2020 Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film will be virtual

The Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film is the Stone Center’s annual series spotlighting film from all corners of the African Diaspora. Many of our screenings over the year have been North Carolina premieres and most feature commentary and appearances by the directors and local scholars as well was post-film discussions. In light of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its particularly devastating impact on traditional film festival programing, the fall 2020 edition of the festival seeks to take a retrospective look at a select number of our most popular and resonant shorts films from recent editions. In adherence to offering context, perspective and expert breakdown of the films and the issues they raise, we have invited each of the directors to join us virtually for a post-screening discussion of the film and their broader filmmaking endeavors.
Times indicated are the filmmaker discussions via ZOOM teleconference. Screenings will be separate. We will share a secure Vimeo link 24 hours prior to the discussions to allow a viewing period for registrants.

Screening Schedule

September 10, 3:30 PM 


Dir.  MerawiGerima | USA 2019 | Narrative Feature | 90 Mins  

When Jay arrives home, he finds his neighborhood gentrified beyond recognition. Demetrius, his childhood best friend, is missing, but none of the remaining black folks trust Jay enough to provide any answers. Jay's frustration compounds as he also finds himself alienated in the city at large, attacked from all sides. Jay visits his last friend Dion in prison, but leaves feeling powerless and infuriated. One final, chance confrontation results in Jay succumbing to the same forces as did his friends. 

September 17, 3:30 PM 


Dir. Michael Cooke & Kimberly Y. James | 2015 | 15 Mins | Short, Drama  

Two African American sisters grow up in racially charged 1960s Georgia, but one is born with fair skin. And when schools integrate in their small town, she decides to change her destiny - by passing for white. 

October 1, 3:30 PM 


Dir. Ashley Brim | 2017 | 15 Mins | Short, Drama  

Based on a true story, AN ACT OF TERROR explores the ongoing oppression of the African American community at the hands of the criminal justice system. In the Jim Crow South, Virginia Christian, a 16-year-old African American maid, dreams of a better life for herself. Those dreams are shattered when she is attacked by her white employer setting off a series of tragic events that end in Virginia being tried for murder. 

October 8, 3:30 PM 


Dir.  Talibah  Newman | 2013 | 19 mins | Short, Drama 

A young boy, Honey, explores identity and grief with his mystical neighbor, while in the midst of the struggle to help his mother lay his grandfather to rest.