New Voices in Black Cinema
New Voices in Black Cinema
February 15-18, 2013
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
a four-day film festival that reflects the wide spectrum of views and themes
of new voices and continuing ones
within the Black film community in Brooklyn and well beyond
“This is an exciting third year for us at BAMcinématek,” says Curtis Caesar John, the Festival Director of New Voices in Black Cinema and ActNow Foundation’s Head of Film Programming. “We’ve got multiple New York premieres as well as a fantastic mix of standout local talent, directors from Senegal, Italy, and Canada, and filmmakers who have been burning up the festival circuit – all of whom have been presenting a wide array of stories from the African diaspora.”
Such films include:
FOUR, the film festival hit starring Wendell Pierce and NVBC ’13 cover girl Aja Naomi King
The NY premiere of Neil Drumming’s BIG WORDS
Poet/actor/musician Saul Williams in AUJOUD’HUI (Tey)
The Brooklyn premiere of THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE
Goddey Asemota’s controversial drama NO HOMO
Award winning short films by local and international talents …and much more.
Sponsored in part by:
New Voices in Black Cinema is made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
This program is also made possible by a Rockefeller Foundation New York City Cultural Innovation Fund award. The Soul of Brooklyn Grant is administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) for the Soul of Brooklyn Consortium.
TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE! Go to: BAM.org/NewVoicesinBlackCinema
Fri, Feb 15
1:30pm: 18 Ius Soli + Beale St. Blues
4pm: The Fade
7pm: Big Words
9:45pm: The Kill Hole
Sat, Feb 16
12pm: The United States of Hoodoo
3pm: High Chicago
6pm: Aujourd’hui (Tey)
9:15pm: FunkJazz Kafé: Diary of a Decade
Sun, Feb 17
1pm: The Central Park Five
9:45pm: The Undershepherd
Mon, Feb 18
1pm: Stones in the Sun
4pm: Unbreakable: Short Film Program
7pm: Gimme the Loot
9:45pm: No Homo
18 IUS SOLI – 2011, Fred Kuwornu, Italy, 50 mins. – NY Premiere!
This documentary examines the law that denies citizenship to young people born in Italy of immigrant parents because they have no Italian blood. It follows 18 stories of girls and boys born and raised in Italy whose parents are originally from African, Asian, and South American countries, but who moved to and have long lived in different areas of Italy.
Shows with: Beale St. Blues (25 min) – Controversial documentary about struggling Blues Musicians on Beale Street in Memphis, TN – home to classic blues clubs and players. Directed by Kecia Benson.
Q&A with Fred Kuwornu and Kecia Benson
ALASKALAND – 2012, Chinonye Chukwu, USA, 76 mins. – NY Premiere!
Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggles to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister, the siblings reconnect in their hometown with their time creating new frictions yet inching toward reconciliation.
Q&A with Chinonye Chukwu and Alexander Etseyatse
Shows with short film: 4-1-9 (15 min) Two British-Nigerian brothers are involved in an illegal family business. One brother wants to end it while the other brother wants to continue on. Directed by Alexander Etseyatse.
AUJOURD’HUI (TEY) – 2012, Alain Gomis, Senegal/France, 86 mins. – NY Premiere!
With Saul Williams, Aissa Maiga, Anisia Uzeyman, and Djolof Mbengue.
Today is the last day of his life. He knows this to be true even though he is strong and healthy. Nonetheless Satché (played by American actor-musician Saül Williams) accepts his imminent death as he walks through the streets of his home town in Senegal taking in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, his wife and children, but seeing them and himself from an entirely new, and often banal, reality.
Q&A with Alain Gomis and Saul Williams. Moderated by Tambay Obenson, editor of Shadow And Act and co-founder of New Voices in Black Cinema
Trailer: (in French)
BIG WORDS – 2012, Neil Drumming, USA, 97 min. – - NY Premiere!
With Dorian Missick (“Southland”, Two Weeks Notice), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”, The Taking of Pelham 123), Darien Sills-Evans (“Cosby”, Rivers Wash Over Me) and Yaya Alafia (The Kids Are All Right)
Brooklyn, 2008. On the eve of Obama’s history-making election, three friends, once members of a promising hip-hop trio, cross paths once again and discover that some things never change. Former frontman John, once known as “Big Words”, is now a struggling IT guy who raps only to himself. James is a publicist living with his boyfriend, far removed from the days when he rhymed about getting girls. DJ Malik still spins records, but he wants the old days back. Together again, the guys reckon with the past and dreams deferred.
Q&A with Neil Drumming, producer Matt Smith, and Dorian Missick, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Darien Sills-Evans, Yaya Alafia, and Jean Grae. Moderated by Jermaine Spradley of the Huffington Post.
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE – 2012, Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns, USA, 119 min. – Brooklyn premiere!
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, resulting in their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Q&A with Yusef Salaam, Kharey Wise, and Raymond Santana. Moderated by journalist Curtis Stephen of City Limits
THE FADE – 2012, Andy Mundy-Castle, United Kingdom/Ghana/Jamaica/USA; 75 mins. – NY Premiere!
An intimate portrait of four Afro-descendent barbers across the world over seven days. Set in Ghana, Jamaica, USA and the UK, the film interweaves their stories and examines the polarized opposites of the locations. Creating an international dialog of the colorful lives of four men who do they same thing in different time zones, with very different realities.
FOUR – 2012, Joshua Sanchez, USA, 74 mins.
With Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”, Night Catches Us), Aja Naomi King (Damsels in Distress), Emory Cohen (“Smash”) and EJ Bonilla (Yelling To The Sky)
A steamy July 4th night brings four people together in two tales of seduction and conflicted desire. Joe is a black, middle-aged, married man out on an Internet date with June, a white teenage boy. Abigayle is Joe’s precocious daughter, out herself with a hot, wisecracking, Latino basketball player named Dexter. As the two couples get to know each other intimately, their realities are tested, and the outcome is bracing.
shows with short film: Breaking Night (10 min) Girl flees heavy situation at home with her boyfriend and confronts a vision of confidence and sophistication she’s never seen before. This changes her outlook transforming her life forever. As night gives way to morning, she abandons the young “lost girl,” emerging as a young woman with purpose into the light. Directed by Yolonda Ross.
Q&A with Joshua Sanchez, Emory Cohen, and Yolonda Ross
Funk Jazz Kafe: DIARY OF A DECADE – 2012, Jason Orr, USA, 134 mins. – - NY Premiere!
With Erykah Badu, Cee Lo Green, Chuck D, Cornel West, Kevin Powell, Roy Ayers, Doug E. Fresh and more
This film is the story of a cultural legend as told by the innovators of an important, and in some cases overlooked, era in Black culture. Spanning the late 1980’s through to the early 2000’s, this story goes deep into the fabric of soul music, it’s definitions, it’s pioneers, it’s offspring, it’s movements, the challenges with the “mainstream” industry as well as the evolution of the FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival.
Q&A with Jason Orr
GIMME THE LOOT – 2012, Adam Leon, USA, 81 min.
With Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington
Malcolm and Sofia, two determined teens from the Bronx, are the ultimate graffiti-writers. When a rival gang buffs their latest masterpiece, they must hatch a plan to get revenge by tagging an iconic NYC landmark, but they need to raise $500 to pull off their spectacular scheme.
Q&a with Adam Leon, Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington
HIGH CHICAGO – 2011, Alfons Adetuyi, Canada, 98 min. – - NY Premiere!
With Colin Salmon (‘Arrow’, Tomorrow Never Dies) and Karen Leblanc (Nurse.Fighter.Boy)
A windswept northern mining town is the background to this tale of winners and losers when a man who schemes on a grand scale but lives small makes a risky leap for the big time. Sam (Salmon), 42 years old, a hard-drinking father of three, ex-Navy man, ex-miner, and soon to be ex-husband, takes to gambling at poker full time to bankroll his crazy plan to open a drive-in theater in Nigeria. A commanding performance by charismatic actor Salmon, who made his reputation in three James Bond films, makes Sam never less than compelling to watch as his life comes close to spiraling out of control in the grip of his cherished dream.
presented by Big.Shade.Tree. Q&A with director Alfons Adetuyi, moderated by Trevite Willis, co-founder of Big.Shade.Tree
THE KILL HOLE – 2011, Mischa Webley, USA, 92 min.
With Chadwick Boseman (42), Billy Zane (Titanic) and Tory Kittles (Stop-Loss)
The shadow of war follows a troubled Iraq War vet as he is forced to pursue one of his own into the Pacific Northwest wilderness to finally confront a war crime that has haunted them both.
NO HOMO – 2012, Goddey Asemota, USA, 78 mins – - NY Premiere!
With Lee Garret, John Cannon, Brandon London, Pooya Mohseni, Shashone Lambert, and Christopher Rustin.
Lance and Dame are aspiring fashion designers who sell custom shirts on the streets of SoHo. Because of their love for fashion the two are consistently questioned about their sexuality. As a gag they make a shirt with NO HOMO written on the front to address their sexuality questions, and sell them at their stand. What happens next is a chain of events that’s leads to the unlikely meteoric rise through the world fashion.
Q&A with Goddey Asemota and Marquis Smalls
Shows with Harriet Returns (9 min) Harriet Tubman comes back to life to try and free young black men from the ‘mental slavery’ that they contribute to today with the repeated use of the N-word and the way they sag their pants but meets her match in two young NYC rappers. Directed by Marquis Smalls.
STONES IN THE SUN – 2012, Patricia Benoit, USA & Haiti, 93 mins.
With Edwidge Danticant (author of Krik? Krak!), Thierry Saintine (Honeysuckle), Michelle Marcelin, and Patricia Rhinvil
In the midst of political violence in Haiti, a traumatized wife and her patient husband, two sisters - one in denial and one thoroughly entrenched in the struggle for liberation, and a war criminal father and political activist son, are all driven from home to 1980′s New York where they must confront the truths of their interconnected pasts.
Presented by the Haiti Cultural Exchange
Q&A with Thierry Saintine, Carlo Mitton, and Diana Masi. Moderated by filmmaker Jerry Lamothe (BlacKout, The Tombs)
The UNDERSHEPHERD – 2012, Russ Parr, USA, 108 min - NY premiere!
With Isaiah Washington, Lamman Rucker, Malinda Williams and Vanessa Bell Calloway.
A controversial tale of two ministers, LC (Washington) and Roland (Rucker), best friends and brothers in Christ. When the head preacher of their church plans his retirement, mild-mannered LC becomes overcome by his access to power, money earned through his ministry, and slowly transforms into a ruthless business man.
Q&A with Russ Parr
UNITED STATES OF HOODOO – 2012, Oliver Hardt, USA/Germany 2012, 100 minutes – - NY Premiere!
Featuring Darius James and Ishmael Reed, Danny Simmons, Nick Cave, Val Jeanty, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Kanene Holder, David “Goat” Carson, and Hassan Sekou Allen
A road trip to the black roots of American culture, The United States of Hoodoo is a film about how African based spirituality has influenced America´s popular culture. The film shakes up traditional and stereotypical ways of thinking about race, religion, and rationality. Through meetings with musicians, writers and artists, miracle healers, gumbo cooks and Mississippi Blues men, this documentary explores a culture which has always drawn on a unique mix of different ethnic influences to produce its cultural diversity, allure, and vitality.
Presented by the Caribbean Film Academy.
Q&A with Darius James, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Val Jeanty and Kanene Holder. Moderated by Romola Lucas of the Caribbean Film Academy
Short Film Showcase: UNBREAKABLE (93 min)
From awkward encounters to mystical ones and from back alley life or death negotiations to family dynamics that threatens one’s morality, this year’s gripping selection of short films explore the complex relationships between generations, whether it be your family bonded by blood but not much else, the family of friends who’ve got your back, or the family you pass on the streets in your neighborhood every day.
Featuring award-winning shorts and new far from up-and-coming filmmaker, including:
BARBASOL by Ralph Scott
RECORD/PLAY by Jesse Atlas
SAUDADE by Evita Castine
FORT GREENE by Jordan Thomas
KARIM by Carl Seaton
EVERYTHING ABSOLUTELY by Natale Paul & Terence Nance
NIGGA…NIGGA…NIGGA! by Michael Blevins
MAKE ME A DOORWAY by Jesse Russell Brooks