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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Discussing the quality of Black film festivals at The Obenson Report

I have to take a tiny break from my 2 Do list to pass along this link - a discussion about Black film festivals at The Obenson Report. From the post:

"And instead of naming those that I grew to find unworthy of my time and money, I'll instead give praise to those that I have attended at least once, that have given me reasons to want to continue going back:

1. The Harlem Film Festival (NYC), which used to be curated by Michelle Materre; I'm not sure if she still is. But when she did, those years that I attended were memorable and worthwhile. Not one of the biggest of the bunch; but you're guaranteed a professional, intimate, thoughtful experience.

2. The African Diaspora Film Festival (it's a traveling festival). Run by husband and wife team, Diarah N’Daw-Spech and her husband Reinaldo Barroso-Spech. You're certain to find an eclectic group of films at this festival, covering the entire African Diaspora, hence it's title. They've been doing it by themselves since 1992, and it's gotten better year after year. I've run into Reinaldo several times, at several different screening venues, big and small; the man works hard to find the kinds of films he wants to showcase at his festival, as opposed to waiting for them to come to him, as most other festivals do.

3. The San Francisco Black Film Festival (San Francisco, CA). Haven't been there in awhile, since I live in New York now; but during the 4+ years I lived in San Francisco, I attended the festival at least twice, and was very pleased both times. It was there that I first saw Raoul Peck's under-rated and under-appreciated Lumumba in 2000/2001, where I believe it was making its Stateside debut. Despite a few hiccups along the way, they've shown an interest in taking on some more challenging fare.

These are the best of the bunch - the bunch that I've attended. So, again, I haven't been to every single black film festival in the country; but, of the 9 that I've been to, these 3 have provided me with the best bang for my time and money, and have been the most consistent! Usually very well organized, and thought through, as advertised on their websites and ads, with a solid group of diverse films screened each year."

A lot more, including an invitation to readers to rate Black film fests, at The Obenson Report.


(Of course why a multi-ethnic, post-segregation country still needs ethnicity focused film festivals is a topic that I'd like to see discussed at some point)


- Sujewa




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