Tags San Francisco Black Film Festival
Tag: San Francisco Black Film Festival
A scintillating array of fascinating films awaits film lovers at the 23rd annual San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 17-20. Meet SFBFF’s new millennial leaders, daughter Cree Ray and son Kali Ray Jr., of director Kali O’Ray, who died unexpectedly last year in August 2020. For tickets and details, visit www.sfbff.org.
Vote and register (y)our interests for changes and recovery from this ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic; deepening imperialist monopoly capitalist economic depression; worsening corporate abuse of Mama Nature; European and american “white” terrorist wars against The People.
We have left no legacy behind in the Fillmore. I’m telling you that in 10 to 15 years the only way you’re going to know that this part of San Francisco used to be Black is by looking at the bricks, or by the tour guides on buses that tell you, “This used to be the great jazz district.”
Aug. 8, the day after getting the news that Kali O’Ray, director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, passed away, came the news that my cousin’s cousin “Cuban Pete” was murdered in Oakland in a different incident, and my comrade Chester from the Black Panther Commemoration Committee was also shot in a separate incident still. This was in addition to a dreaded text from a life-long friend that her sons had been shot.
It is with deep pain and distraught heartbreak the San Francisco Black Film Festival announces the death of its Director Kali O’Ray on Friday August 7, 2020, after a short battle with heart disease. The previous announcement that his death was related to COVID-19 was mistaken, and we apologize for the error. Festival organizers ask the public’s forbearance as O’Ray’s wife and co-director, Katera Crossley, and family plan details around observances for his untimely passing.
“No Lye: An American Beauty Story” is one of the best documentaries on Black history this year. It gives a definitive history of the Black hair care industry and how it paralleled Black political movements. It presents historical accounts of early Black entrepreneurs who were pioneers in the Black cosmetics trade, the Black press and who created a lobbying group in Washington.
“Bit” is a 34-minute short comedy, directed by Morgan Mathews, about a young Black tech entrepreneur, Houston, and his ambition to create a start-up around his trivia game app, “Jambo.” The film, set mostly in downtown Oakland, is on the post-racialism fringes of the ever-growing Silicon Valley.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival, starting June 18 and going for a month strictly online, features a documentary, “70 Years of Blackness: The Untangling of Race and Adoption”, by filmmaker Christopher Windfield. Subject Verda Byrd is a Black woman adopted in the ‘50s into a Black family only to find out 70 years later that both of her birth parents were white.
As the longtime publicist for the San Francisco Black Film Festival, I have to go on record and say that “Digging for Weldon Irvine” is, out of over 200 films, one of the most informative and well crafted documentaries that has been selected to screen in the 22nd San Francisco Black Film Festival.
Dedicated to ensuring the historic Fillmore neighborhood has an economic and cultural anchor to call its own, District Five Supervisor Vallie Brown and a group of nonprofit and African American community leaders have initiated a collaborative campaign to reactivate the Fillmore Heritage Center. Beginning Nov. 5, the collaborative is offering live music, community events, and housing and financial empowerment workshops at the former Yoshi’s site.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is celebrating its 20-year milestone this year with a myriad of magnificent and majestic films from all over the Black world. Kali O’Ray, the SF Black Film Festival director and son of festival founder Ave Montague sat with me as he does every year to explain the happenings and expected high points of this year’s festivities. For the 20th anniversary, we’re applying the theme 20/20, which is 20 years forward and 20 years back.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has once again proven itself to be one of the most anticipated Black events in the Bay Area. From June 15 to 18, Black independent films were the talk of San Francisco. San Francisco acting legend Danny Glover did a Q&A for the film “93 Days.” “Abina and the Important Men” was one of the highest grossing films in the festival. We sat down with Kali O’Ray, the director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, to discuss what happened at this phenomenal festival.
“Saltz” is hands down one of my favorite films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival, partly because it is half a Black horror film and half a “this can really happen” film. The film is a futuristic look at the coming drug saltz epidemic, in the midst of today’s opioid epidemic. It is also a look at our own attitudes on race where the story is told twice, once with a Black cast and one with a white cast. Check out first time director Dominique McClellan as he discusses his film, “Saltz.”
One of my favorite feature films in the San Francisco Black Film Festival is a futuristic film called “90 Minutes of the Fever.” The film is about a family who has to deal with a major computer virus, martial law and the ramifications that these catastrophes have on personal relationships within a family. It is a funny story about endurance, patience, acceptance, unconditional love and more. I talked to filmmaker Joan Carlson about her career in film as well as her power work of cinema art. Check her out in her own words.
Patrick Thomas’ short film “Cut My Hair, Barber” is a powerful portrayal of a father and son relationship that is disturbing and extremely dysfunctional, yet familiar. It is a story that many single Black mothers and Black young and old men, especially, could relate to in our communities. I got a chance to interview filmmaker Patrick Thomas about his cinematic creation, “Cut My Hair, Barber.” Check it out.
The opening night film of the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “93 Days,” costarring San Francisco legendary actor Danny Glover, about ebola coming to Nigeria. Danny Glover will be in attendance opening night for a Q&A at the old SF Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., on Thursday, June 15, 6-9 p.m. The film was inspired by the heroic actions of the doctors and nurses who were at the heart of the fight against ebola in Lagos, their bravery and sacrifice and their decision to stay and fight instead of taking flight in the face of danger.
One of the most beautiful stories in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “The Lucky Specials.” The story, set in South Africa, is about a group of musicians who come into contact with the deadly disease tuberculosis, a major killer in Africa and around the developing world. The film is filled with triumph, loss, happiness, disappointment and a whole host of other emotions as well as the viewer gets a glimpse into South Africa’s speech patterns, music, dances and more.
Black fencer Peter Westbrook is not a legend just because of the fact that he has competed and triumphed in the sport at an Olympic level, but because he has trained thousands of mostly Black children in New York in the art and the sport of fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation. “A Path to Excellence” is a documentary that speaks to that history.
“Cocoa Butter” is a comedic short film by filmmaker Dominque Gilbert, where the main character, who is white, wants the benefits of being Black in society, but not the headaches, to get the attention of a girl. The main character uses the cream but forgets to read the whole label, which reads, “Once you go Black, you can never go back.” “Why in the world would you wanna be Black?” is the question the white mother asks her endarkened son.
“Tom Freeman of the North” is a comedic short filled with political satire that examines identity, upward mobility and gentrification. Tom Freeman, the main character, is a Black man who is socially invested in the gentrification of his community, while his brother Desean fights the power. “Tom Freeman of the North” is one of many great films screening at this year’s San Francisco Black Film Festival that looks at identity. Check out filmmaker Mohammed Rabbani in his own words.