'Chi-chi:Tales from the Bass Line', 'Brooklyn Castle' And 'Pelotero' Among the Docs At Black Harvest Film Festival
Photo Credit: S & A

'Chi-chi:Tales from the Bass Line', 'Brooklyn Castle' And 'Pelotero' Among the Docs At Black Harvest Film Festival

nullToo many films, a record number, will be screening at this year's 18th annual Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago running from Aug 3-30 so I intend, in this piece, to highlight just the documentaries. 

And among them are filmmaker Barrie Gavin's wonderful and quite moving film Chi-chi: Tales from the Bass Line about double bass player classical musician Chi-chi Nwanoku which chronicles her truly inspiring life and career.

Also playing at the festival this year are John Paley's film Ballplayer Pelotero about the murky and opportunistic baseball industry in the Dominican Republic where young and promising players are exploited and Katie Dellamaggiore's Brooklyn Castle about the winningest school chess team in the country made up of urban Brooklyn high school students.

And also The Contradiction of Fair Hope which deals with the institution of benevolent societies  that were formed by former slaves and how one such society in Alabama was unfortunately corrupted when it faced extinction.

The film was directed by actress S. Epatha Merkerson who is tentatively sheduled to be at the screenings of her film in person.

If you want more info take a gander at the complete film schedule:

18th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival

The Gene Siskel Film Center welcomes you to our biggest and most

exciting event of the summer: the latest edition of the “Black Harvest

Film Festival," August 3-30.  The commitment, imagination, and

creativity of independent directors from throughout the U.S. and the

world bring stories and images of the black experience to life.  As

always, filmmakers from the Chicago area are especially front and

center in our festival, and filmmaker appearances abound.  Be sure to

check our web site www.siskelfilmcenter.org for updates on additional

guests and special events.

The festival kicks off with the don’t-miss opening night, as NBC 5’s

LeeAnn Trotter MCs the festive program “A Black Harvest Feast,” which

includes the presentation of this year’s “Deloris Jordan Award for

Excellence in Community Leadership” to a couple whose generosity has

impacted thousands of Chicagoans, Diane and Quintin Primo.  Filmmakers

appearing on the program include director Angel Kristi Williams (THE


and producer/actress Diandra Lyle (MISSION: MOM-POSSIBLE).

“Action! The Real Deal About Filmmaking: Money, Casting, Production,

and Distribution” (August 25),  this year’s edition of the

ever-popular “Black Harvest” panel discussion and DIY workshop, will

cover every aspect of production for the aspiring filmmaker and

feature down-to-earth tips and practical information from our guest

producers and directors.

Many filmmakers from around the U.S. will be appearing for discussion

and networking, including a significant number of our own

Chicago-based filmmakers.  Feature films made in Chicago include the

documentary THE CURATORS OF DIXON SCHOOL, the drama ENGLEWOOD, and the action drama FATHER’S DAY.  Eleven short films boast Chicago


Among the festival’s special events are special advance screenings of

BALLPLAYER: PELOTERO and our closing night film BROOKLYN CASTLE.

BALLPLAYER: PELOTERO explores the tension-fraught high-stakes process of recruiting young talent in the Dominican Republic by American pro

baseball clubs.  A game of another sort is the subject of BROOKLYN

CASTLE, in which a failing Brooklyn middle school initiates a chess

program and develops the nation’s newest chess prodigies in the


“People of Color,” a joint exhibition by School of the Art Institute

of Chicago graduates Charles Anthony Lewis, Jr., and Christina Long,

runs July 16-September 23 in our gallery/café.

The “Black Harvest Film Festival” is supported by the Chicago

Community Trust; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and the

Alphawood Foundation.  Special thanks to festival consultant Sergio

Mims, our Black Harvest Community Council, and to the many filmmakers

who help make this festival possible.

–Barbara Scharres

Opening Night Celebration

Friday, August 3, 6:30 pm

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 Diane and Quintin Primo.

After the show, the audience is invited to join our celebrity guests

for a reception in our gallery/café.

Opening night films!

Filmmakers in person!

A Black Harvest Feast

2011-12, Various directors, USA, 67 min.

Friday, August 3, 6:30 pm

Enjoy a sneak preview of the 2012 “harvest” through five short films

conveying the spirit of the month-long festival.  In Derek Dow’s dark

farce THIS AIN’T YO MOVIE (2012, 6 min.), a frustrated director goes

to extreme lengths to make the film his way.  A broke dad makes a

risky choice to please his little girl in THE CHRISTMAS TREE (2012, 12

min.) by Angel Kristi Williams.  Could an old family recipe have

aphrodisiac qualities?  Mohamed Dione’s MAFFE TIGA (2011, 21 min.)

tells the tale.  A mother is faced with the toughest decision of her

life in Rachel I. Johnson’s WHITE SUGAR IN A BLACK POT (2011, 18

min.), and the tooth fairy gets a boost close to home in Morocco

Omari’s MISSION: MOM-POSSIBLE (2011, 10 min.).  Various video formats.

(BS & MR)

Directors Angel Kristi Williams (THE CHRISTMAS TREE), actress Lolita

Brinkley (WHITE SUGAR IN A BLACK POT), and producer/actress Diandra

Lyle (MISSION: MOM-POSSIBLE) 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!

Katie Dellamaggiore in person!


2012, Katie Dellamaggiore, USA, 101 min.

Sunday, August 26, 3:15 pm

Thursday, August 30, 6:30 pm

“Irresistibly uplifting…crowd-pleasing.”–Joe Leydon, Variety

“A modern day fairy tale.”–Sarah Shelton, MTV

Kings, queens, and knights come to the rescue of a winning crew of

Brooklyn inner-city middle school students when chess becomes their

game of choice and their overwhelming obsession.  BROOKLYN CASTLE

follows the dramatic story of how a new chess program at a failing

school becomes the driving force in the lives of at-risk kids, most

from families below the poverty level.  The chess team of I.S. 318

scales the heights of the chess world, becoming the top-rated junior

high team in the nation.  Prodigy players including Rochelle, Justus,

Pobo, and Alexis are poised for the opportunities of a lifetime just

as their school’s hard-won success is threatened by budget cuts.

Special advance screening courtesy of Abramorama.  HDCAM video.  (BS)


Director Katie Dellamaggiore is tentatively scheduled to be present at

the Thursday screening.

After the Thursday show, the audience is invited to a reception hosted

by Whole Foods Market in our gallery/café.

In the Gene Siskel Film Center gallery/café

July 16–September 23

"People of Color"

“People of Color” is a joint exhibition by artists Charles Anthony

Lewis Jr. (MFA Painting 2012) and Christina Long (MFA Printmedia

2012).  Both artists explore identity in unique ways that connect with

their individual experiences.  Lewis’ sparse graphite drawings on

enormous sheets of gray smudged paper are disciplined, yet

unorganized; calling attention to the paradoxical nature of assigned

labels and categories.  Long uses intimate family photos and dioramas

to illustrate the dichotomous existent of identity.  The daily

functions her family engages in are juxtaposed to the

artificial/expected settings played out in the dioramas.  Lewis’ and

Long’s work challenges our need to find comfort in these temporal

structures, regardless what forms they may take, and our willingness

to ignore their inherent flaws.  For additional information, contact

the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Multicultural Affairs at

maffai@saic.edu or 312.629.6869.   (James E. Britt, Jr.)

Festival panel discussion

Free admission!


The Real Deal About Filmmaking:

Money, Casting, Production, and Distribution

Saturday, August 25, 5:30 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 to include directors William L. Cochran

(ENGLEWOOD), Natasha Parker (THE LOST ONE, THE PACKAGE), Kristi Angel


The audience is invited to participate with questions in this

provocative forum.  (BS)

"Black Harvest" films


2011, John Paley, Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, USA, 76 min.

Narrated by John Leguizamo

Sunday, August 12, 5:30 pm

Monday, August 13, 6:30 pm

“The Americans may have invented baseball, but we know how to play

it.”  Roughly 20% of current pro ball players hail from the Dominican

Republic.  The thought-provoking documentary BALLPLAYER follows two

top young prospects who, like thousands of others, pursue the

multimillion-dollar signing bonuses that represent a parachute out of

poverty for them and their families.  But this inspirational scenario

is complicated by the murky mix of exploitation and opportunism that

underlies the Dominican system, rife with rumors of age-faking and

identity-fraud.  Accusations tarnish the reputations of the film’s

protagonists and threaten to destroy the dream that they have staked

everything on.  Special advance screening courtesy of Strand

Releasing.  In English and Spanish with English subtitles.  HDCAM

video.  (MR)

Mary McCallum in person!


2012, Mary McCallum, USA, 80 min.

With Mary McCallum, Molly Breen

Wednesday, August 8, 8:15 pm

Thursday, August 9, 6:30 pm

Playwright, theater director, and actress McCallum brings her recent

stage production to the screen in this pressure-cooker drama that

tackles the timely issue of missing children and the way it is

affected by race.  The teenage daughter of Cassandra (McCallum) goes

missing at the same time that a high-profile case involving a missing

white girl is monopolizing the media’s attention.  McCallum’s intense

performance and effective use of close shots keep the tension taut as

the case grows more complex, involving police bias, a charged

confrontation with the mother of the white girl, possible negligence

on the part of Cassandra’s second husband, and her own guilt-filled

memories of her alcoholic past.  HDCAM video.  (MR)

Director/writer/actress Mary McCallum will be present for audience

discussion at both screenings.


2012, Barrie Gavin, UK, 46 min.


2011, Robert Philipson, USA, 29 min.

Sunday, August 5, 5:15 pm

Monday, August 6, 6:15 pm

Two portraits of women of color who forged unconventional paths to

musical excellence:  Chi-chi Nwanoku is a virtuoso of one of the most

challenging musical instruments, the double bass.  The effervescent

and indomitable Chi-chi recounts the hurdles she faced growing up as a

mixed-race child and scaling the musical establishment in Britain,

interspersed with luscious performances of Haydn, Berlioz, Elgar,

Dvorak, and others.  Preceded by T’AIN’T NOBODY’S BIZNESS, an overview

of such early blues divas as Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, and Bessie

Smith, whose independent spirit was reflected in their unconventional

sexuality as well as in their groundbreaking music.  Both in DigiBeta

video.  (MR)

Filmmakers in person!


2012, S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf, USA, 67 min.

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg

Sunday, August 19, 5:15 pm

Monday, August 20, 8:15 pm

This fascinating documentary sheds light on a unique Southern

institution: “benevolent societies,” formed by ex-slaves after the

Civil War to provide health care, religious services, and proper

burials for rural blacks who had no other recourse.  With its original

functions co-opted and its membership dwindling, the Fair Hope society

in Alabama now thrives in only one, troubling area: the use of its

land for a bacchanalian annual festival featuring guns, drugs,

moonshine, and prostitution.  Preceded by two history-themed shorts:

SAUDADE (2012, Evita M. Castine, USA, 6 min.), the atmospheric tale of

a woman haunted by visions from a dark past, and HARRIET RETURNS

(2011, Marquis Smalls, USA, 9 min.), in which Ms. Tubman visits the

present to discover that slavery is not dead.  Various video formats.


Directors S. Epatha Merkerson (CONTRADICTIONS) (tentative) and Marquis

Smalls (HARRIET) will be present for audience discussion at both


Chicago connection

Pamela Sherrod Anderson in person!


2011, Pamela Sherrod Anderson, USA, 80 min.

Sunday, August 12, 3:00 pm;

Thursday August 16, 6:00 pm

Public schools don’t have to be a minefield of metal detectors,

minimal expectations, and mind-numbing routine.  An alternative exists

right here in Chicago, at the Dixon Elementary Public School in the

Chatham neighborhood, where former principal Joan Crisler and her

successor Sharon Dale have implemented the idea that art should be an

integral part of the learning environment, with museum-quality works

openly adorning the halls.  The results, in terms of student

performance and morale, have been spectacular, but, as this inspiring

but pragmatic documentary demonstrates, there are no miracle

solutions: Crisler’s protégé Carol Briggs has an uphill battle

applying the same approach at another school, and recent budget cuts

have left even the most successful programs vulnerable to the axe.

HDCAM video.  (MR)

Director Pamela Sherrod Anderson will be present for audience

discussion at both screenings.

Chicago connection

William L. Cochran in person!


2012, William L. Cochran, USA, 94 min.

With David Cowan, William L. Cochran

Friday, August 17, 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 23, 8:15 pm

The urgency of BOYZ N THE HOOD gets updated to the 2000s and

transplanted to the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood in William L.

Cochran’s powerful directing debut.  Cochran boldly blends humor,

romance, tragedy, and hope in this tale of three friends struggling to

get through their last year of high school amid street violence, peer

pressure, and family dysfunction.  Cochran himself tackles the main

role of Dennis, whose antisocial behavior conceals a talented poet.

His new girlfriend Toya can see through his thug exterior, but her

encouragement might not be enough to steer him past disaster.  Digital

video.  (MR)

Director William L. Cochran will be present for audience discussion at

both screenings.

Chicago connection

Filmmakers in person!


2010, Sidney Mansa Winters, USA, 74 min.

With Cordell Al-Ruh, Chris Welch

Monday, August 27, 8:30 pm

Wednesday, August 29, 6:15 pm

Iraq war vet Calvin (Al-Ruh) returns home to fight his resentful ex

for visitation rights to their 9-year-old son.  A hard-won day of

father-son bonding at a quiet fishing spot is transformed into an

action-packed nightmare when the boy’s backpack unknowingly becomes

the repository for a disc belonging to corporate hackers on the run.

A crew of hired assassins is unleashed and the frightened boy

experiences a new side of his dad as the two run for their lives

through the deep woods.  Shot entirely in Chicago.  DigiBeta video.


Producer William Pierce and associate producer/actor Simeon Henderson

will be present for audience discussion at both screenings.


2011, Alfons Adetuyi, Canada, 98 min.

With Colin Salmon, Karen Leblanc

Monday, August 6, 8:15 pm

Tuesday, August 7, 8:15 pm

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 Africa.  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.  HDCAM video.  (BS)

Filmmakers in person!


2011, Mischa Webley, USA, 92 min.

With Chadwick Boseman, Tory Kittles

Tuesday, August 28, 8:30 pm

Wednesday, August 29, 8:30 pm

This thriller takes on issues from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as

traumatized vet Lt. Samuel Drake (Boseman) is haunted by one very

dirty secret from his past.  Living on the margins of Portland as a

taxi driver, Drake soon comes to realize that he remains the pawn of

the Army’s venal independent contractors.  He receives one final

order: search out and take out the renegade fellow vet (Kittles) who

was witness to his crime.  The tense manhunt is set in the spectacular

Oregon wilderness, where the face-to-face meeting of two hardened

killers makes for an unpredictable resolution.  The cast also includes

Billy Zane and Peter Green.  HDCAM video.  Preceded by BATTLE BUDDY

(2011, Gerald McMurray, USA, 15 min.): a female soldier struggling

with basic training endures the grudging help of another recruit.

DigiBeta video.  (BS)

Members TBA of THE KILL HOLE production team will be present for

audience discussion at both screenings.


2012, Matthew A. Cherry, USA, 97 min.

With Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie

Friday, August 24, 8:30 pm

Tuesday, August 28, 6:30 pm

The envy of family and friends, hunky football player Kyle Bishop

(Gross) is hiding a secret that shames him: his NFL team has

unceremoniously dumped him.  He slinks back home to mom, broke and

unemployed at the age of 25.  Director Cherry, a former NFL wide

receiver, entertainingly reveals the unknown side of a pro sports

career as Kyle puzzles over how to earn a living when all he knows is

football.  For his actively dating mother, wary sister, and hometown

friends, life has moved on without him.  A chance meeting with his

former sweetheart, now the single mom of a young son, becomes a very

particular kind of wake-up call.  Digital video.  (BS)


2011, Avie Luthra, South Africa/UK, 100 min.

With Sihle Dlamini, Jayashree Basavaraj

Tuesday, August 14, 6:15 pm

Thursday, August 16, 8:15 pm

An emotionally engrossing tale in which a destitute boy’s progress

through a hostile environment is rendered with Dickensian brio, LUCKY

uses superior storytelling and vivid characterizations to comment on

social and ethnic tensions in post-apartheid South Africa.  Lucky, a

recently orphaned 10-year-old boy, leaves his rural village for the

sprawling city of Durban, where he is exploited by a venal uncle and

reluctantly protected by an aging but formidable Indian woman with a

inbred suspicion of blacks.  The two outcasts warily form a bond, as

Lucky struggles to get an education and to find the man who might be

his long-lost father.  In Zulu, English, and Hindi with English

subtitles.  35mm.  (MR)

Alfred Robbins in person!


2011, Alfred Robbins, USA, 82 min.

With DeAnna Dawn, Alfred Robbins

Friday, August 10, 6:15 pm

Saturday, August 11, 8:30 pm

A relationship that begins with a one-night stand leaves a man and a

woman linked by the consequences in ways that will both reveal and

change them.  Desiré (Dawn), outgoing and strikingly beautiful, meets

withdrawn, taciturn Will (Robbins) in a bar, and their first night

ends on a harsh note of misunderstanding.  The glow of attraction

masks problems that lie beneath the surface: her past in abusive

relationships, his anger issues and inability to connect.  The casual

hookup has hooks into their future when Desiré shows up at Will’s

house a few weeks later for an unanticipated disclosure.  HDCAM video.


Director/writer/actor Alfred Robbins will be present for audience

discussion at both screenings.

Filmmakers in person!

Shorts Program: Family Matters

2010-12, Various directors, USA, 90 min.

Friday, August 10, 8:30 pm

Monday, August 13, 8:15 pm

In good times and bad, family is at the core of life in these eight

shorts.  Gender roles are child’s play in PLAY PRETEND (2011, 5 min.)

by Rashida McWilliams.  A stalled car is a metaphor for the

relationship of two sisters in Marie François Theodore's GOING FORWARD

IN REVERSE (2011, 5 min.).  The tooth fairy gets a boost close to home

in Morocco Omari’s MISSION: MOM-POSSIBLE (2011, 10 min.).  Family

interaction is a lost cause once a guy gets his hands on “Lost”

episodes in Natasha Parker’s THE LOST ONE (2011, 10 min.).  A broke

dad makes a risky choice to please his little girl in THE CHRISTMAS

TREE (2012, 12 min.) by Angel Kristi Williams.  A controversial custom

leaves a family divided in Christoph Nassif’s WHAT TO BRING TO AMERICA

(2010, 15 min.).  Lamont Stephens’s JUNIOR AND THE SAINT (2011, 15

min.) builds a father and son bond, and a mother is faced with the

toughest decision of her life in Rachel I. Johnson’s WHITE SUGAR IN A

BLACK POT (2011, 18 min.).  Various video formats.  (BS)

Director Rashida McWilliams (PLAY PRETEND) will be present for

audience discussion at both screenings.

Filmmakers in person!

Shorts Program: Love African American Style

2010-12, Various directors, USA, 77 min.

Friday, August 24, 6:30 pm

Saturday, August 25, 8:30 pm

Six films look at love’s ups and downs.  Love endures in ANNIVERSARY

(2012, 4 min.) by Anthony Jameson.  A very personal photo may or may

not convey the right message in THE MARRIED BACHELOR (2012, 6 min.) by

Marquis Smalls.  A mom’s matchmaking intentions lead to a revelation

in Nijla Mumin’s TWO BODIES (2011, 10 min.).   Romance needs some

special coaxing in AIDE-DE-CAMP (2011, 17 min.) by Emma Octavia.

Could an old family recipe have aphrodisiac qualities?  Mohamed

Dione’s MAFFE TIGA (2011, 21 min.) tells the tale.  A chance meeting

between childhood friends prompts some soul-searching in CHOICES

(2010, 19 min.) by Ryan Miningham.  Various video formats.  (BS)

Director Anthony Jameson (ANNIVERSARY) and producer/writer/actor Wiley

B. Oscar (CHOICES) will be present for audience discussion at both


Filmmakers in person!

Shorts Program:

Made in Chicago

2011-2012, Various directors, USA, 82 min.

Saturday, August 4, 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 9, 8:30 pm

Seven films featuring Chicago talent:  In Derek Dow’s dark farce THIS

AIN’T YO MOVIE (2012, 6 min.), a frustrated director goes to extreme

lengths to make the film his way.  In Vaun Monroe’s A BLIND EYE (2011,

6 min.), a tawdry dressing room is the last stop in a father’s search

for his missing daughter.  Created by students in the Precious Blood

Theatre Program, Eric Walker’s ONE SHOT (2012, 8 min.) dramatizes the

dangers of gun possession.  Natasha Parker’s THE PACKAGE (2011, 9

min.) stars Morocco Omari as a would-be playa whose lines aren’t

getting any bites.  In Allesandra Pinkston’s harrowing THE TESTAMENT

OF KARMA (2011, 14 min.), a frantic mother has to face the truth about

her missing son.  In Dion Strowhorn Sr.’s REDIAL (2012, 20 min.), a

straying husband gets an unexpected anniversary present.  Heaven and

earth meet in Corey Harvey’s ISHMAEL (2012, 20 min.), when an

alcoholic husband is granted a sobering vision of the future.  Various

video formats.  (MR)

Director Dion Strowhorn Sr. and producer Susan Strowhorn (REDIAL) will

be present for both screenings; producer Cory Lewis (ISHMAEL) on

Saturday; director Derek Dow (THIS AIN’T YO MOVIE) on Thursday.

Filmmakers in person!

Shorts Program:

Urban Visions

2010-2012, Various directors, USA, 82 min.

Tuesday, August 21, 8:30 pm

Wednesday, August 22, 8:30 pm

Humor, crime, and romance are all part of the urban landscape in these

six sketches:  In the satiric NGUTU (2011, Daniel Valledor and Felipe

del Olmo, 5 min.), an immigrant street vendor struggles until he

figures out what his Spanish customers really want.  In Anayo Amuzie’s

OKECHUKWA (2011, 17 min.), a lonely Nigerian artist’s bus trip across

L.A. leads to a romantic connection in a Himalayan restaurant.  In

Choice Skinner’s BROTHERLY LOVE (2011, 17 min.), three brothers face a

difficult decision  when the youngest commits a crime of violence.  A

vengeful pimp, a record producer’s son, and a girl with a heavenly

voice come together in the exciting chase through a church that

climaxes Vaun Monroe’s CHICAGO BLUES (2012, 24 min.).  In Dana Verde’s

LOCK AND KEY (2010, 10 min.), an aging musician’s advice to a young

man has a hidden motive.  In Eric Kolelas’s fast-paced thriller FIFTY

PENCE (2011, 13 min.), a Parisian hood has second thoughts about the

“package” he is supposed to deliver.  Various video formats.  (MR)

Directors Dana Verde (LOCK AND KEY) and Eric Kolelas (FIFTY PENCE)

will be present for audience discussion at both screenings.


2011, Wilkie Cornelius, USA, 75 min.

With J. Kyle Manzay, Krystal Hill

Friday, August 17, 6:30 pm

Saturday, August 18, 8:30 pm

The male fear of commitment is at the heart of this romantic drama of

love, loss, and the attempt to recoup a dream.  Jay (Manzay), a young

filmmaker, enjoys the status quo of his loosely defined relationship

with longtime girlfriend Lisa (Hill).  Taking it to the next level is

just not on his agenda.  To his surprise, Lisa takes all the love,

laughter, and those hopes for a future right out of his life and

straight to a more receptive man, leaving him adrift in the dating

scene.  Colorful locations in Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhoods form

the backdrop to love’s perils as Jay rethinks his options.  HDCAM

video.   (BS)

Ken Wyatt and Brian Babylon in person!


2011, Jonathan Gayles, USA, 52 min.


2012, Ken Wyatt, USA, 40 min.

Sunday, August 26, 5:15 pm

Monday, August 27, 6:00 pm

In WHITE SCRIPTS AND BLACK SUPERMEN, filmmaker Gayles revisits the

comic books of his boyhood with a critical eye to examine superheroes

such as Lothar, Whitewash Jones, Waku, Prince of the Bantu, The Black

Panther, The Falcon, and many more shaped by racial stereotypes.

Copious illustrations and film clips add to a colorful discussion that

includes prominent artists, comic book writers, cultural critics, and

academics including Stanford W. Carpenter, professor at the School of

the Art Institute of Chicago.  HDCAM video.

Preceded by COLORED CONFEDERATES.  “Trust me, you won’t see this

chapter in your history book,” comments director Wyatt, who probes the

whys and the hows in this provocative documentary.  HDCAM video.  (BS)


Director Ken Wyatt (COLORED CONFEDERATES) will be present for audience

discussion at both screenings; on Monday, the discussion will be

moderated by Brian Babylon, host/producer of the radio show “Morning

AMP” on Vocalo.org, a sister station of WBEZ91.5FM.

Ya’ke Smith in person!


2012, Ya’ke Smith, USA, 86 min.

With Jordan Cooper, Eugene Lee, Irma P. Hall

Tuesday, August 14, 8:15 pm

Wednesday, August 15, 8:15 pm

Smith’s impressive short film KATRINA’S SON was a highlight of the

2011 BHFF.  WOLF, his first feature, was one of the most acclaimed

films of the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.  Smith draws exceptional

performances from his cast to tell the morally complex story of a

troubled teenage boy who has been involved in a sexual relationship

with the respected preacher of his parents’ church.  The boy’s father

wants revenge, the church wants a cover-up, and the boy is torn

between self-loathing and lingering loyalty to his seducer.  There are

no easy answers or obvious villains in this compelling drama that

handles a touchy subject with subtlety and compassion.  HDCAM.  (MR)

Director Ya’ke Smith will be present for audience discussion at both screenings.

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