From left to right: Samson Styles, Dr. Leonard Jeffries in HAPI, Dr. Solange Ashby in HAPI

Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s Black History Month Film Festival 2021

February 6–28

Presented by community partner Afrikan Poetry Theatre with support from The Black Seed.

Hosted by Samson Styles.

An annual presentation in honor of Black History Month, our community partner Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s film festival recognizes the renaissance happening in contemporary Black cinema and television with an exciting showcase of documentaries, short films, and situational comedy. Though it is typically held in the Museum's Redstone Theater, this year the festival includes two online events: a virtual screening of films by emerging and established filmmakers with Q&A interviews and a special panel discussion with directors, producers, actors and cinematographers on the state of Black film and television.

Program 1: The Journey of the Black Creative
This program opens with a screening of works by students Sonia Diaz and Shantel Moses, who participated in APT’s 2020 filmmaking class. The online film festival also includes a documentary by Taaqiy Grant; a situational comedy by writer/director Vernon “Smij” Williams; and films by directors Felicia Harden, Loukman Ali, and Shawn Cornelius. Samson Styles (BET correspondent and creator/director of Killing Beef) will host Q&A sessions with guests, and each filmmaker will reflect on their process of producing stories that go beyond stereotypes.

Watch here (available through February 28).

Program 2: The Future of Black Cinema Panel
Following a sneak peak of her film A Call to Cosmic, the film’s writer-director and MoMI curatorial assistant Tiffany Joy Butler will moderate an online panel discussion in celebration of the history and legacies of Black cinema. Filmmakers Felicia Harden, Samson Styles, Naizi Nasser, and other special guests will contemplate the future of Black cinema post-pandemic and highlight the successes and challenges of Black independent film and television.

Watch here (available through February 28.