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

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

Too 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 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 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, 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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