ 4pm

Meet Bruce Francis Cole and Kevin Wilson, Jr. They are two men, born and bred in Durham, NC who are lighting up the independent film scene. Bruce is the Director of Photography of JINN and Solace, which are both screening at the festival. Kevin was nominated for an Oscar in 2018 in the category of Best Live Action Short Film. Join us for an engaging conversation where they’ll talk about their work in film and building an ecosystem for Black film in the South. Moderated by festival curator, Lana Garland.



Saturday, 2/16 @ 5:30pm

A 17year-old orphan is shipped off to her estranged grandmother and she plots her escape while navigating a foreign environment, new friendships and a hidden eating disorder.



BAKOSÓ: AfroBeats in Cuba

Saturday, 2/16 @ 8pm

What do “Está Rico” by Marc Anthony, Will Smith & Bad Bunny have in common with “Made For Now” by Janet Jackson x Daddy Yankee? They both use AfroBeats without crediting the genre’s origin. Bakosó is a film that does the opposite by following DJ Jigüe to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba to get inspiration from the new sounds. The filmmaker, Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi will be in attendance.

BAKOSÓ: AfroBeats in Cuba