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African/African American Feature Films & Shorts To See At The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

African/African American Feature Films & Shorts To See At The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

We’ve profiled almost all of these (except the shorts mostly) so the titles should be familiar; but no matter, this list is a good place to start for those of you planning to attend screenings at the festival and want to know what “black films” you should be looking out for.

The 2012 installment of the Tribeca Film Festival here in NYC runs from April 18 to 29. And if you don’t have tickets or passes, click HERE to find out what’s available currently.

Here’s the list (photo above is from War Witch (or Rebelle):

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged



So excited for Stones in the Sun

Charles Judson

When it comes to festival programming don't concentrate on the who, concentrate on the what. Yes, these are mostly White filmmakers telling these stories, but as a film programmer, I can tell you, if I just go by what's been submitted to us as an organization over the last 5 years, not many African American filmmakers are choosing or looking for those stories to tell. I have noticed it slowly changing over the last 3 years. However, I've been going to film festivals and arts festivals since the late 1980s as a teenager. I see many of the same types of films I saw when I was 17 still being made and submitted now that I'm 39. I've also seen squandered opportunities, particularly with the Docs, for filmmakers to dig deeper. As an example, as a programmer, I was disappointed that several of the Civil Rights docs we had submitted to us this year still spent an inordinate amount of time going over material that's been covered in a myriad of other films. The biggest let down was that many of them were covering parts of the movement that haven't been touched on, however, those elements weren't made the true focus. Then there are the crazy number of White filmmakers going to Africa docs we continue to get each year, yet I can I loose all but three fingers and still count on one hand the number of African Americans going to Africa docs we were submitted. Films like AN AFRICAN ELECTION seem to be an anomaly. So to answer your question Darkan, the answer is probably yes, they weren't interesting enough, or–and worthy isn't a word I would choose–were not films that got the programmers excited. And this raises a point about film festivals; Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, etc. all have a particular bent. Film festivals should branch out and be as expansive as their mission will allow. At the same time, filmmakers need to do their research and really look at what kinds of films and what kind of stories resonate with particular festivals. There are films SXSW programs that will never get into Sundance and films that Slamdance programs that will never make it Cannes or Toronto. If we know of films that would have matched Tribeca's curatorial mission and were rejected, that's one thing. Just looking for a Tribeca to program more films from African American filmmakers or featuring African Americans in general isn't all that useful for either filmmakers, the festivals or audiences. Let's start naming names of films that SHOULD or COULD have been at a Tribeca or any other festival. It's not a huge step, but for programmers like me who may have not have heard of these films or may have them sitting in our submission piles, it may get them on the radar. At least 4 films from this year's ATLFF I saw on Shadow and Act and I had my team start tracking the ones we found interesting and thought might fit what we look for. We received 2200 submissions this year. If I hadn't seen those projects here, there's a good chance a few of them would have slipped past us.


I did a check and saw how disturbing it is that almost all the short films in this list is about people of the African Diaspora but is not directed by someone black? How is that possible? Really Tribeca? You mean to tell me that no black short/feature film directors submitted a film or wasn't worthy enough or interesting enough to be in your festival?! This is becoming a disturbing trend. Really "shocked" about the directors already repped by the big agencies. *Rolling my eyes.*


I had the same reaction to this article – so many films about Black people, but not made by Black people…not even the shorts.

As I try to understand what is going on here, I have a hard time believing that no Black filmmakers submitted.


So many white filmmakers being patted on the back for telling our stories. I plan to support a couple of these films but the whitewashing taking place behind the scenes is disheartening.

Africans will always be more digestible to American film festivals than the African Americans in their own yard.

Not a single AA short piqued the programmers' interest?

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