Black Bottom Film Festival: Schedule
February 15- 21 Screenings at Rowhouse Cinema:
All Films will run at multiple times from Feb. 15 thru 21, 2019.
In 1940s Chicago, a young black man takes a job as a chauffeur to a white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up. The film is based on Richard Wright’s novel of the same name and stars the author.PURCHASE TICKETS
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971) - Rated R
Melvin Van Peebles wrote, directed, and starred in this 1970s classic film about a black male prostitute who is set up for a murder he didn’t commit by his boss and two corrupt cops. The film is a brutal and shocking story of survival that is credited as one of the first blaxploitation films with a score by Earth, Wind, & Fire.PURCHASE TICKETS
A young black man on the edge of adulthood yearns to find his purpose and a connection to his absent father, while his mother searches for more to life than her role as a parent in this intimate drama of a struggling family in northern Florida.PURCHASE TICKETS
This new documentary is made up of unencumbered and honest moments in a community in the Historic American South. Hale County examines the consequences of social construction of race while creating a true portrait of a place and the people who call it home.PURCHASE TICKETS
In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.PURCHASE TICKETS
Pittsburgh spotlight: Children of NAN directed by Alisha Wormsley – Rated MA
Q & A with Alisha Wormsley
In a dystopic future, Aditi 34 has only known life underground in a lab where she was created with her three sisters. Their maker, the Scientist, keeps them locked away for their "own safety." Her only connection to the outside world is an archive that gives her insight to how they came to be underground. She and her sisters start to have visions of their mother, NAN and the outside world and even one another in a different life. One by one her sisters begin to disappear and Aditi 34 must escape the lab, go above ground and search through time and space for her sisters and NAN.
The Children of NAN is a metaphor for the survival and power of black women. Children of NAN uses science fiction tropes, historical and anthropological narrative, and origin mythology of race, mysticism and gender.
Rock Rubber 45's (2018) directed by Bobbito Garcia – Rated MA (Feature Documentary)
QA with Bobbito Garcia
ROCK RUBBER 45s is a cinematic odyssey exploring the connectivity of global basketball, sneaker, and music lifestyle through the firsthand lens of authentic NYC culture orchestrator Bobbito García. The film explores García’s youth dealing with mistreatment, educational quandaries, identity, and loss as well as his ascension to self-determination as an adult freelance creative. The ballplayer/author/DJ/filmmaker has carved an independent career that has inspired millions throughout the world and has affected the growth and direction of the footwear, hip hop, and sports industries in the process.
Featuring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rosie Perez, Stevie Wonder, Questlove, Patti Labelle, Michael Rapaport, Chuck D, Chris Paul, Scottie Pippen, The Professor, Earl Manigault, Pee Wee Kirkland, Maxwell, Eddie Palmieri, Louie Vega, Raekwon, Legs, Clark Kent, Roc Raida, Talib Kweli, Serch, Spinna, Rich Medina, Spike Lee, Kobe, Magic
BBFF opening night after party with DJ Selecta
Saturday, February 23 (at the August Wilson Cultural Center):PURCHASE FESTIVAL TICKETS
Youth Improv Class (Ages 13 to 18) in partnership with Arcade Theater
Come out and learn the art of comedy! This two-hour class welcomes youth ages 13-18 and is appropriate for all levels of experience. Whether you are completely new to improvisation or are a seasoned performer, this class is for you. Lead by the experienced staff at Arcade Comedy Theater, we will explore a mixture of instruction and play complete with improv games and time for Q&A in a comfortable, classroom-style setting. Pre-registration required.RSVP FOR WORKSHOP
Acting Workshop with Kim Coles
As a beloved multifaceted actress, comedian, author and speaker, Kim Coles has delighted audiences all over the world for over 32 years including ground-breaking shows like In Living Color and Living Single. A sought after online academy teacher and intuitive strategic coach, Kim also guides women on the incredible healing journey Broadcasting their Brilliance by telling and leveraging their own authentic stories to inspire others to learn, laugh and leave their own powerful legacy. Her 3rd book “Open Your G.I.F.T.S” is an Amazon Bestseller. Kim resides In Los Angeles with her husband, Reggie Mckiver.
The Wiz (1978) directed by Sidney Lumet - Rated G (Feature Film)
* Children 13 and under see The Wiz for FREE
The Wiz is a 1978 American musical adventure that reimagines L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the Movie The Wizard of Oz. This cult classic features an all-black cast, and still follows the adventures of Dorothy, but who is now a shy, twenty-four-year-old Harlem schoolteacher who finds herself magically transported to the urban fantasy Land of Oz, which resembles a dream version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the city to seek an audience with the mysterious Wiz, who they say is the only one powerful enough to send her home.
They Charge for The Sun (Directed by Terrence Nance) (Short Film)
A sombre future in which sunlight has become rare. The sun’s rays are so damaging that the government only allows citizens a limited amount of daylight every day. Even outside, there are strict rules with which people must comply. A naughty little black girl ignores the rules and that’s how she discovers the truth.
Random Acts of Flyness
One episode of the late-night series from artist Terence Nance featuring a mix of vérité documentary, musical performances, surrealist melodrama and humorous animation as a stream-of-consciousness response to the contemporary American mediascape. Q & A with Director Terrence to follow.
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019) directed by Xavier Virgin - Rated MA (Documentary Feature)
Directed by Xavier Virgin EP Dr. Robin Means Coleman
Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced black culture, Horror Noire traces a secret history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre. Adapting executive producer Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman’s seminal book of the same name, Horror Noire will present the living and the dead, using new interviews with scholars and creators, from the voices who survived the genre’s past trends to those shaping its future. Featuring Jordan Peele, Keith David, Rachel True, Tony Todd, Loretta Devine, Paula Jai Parker, Tananarive Due and Ashlee Blackwell.
Yardie (Directed by Idris Elba) (Feature Film)
Directed by international film and television star Idris Elba, Yardie is set in '70s Kingston and '80s Hackney, Yardie centres on the life of a young Jamaican man named D (Aml Ameen), who has never fully recovered from the murder, committed during his childhood, of his older brother Jerry Dread (Everaldo Creary). D grows up under the wing of a Kingston Don and music producer named King Fox (Sheldon Shepherd). Fox dispatches him to London, where he reconnects with his childhood sweetheart, Yvonne (Shantol Jackson), and his daughter who he's not seen since she was a baby. He also hooks up with a soundclash crew, called High Noon. But before he can be convinced to abandon his life of crime and follow "the righteous path", he encounters the man who shot his brother 10 years earlier, and embarks on a bloody, explosive quest for retribution - a quest which brings him into conflict with vicious London gangster Rico (Stephen Graham).
Sunday, February 24 (at the August Wilson Cultural Center):PURCHASE FESTIVAL TICKETS
Screen Writing Workshop with Gerard Brown
GERARD BROWN III is a native of Asbury Park, New Jersey and a graduate of Howard University in Washington DC where he studied television, film and journalism. His feature film, television and theater credits include award-winning projects including JUICE which was produced by Island-World Pictures. Paramount Pictures distributed the film domestically, releasing it over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend in January 1992 in 1,100 theaters. It has since gone on to be considered by many as a cult classic. The film was the directorial debut of Spike Lee cinematographer, and current AMC producer/director Ernest Dickerson.
Mr. Brown also scripted Monster: The Life of an L.A. Gang Member for Oliver Stone’s Propaganda Films and won first place in the screen writing competition for the New Federal Theater in New York City for his screenplay High Caliber.
He is an adjunct professor at Long Island University (Brooklyn campus), and at SUNY Orange. He has also been a guest lecturer at New York University, Duke University. Rutgers University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina State University, and Saint Augustine’s University.
For Love of Ivy (1968) directed by Daniel Mann - Rated G (Feature Film)
For Love of Ivy is a 1968 romantic comedy film directed by Daniel Mann. The film stars Sidney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Beau Bridges, Nan Martin, Lauri Peters and Carroll O'Connor. The story was written by Sidney Poitier with screenwriter Robert Alan Arthur. The musical score was composed by Quincy Jones. The theme song "For Love of Ivy", written by Quincy Jones and Bob Russell, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film received Golden Globe supporting acting nominations for Beau Bridges and Abbey Lincoln.
Generation (2018) directed by Pamela Woolford – Rated NR ( Short Film - Viewer Discretion Advised)
Q & A with Pamela Woolford
A Story of Art, Healing, Love, and Escape
An elderly narrator revisits her youth, telling the story of her sister Mable, a poor farm girl who reads classic literature to their abusive father, struggling mother, and family of seven brothers and sisters, helping to forge a new existence for them for generations to come. An experimental solo-screendance short, Generation is shaped by a script consisting of two nearly identical voice-over monologues, echoing each other at various points and driving and chasing the film’s visual images. Generations is about memory and storytelling and windows in time. The film is inspired by the life of filmmaker Pamela Woolford’s octogenarian mother, Sadie Woolford, who grew up in rural poverty-stricken North Carolina in the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, where she would read classic literature to her family of ten sisters and brothers. In Generation, literary works of O. Henry—“The Gift of the Magi” and “The Last Leaf”—and the opening storyline.
A Drop of Sun Under the Earth (2017) by Shikeith(Short Film - Viewer Discretion Advised)
A presentation of visual-imagery with live music by New Haven-based, saxophonist Corey Staggs followed by Q&A.
A Drop of Sun Under the Earth is a short experimental film directed by Shikeith, about a shy Black boy whose experience of a compassionate encounter turns the emotional and sexual traumas lodged in his body into dreams about otherwise love. The film premiered in October 2017 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as a part of the Black Intimacy film series curated by Adeze Wilford and has since screened at film festivals that include Inside Out (Toronto), Rio Festival de Gênero & Sexualidade (Brasil), & the British Film Institute’s Flare (London).
Director, Writer, Cinematography, and Post-Production: Shikeith; Co-Writer: Paul Daniels II; Starring: Daniel Cunningham, James Udom, Sana Sarr, Erron Crawford; Author of Adapted Material (Dialogue): Danez Smith’s “A poem in which one black man holds another”; Film Score: Trap Cry
Shikeith (b. 1989, Philadelphia, PA) received his BA from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA for Integrative Art (2010) and his MFA in Sculpture from The Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT (2018). His work attempts an assemblage of personal truths and wonder that focuses on the metamorphoses of Black men, especially within a society that denies these men their erotic and reconciliatory potential and capital. It is the interior he considers—his own, as well as, other Black men or masculine people through emphasizing portraiture, sculpture, and film making to examine the fantastic as it relates and complicates personal autobiography and self-making.
Corey Staggs is a young musician based in New Haven, CT. He is a gifted saxophonist and also plays the piano, violin, bass, and electric guitar. Corey has performed at Yale University, Ohio State University, St. John’s University, and other major universities. He has collaborated with the late Easton Kelly, V Don, Shikeith, and performed at Broccoli Fest in Washington D.C. in front of more than 10,000 people. Corey is working on his forthcoming album, which debuts in late 2019.
Ali’s Comeback: The Untold Story (2017) directed by Art Jones – Viewer Discretion Advised (Documentary Feature)
Q & A with Art Jones
The year is 1970. It has been three and a half years since Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title. Convicted of draft evasion. Threatened with imprisonment. Banned In all 50 states, he is unable to work in the field for which he had no equal. The wide door on his illustrious career seems to be closing. But in Atlanta, Georgia, that all changed. Ali's Comeback explores the political and racial climate of America in 1970, and how Muhammad Ali, the most polarizing figure in America, was able to able to return in the least likely location:Atlanta, Georgia.
"That Should've Won an Oscar!" Trivia Game about Black Cinema with BOOM Concepts
Hosted by DS Kinsel featuring Slim Tha DJ
As part of the Black Film Festival, The AWCC and BOOM Concepts will present That Should’ve Won An Oscar! on February 24. Festival goers can enjoy a fun night of black movie trivia filled with memorable scenes, lines, actors, movies that won and probably some that wouldn’t come close but we love just the same. Contestants will have to get through 24 questions to win the special Black Award of Merit. Did we mention you can partner up? Double the knowledge, double the opportunity to walk away film trivia winners.
Door prizes and an award for the winner!
The Lovers Lyfe (Short Film)
The Lovers Lyfe is based on a true story that shows no matter how long, or how far people are apart - if its meant to be, love will never go away. Set in Pittsburgh, this story takes you on a journey back into the 1990’s when young black culture was “popping” in the ‘burg. The film illuminates the power of love and the challenges people face to stay together in urban America.
Pas Honteux (2017) Short film directed by John "Dr. Teeth" Tucker - Rated R
Q & A with John “Dr. Teeth” Tucker
Pas Honteux is a dark comedy in which social expectations meets willful stupidity that plays like an exhilarating gift, This film is Friday meets French New Wave. The story focuses on a young African American slacker who wakes up one day speaking only French. The film brings to light the fact that we not only judge people by their looks but also by the way they speak.