CELEBRATING BLACK BRILLIANCE
AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
PERFORMING ARTS INSTITUTE
LANGSTON, the new non-profit arts organization created to continue the mission of the historic Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, brings the annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) to audiences next week.
LHAAFF is a four-day curated experience in the heart of Seattle dedicated to celebrating Black brilliance in independent cinema. LHAAFF showcases provocative films and works about the Black experience shot from an independent lens. This year's festival features engaging panel discussions and in-depth chats with filmmakers, industry professionals and community leaders.
In celebration of 14 years of Black film, LHAAFF 2017 presents over 20 independent films and special events.
'CELEBRATING BLACK BRILLIANCE' - LHAAFF 2017 runs from April 27-30 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S (@ E. Yesler Way) in Seattle.
Thursday (April 27) LHAAFF hosts the Brilliant, Bubbly OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION in the Great Hall at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (LHPAI) followed by Opening Night film screenings. Friday (April 28) LHAAFF's Short Film 'Happy Hour' features an array of diverse short films plus MR. HANDY'S BLUES, an hour-long documentary about William Christopher Handy, known affectionately worldwide as The Father of the Blues. On Saturday afternoon (April 29) LHAAFF hosts the panel discussion, Do Black Heroes Matter?, an intimate conversation about Black heroes on-screen and in the world of comics. Saturday's program also includes two family-features, youth-focused indie films, DOUBLETIME and MY B.F.F., a documentary about Black women in medicine, and DREAMSTATES, a road movie featuring some of the most pivotal figures in Afro-Punk movement (see paragraph below). The annual Filmmakers Brunch on Sunday afternoon (April 30) includes a delicious meal by local chef, Tarik Abdullah. Special guests include Saul Williams, David Walker, Charles Murray, Anisia Uzyeman, Nnegest Likke, Sol Aponte, Jennia Aponte, Nathan Hale Williams, and Chef Tarik Abdullah.
The festival opens Thursday with 90 DAYS, a film by Jennia Aponte and Nathan Hale Williams. 90 DAYS is a provocative film that confronts the realities of living and loving with HIV. The cast includes Teyonah Parris (Survivor's Remorse, Mad Men, Chi-Raq, Dear White People), Nic Few (The Chadwick Journals, Gideon's Cross), and Rodney Chester (Noah's Arc). 90 DAYS is executive produced by Jussie Smollett and Sol Aponte. The film will be followed by a post screening discussion with the filmmakers.
Friday's short films include the hour-long documentary MR HANDY'S BLUES chronicling the life of William Christopher Handy, known affectionately worldwide as The Father of the Blues. Handy's trajectory took him from a strict religious home in Northern Alabama,to becoming one of the most revered composers of the 20th Century. Interviews with Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush and Vince Giordano bring Handy's story to life.
On Saturday at 8pm poet, musician, and renaissance artist Saul Williams joins LHAAFF and director Anisia Uzeyman to present DREAMSTATES, a film that is equal parts love story, road movie, and Americana. DREAMSTATES tells the haunting tale of two wayward souls (Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman) discovering their love for one another in their dreams and reality while touring the United States with some of the most pivotal figures of the Afro-Punk movement.
On Sunday afternoon the compelling films, SPILLED MILK by Jaqai Mickelsen; LIVE YOUR DASH by Brian K. Johnson, and SUPER PREDATOR: PRELUDES OF THE BLACK FISH by Kelechi Agwuncha will be shown, followed by the CLOSING NIGHT feature documentary: TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: The Story of Historically Black Colleges.
The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival is a program of LANGSTON and is sponsored by The Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and Teen Tix. TICKETS: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/2370339 and (800) 838-3006. For more INFO, visit langstonseattle.org; Twitter : @blkfilmseattle; Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LangstonSeattle; Instagram : @206Langston
'CELEBRATING BLACK BRILLIANCE' - LHAAFF 2017
THURSDAY, April 27 - OPENING NIGHT!
A night of brilliant short films that showcase a range of ideas, emotions and storytelling styles, highlighted by 90 DAYS, a superb film that confronts the realities of living and loving with HIV. Followed by post-screening discussion with filmmakers Jennia Frederique Aponte and Nathan Hale Williams.
6-7pm | Opening Night Reception | Great Hall - Enjoy lively music, bubbly beverages and nibbles as we celebrate the 14th year of LHAAFF!
7pm | DIVINE Part l | Dir. Kiana Harris | 0:02:48 | United States | Short - Reclaiming the narrative of femme blackness. Reflections of body positivity and non-exploitative visuals lead to healing. Positive self-imagery is one of many roads to black feminist liberation.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD | Dir. Angelique Molina | 0:26:36 | United States | Documentary -
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD intimately follows an extended Black family from View Park, California, as they experience demographic changes and reflect on their shifting community. https://www.facebook.com/TGTNMOVIE/
PADLOCK MEN | Dir. Lewis T. Powell | 0:16:25 | United States | Short - 86 yr. old Barber Walter 'Posey' Fodrell on his last day to live shares a memoir of a historically unknown secret pact between John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King & Malcolm X that sparked one of the greatest untold stories in Civil Rights history. This story is the genesis of what became a gritty stalwart band of 'Secret Civil Rights Soldiers' known as the Padlock Men. https://www.facebook.com/padlockmen/
LAST STOP | Dir. Prentice Dupins | 0:24:18 | United States | Short - LAST STOP is the story of Benjamin Wilson, a young African American male and his struggle to go on living. A veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Benjamin has given up on life and his family. He seeks solace in the family cemetery as he gathers the courage to end his life. As he pours out his despair and a bottle of whiskey in tribute to friends and beloved family members, Benjamin finds himself inexplicably transported back to 1860. He now must fight to survive the night as a runaway slave. https://www.facebook.com/laststop2016
90 DAYS | Dir. Nathan Hale Williams, Jennia Fredrique Aponte | 0:19:30 | United States | Short, Romance - 90 DAYS confronts the realities of living and loving with HIV. Written and directed by Jennia Frederique Aponte and Nathan Hale Williams. The cast includes Teyonah Parris (Survivor's Remorse, Mad Men, Chi-Raq, Dear White People), Nic Few (The Chadwick Journals, Gideon's Cross), and Rodney Chester (Noah's Arc). Executive Produced by Jussie Smollett and Sol Aponte. Filmmakers Jennia Aponte, Nathan Hale Williams and Sol Aponte will join the audience for a post-screening discussion. https://www.90daysthefilm.com/
FRIDAY, April 28
5:30-7pm | SHORT FILM HAPPY HOUR
Start your weekend off with unique, bite-sized films, followed by the evening's feature film, EVERYTHING BUT A MAN at 8pm.
JUNIOR | Dir. Pearl Gluck | 0:28:00 | United States | Short - A mother struggles with a new normal after her teenage son is murdered by an off-duty police officer. https://www.facebook.com/Junior-Short Film-319518068416769/?
THE MIXTAPE: STAY BLACK, BABY! | Dir. Jasmine Lynea | 0:20:00 | United States | Short - Capturing an exhilarating reflection on Black America, THE MIXTAPE: STAY BLACK, BABY! is a complex portrait of black youth
rising, black art glorified, black voices uncovered, black struggle acknowledged and black empowerment revered. Musically driven, this film arrives at a very important time in America. https://www.facebook.com/stayblackbaby15
MR HANDY'S BLUES | Dir. Joanne Fish | 1:00:00 | United States | Music Documentary - Chronicling the life of William Christopher Handy, known affectionately worldwide as The Father of the Blues. Handy's trajectory took him from a strict religious home in Northern Alabama to becoming one of the most revered composers of the 20th Century. Interviews with Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush and Vince Giordano bring Handy's story to life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQkLFTcdgH4
8pm | Friday Night Feature | EVERYTHING BUT A MAN | Dir. Nnegest Likke | 1:49:58 | United States | Comedy, Drama, Romance - She's sexy, smart, successful... and still single. EVERYTHING BUT A MAN, starring Monica Calhoun (The Best Man franchise), Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes, Joy), and Camille Winbush (The Bernie Mac Show) explores the paradox of strong, independent women whose strength is actually a weakness when it comes to their relationships with men. Filmmaker Nnegest Likke in attendance. https://www.facebook.com/EverythingButAMan/
SATURDAY, April 29
12pm | DO BLACK HEROES MATTER? | Panel Discussion | Featuring David F Walker | Great Hall | FREE - David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist, and educator and leading scholar on African American Cinema will engage audiences in a powerful discussion. Do Black heroes matter? We think so. Walker helps us understand why.
12pm | DOUBLETIME | Dir. Stephanie Johnes | 1:20:00 | United States | Documentary - LHAAFF brings back a family favorite: DOUBLETIME. This edge-of-your-seat documentary focuses on two teams in preparation for the Double Dutch world championship at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubletime
2pm | SATURDAY 360 SHOWCASE | Featuring Paul Jackson - Filmmaker Paul Jackson takes us on a tour of the world of 360 degree images. Explore the world of 360 degree video. Travel to worlds and places across the globe and right here at home.
2:30pm | SLEEP RUNNING | Dir. Kevin Neynaber | 0:05:55 | United States | Short, Drama - A man haunted by trauma and stuck in a routine of depression tries to escape the torment of his dream world and find healing from the wounds of his past.
2:35pm | BLACK WOMEN IN MEDICINE | Dir. Crystal Emery |1:06:00 | United States | Documentary - This feature length documentary explores the history, contemporary issues, and future possibilities of African American women physicians. A variety of Black women practitioners share intimate stories of what it means to be a Black woman doctor in America. https://youtu.be/7bQULXfB544
5pm | MY B.F.F. | Dir. Greg Carter | 1:50:00 | United States | Comedy - When five-year-old Marni Wilkins lost her mother, she was left with an unfulfilled soul. Her best friend, Gemma Brown was always by her side. When they enroll in a prestigious school, Gemma gets accepted, Marni does not. Things don't go as quite planned, but the two girls learn a valuable lesson about race, identity, politics, friendship and growing up. http://vevo.ly/lTwqoJ
8pm |Saturday Night Feature | DREAMSTATES | Dir. Anisia Uzeyman | 1:14:00 | United States | Experimental - Equal parts love story, road movie, and Americana, DREAMSTATES tells the haunting tale of two wayward souls (Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman) discovering their love for one another in their dreams and reality while touring the United States with some of the most pivotal figures of the Afro-Punk movement. Sultry, sensual, and quixotic, an underground portrait of America: haunted and hollow. Director Anisia Uzeyman and poet, musician and renaissance artist Saul Williams in attendance. http://www.dreamstatesfilm.com/#dreamstates
SUNDAY, April 30
1pm | FILMMAKER BRUNCH - The Filmmakers Brunch features delicious food from MorningStar creator, Chef Tarik Abdullah. Enjoy lively conversation and an excellent meal with LHAAFF filmmakers.
3pm | SPILLED MILK | Dir. Jaqai Mickelsen | 1:43:32 | United States | Documentary - Two lifelong friends, one blood disease. Follow their journey as one suffers from Sickle Cell - an often stigmatized and excruciatingly painful disorder that mostly affects African Americans. https://vimeo.com/95778871
5pm | CLOSING NIGHT FILMS
LIVE YOUR DASH | Dir. Bryan K. Johnson | 0:11:55 | United States | Documentary Short - Dr. Raphael Moffett's encouraging and unexpected journey overcoming Colon Cancer.
SUPER PREDATOR: PRELUDES OF THE BLACK FISH | Dir. Kelechi Agwuncha | 0:06:11 | United States | Short, Drama - A contemporary black ethnocentric film about the parallels between the predator-prey relationship of a black man facing the prejudicial bounds of society. He reflects the underlying qualities, while showing that the integrity of his dispositions reveals much more. https://vimeo.com/205613101
TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: The Story of Historically Black Colleges | Dir. Stanley Nelson | 1:30:00 | United States | Documentary - The story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the Civil War and influenced the course of our nation yet remains one of America's most important untold stories. Until now. Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is the first and only feature documentary and multi-platform project to research, gather, and share a rich mosaic of stories that relay the history of HBCUs. Tell Them We Are Rising is produced by Firelight Films and directed by master documentarian Stanley Nelson, producer of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
Courtesy of the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival
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