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.
View Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film schedule.
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.
TUESDAY | OCTOBER 26
SUNDAYS IN JULY Dir: Joseph E. Austin II | 86 min | 2020 | Feature Narrative | USA When fiercely independent Monika moves back to New York from Los Angeles determined to make it this time completely on her own, the last thing she ever expected was to meet Trent with an open heart and open arms. Sundays In July takes an intimate look at two lovers navigating the minefield of their egos, fears, and flaws to dive into the most foreign and uncharted territory, true love.
THURSDAY | OCTOBER 28
UNMARKED Dirs.: Brad Bennett, Chris Haley | 37 min | 2020 | Short Documentary | USA Throughout the South, there are many historic African American and unmarked burials of the formerly enslaved that are derelict and almost lost to time. Recently, however, there has been a rise in active restoration and preservation efforts by those who have a personal history or appreciation for these historic sites.
TUESDAY | NOVEMBER 2
ANOTHER PARADISE (UN AUTRE PARADIS) Dir.: Olivier Mangis |82 min | 2019 | Feature Documentary | Belgium Fifty years ago, the entire Creole population of the Chagos Islands was expelled by the British authorities. This secret operation took place in order to lease the largest island to the US Navy so that it could install a military base. Now Chagossian exiles embark on a struggle to return home.
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”
FREE REGISTRATION TO THE WATCH PARTY HERE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 8-10PM
“Chapter 8: Indiana Autumn”
“Chapter 9: Indiana Winter”
FREE REGiSTRATION TO THE WATCH PARTY HERE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5, ROUNDTABLE, 7-8PM
Virtual roundtable discussion: “Spellbinding: The Cinematic Virtuosity of Barry Jenkins”
Our virtual roundtable will feature two of Jenkins’ longtime collaborators: Joi McMillon (editor, and the first Black woman to be nominated in the Best Editing category of the Academy Awards) and Onnalee 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.
This round table will be pre-recorded; students in Carolina film classes will submit questions for the Q&A.
CLICK HERE to register for the ZOOM roundtable.
Co-Programming With The North Carolina Latin American Film Festival (NCLAFF)
Afro-Latin American Film.
An emergence of vision
October 8 – 9, 2021
The past two decades have shown across the Americas the emergence of films portraying the history, the struggles, and the lives of black Latin Americans from a fresh angle. These films reclaim a space of representation that usually had marginalized their stories. Through a diasporic lens, strong counter narratives are emerging. The 2021 NCLAFF has invited a group of cultural producers, critics and filmmakers to share work that examines issues such as race, gender, and national identity in fiction films, documentaries, and animation, underlining the black cultural experience in their production.
Free and open | Grátis al público (times in EST) |
PLEASE REGISTER. For Oct. 8 & 9.
Moderated by Miguel Rojas-Sotelo
Friday, October 8, 2021
3:00 pm Dr. Reinaldo Barroso-Speech, Afro Diaspora Film Festival.
3:30 pm Diarah Ndaw-Spech. ArtMattan, Afro Film Distribution
4:00 pm Arnold Antonin. Film Maker. Haiti
4:30 pm Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza. Film Maker. Director of Atarraya Films. Colombia
5:00 pm Conversation
Saturday, October 9, 2021
3:00 pm Medhin Tewolde-Serrano. Filmmaker. Director of La Negra . México.
3:30 pm Carlos Smith Rovira. Animator, Film Maker, Director of Hierro Animation. Colombia.
4:00 pm Marángela Mejía-Rabell. Director PHG Latin American Film Festival and Afro Taino. Philadelphia.
4:30 pm Joseph Jordan. Director, Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Founder of the Diaspora Film Festival at UNC-Chapel Hill.
5:00 pm Conversation
Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
Noon-1:00pm. Afro-reconstructions in the Caribbean. Visual archives and embodied memories.
Aida Esther Bueno-Sarduy. Cuba.
Short film: Guillermina. Aida Esther Bueno-Sarduy, Cuba-Spain. 2019. 15 min.