Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film (Fall 2021)
The Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film is the Stone Center’s annual series spotlighting films from all corners of the African diaspora.
Many of the screenings are North Carolina premieres and the festival features commentary and appearances by filmmakers and local scholars. This year’s edition will consist primarily of virtual screenings and post-screening discussions.
The 2021 festival which opens in early September and will present over 20 films from across the diaspora, including co-sponsored screenings. Registration required to received information on virtual screenings and invitations to ZOOM discussion events. Registration is free.
SEPTEMBER 7 | SHORTS I
BALADI (MY COUNTRY)
Dir.: Jenna Mahmoud Bosco|14 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | USA
Gamal, a lonely Muslim immigrant, has to find a place to live when his friend asks him to leave. Fritzie, a grieving Jewish widow, is struggling to pay her bills. When the pair meet at the park, an unlikely friendship develops that will change their lives forever.
Dir.: Samuel Lee Fudge | 16 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | USA
A Black man is falsely accused and trapped in prison during the pandemic, while his loved ones on the outside work desperately to get him home.
Dir.: Logan Jackson|13 min | 2020 | Short Film | USA
As last-minute plans for a babysitter fall apart, eight-year-old Brandon is left alone to oversee his younger brother mason.
Dir: Maharaki | 5 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | Martinique/France
To rebuild Haiti, three soldiers put together a plan of crazy audacity.
THE HOUSE ON CARTER ROAD
Dir.: Shawn Gerrard | 10 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | USA
At the height of redlining in 1968, a Black couple and a White couple try to buy the same suburban house in New Jersey.
SEPTEMBER 14 | SHORTS II
Dir.: Gladys San Juan | 15 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | UK
Nicole, a woman in her late 30s, appears to have it all — a caring husband, two children and a good job. But Nicole is suffering from a crippling depression that, due to the stigma attached to mental illness, she is trying to keep secret. Over 24 hours, a series of otherwise minor events, coupled with Nicole’s dissociation from family and friends, lead her to a state of utter desperation.
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Dir.: Tari Wariebi | 6 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | USA
Janine and Lula are having a routine granddaughter and grandmother day out when a stop at a local gas station does not go as planned.
Dirs.: AJ Taylor & Maximillian Clark | 7 min | 2019 | Short Film | U.S.A.
Trapped in her home, a woman descends into a disorienting panic.
Dir: Natalie Jasmine Harris | 12 min | 2020 | Short Narrative | USA
On the eve of her cotillion ball, a young Black girl grapples with her queer identity and questions her purity.
TUESDAY | SEPTEMBER 16
Dir.: Michiel Thomas | 63 min | 2020 | Feature Documentary | USA
Growing up in Atlanta can be hard as highlighted by three real-life protagonists in That’s Wild. Sixteen-year-old Clifford tries to fill the void of his incarcerated father, 13-year-old Ahmani struggles with the aftermath of a homeless childhood, and 13-year-old Nicholas grapples with episodes of depression. When the boys sign up for the after-school program Wilderness Works, they quickly begin to unpack the negative pressures that surround them in their day-to-day lives.
Please RSVP HERE to receive updated information on screenings.
CO-PROGRAMMING WITH ACKLAND FILM FORUM & THE UNC-CH DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
These virtual screenings and roundtable are hosted by the Ackland Film Forum and the Department of English and Comparative Literature — in celebration of the department’s 225th anniversary — and co-sponsored by the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. .
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (Series Available on Amazon Video)
Across his three feature films to date (Medicine for Melancholy, Moonlight, and If Beale Street Could Talk), Barry Jenkins has devised a new cinematic vocabulary for the portrayal of Black experience in the United States. With sumptuous imagery and hypnotic soundscapes, Jenkins has embraced aesthetic beauty as a strategy for addressing the past and present injustices that bear on the lives of marginalized characters. His 2021 miniseries, The Underground Railroad is adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. A haunting, atmospheric account of two runaway slaves in the Antebellum South, the series is Jenkins’ most daring directorial work yet.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 8-10PM
“Chapter 1: Georgia”
“Chapter 2: South Carolina”
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 8-10PM
“Chapter 8: Indiana Autumn”
“Chapter 9: Indiana Winter”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5, ROUNDTABLE, 7-8PM
Virtual roundtable discussion: “Spellbinding: The Cinematic Virtuosity of Barry Jenkins”
The virtual roundtable will feature three of Jenkins’ longtime collaborators: Joi McMillon (editor, and the first Black woman to be nominated in the Best Editing category of the Academy Awards), James Laxton (cinematographer), and Onalee Blank (re-recording mixer/supervising sound editor).
Join us for a conversation with these artists about how they work together to make such intensely affecting sounds and images, saturated with emotion and keyed to social consciousness.
CLICK HERE to register for the ZOOM roundtable.