Kino Lorber has announced it will release a new 4K restoration of Ayoka Chenzira’s Alma’s Rainbow. The film is restored by Milestone Films, the Academy Film Archive, and The Film Foundation and is presented by Julie Dash. The restoration will premiere on June 27 at BAMCinemafest with Chenzira in attendance.
The ceremony will also include a new 4K restoration of her short film Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People. Alma’s Rainbow will release theatrically on July 29.
'Alma's Rainbow' was written, directed and produced by award-winning film and video artist Ayoka Chenzira, who is one of the first African Americans to teach film production in higher education, as well as one of the first African American women to work in animation.
The film is an integral part of ’90s Black cinema, and its restoration aims to preserve and showcase it for future generations to experience.
Here is the official synopsis of Alma’s Rainbow:
A coming-of-age comedy-drama about three African American women living in Brooklyn, Alma’s Rainbow explores the life of teenager Rainbow Gold (Victoria Gabrielle Platt) as she enters womanhood and navigates standards of beauty, self-image, and the rights women have over their bodies. Rainbow attends a strict parochial school, studies dance, and lives with her strait-laced mother Alma (Kim Weston-Moran), who runs a hair salon in the parlor of their home and disapproves of her daughter’s newfound interest in boys. When Alma’s free-spirited sister Ruby (Mizan Kirby) returns from Paris after a ten-year absence, the sisters clash over what constitutes the “proper” direction for Rainbow’s life. Alma’s Rainbow highlights a multi-layered Black women’s world where the characters live, love, and wrestle with what it means to exert and exercise their agency.
More on the restoration:
Co-founders of Milestone Films, Dennis Doros and Amy Heller said of the restoration: “We have had the fortune to introduce current audiences to Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep and My Brother’s Wedding, Billy Woodberry’s Bless Their Little Hearts, and Kathleen Collins’ Losing Ground. Ayoka Chenzira’s Alma’s Rainbow is this year’s rediscovery and we are looking forward to audiences sharing our delight in seeing this fabulous film on the big screen and basking in Ayoka’s light, humor, and artistry.”
Chenzira added, “Someone once told me that filmmakers eventually fall out of love with their films as they move on with their careers. I have never felt this way about my work because with each project, I learn something new about myself as an artist and as a person. So I am thrilled that my independent film, Alma’s Rainbow, was restored by Milestone, a company with a long history of supporting the visions and expressions of filmmakers.”
Richard Lorber, President & CEO of Kino Lorber said, “We’re proud to continue our partnership with Milestone as we reintroduce Alma’s Rainbow to audiences across North America, and internationally in Cannes. It’s an especial honor that Julie Dash will be presenting this vital restoration of the film.”
The restoration by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, and Milestone Films and supervised by Mark Toscano, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. The lab credits are Roundabout Entertainment and Audio Mechanics, with thanks to Vincent Pirozzi.