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It’s all about the ancestors, believe it or not. The invisible realm controls the outer. Those who believe in magic are in touch with reality – a truth, the initiated, those beings open to a creation story they participate in. Life is a collection of unedited stories; the end of a chapter does not mean the end of the book. With that said, the MAAFA Commemoration is upon us once again, celebrating its 23rd anniversary.
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.
“Taking Israel” is a film executive produced by Dr. Eric Winston about a study-abroad program that he oversaw at Wilberforce University that exposed Black students to a semester of Israeli culture, society and politics. It has been selected to screen at the San Francisco Black Film Festival mainly because it deals with Black people trekking past U.S. borders for answers to questions as citizens of the world.
“The Forever Tree,” a fictional short screening at the SF Black Film Festival this year, is set in Harlem in the year 1919 and utilizes history and magical realism to tell its story. In the film, the main character interacts with Madame CJ Walker, Garvey is talked about, and the Book of Enoch is talked about as well as the Dogon star. I sat down with the co-writer and producer of “The Forever Tree,” Stephen Hintz, so that he could give us a little background into what went into this film.
Finally, a filmmaker has come to the forefront to confront the identity question in the post-Obama Trump era. Filmmaker Mtume Gant beautifully asks pertinent questions about what it means to be Black in today’s times in his 20-minute short, an official SF Black Film Festival selection called “White Face.” This political satire, an artsy, comedic drama, is a must see for all the politically minded readers out there. Check out the genius of filmmaker Mtume Gant in this exclusive Q&A.
One of the dopest documentaries that will be screening at the San Francisco Black Film Festival is “BlaxploItalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema,” which looks at the perception of Black people, born in Italy, in the their national media as well as the cultural currents that it took to get them included in working in cinema and today’s fight against type casting, where Blacks are only given certain characters to play. Check out filmmaker Fred Kuwornu.
On the second weekend of June this year, the San Francisco Black Film Festival will be celebrating its 19th year by screening over 100 independent Black films in this annual four-day cinema marathon. San Francisco Black Film Festival director Kali O’Ray, son of founder Ave Montague, sits down to discuss how it feels for the festival to celebrate its 19th birthday, the importance of indie films, remaining in a city that was once a lot more chocolate but has been gentrified to 3 percent Black – and more.
Director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival Kali O’Ray has already showed me a number of potential films that are in the running to be selected to be for this year’s festival; great films like “Codigo Color” about colorism in Cuba, “Hustler’s Convention” about some of the greatest protest poets of the last 50 years, the legendary Last Poets, “Tear the Roof Off,” the untold story of Parliament Funkadellic, and “Blackboard,” a movie about Black professional skateboarders.
Some of the most important Black cultural work coming out of San Francisco is coming from the organizing of Naomi Jelks at the San Francisco Main library. Naomi is one of the few within the City who are bringing us a lot of the local, national and international voices that we need to hear. Check her out as she describes what the library has in store for February and celebrate the SF Bay View’s 40th anniversary at the SF Main Library, 100 Larkin St., on Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has been the best Black oriented event in the Bay Area this year. The plethora of worthy films that screened this year was phenomenal. I sat down with the co-director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Kali O’Ray, and talked about the happenings at this year’s triumphant San Francisco Black Film Festival. Check him out in his own words.
The SF Black Film Festival is one of the film festivals that I most look forward to in the Bay Area every year. This year it is from June 12-15 at various theaters in San Francisco. It was founded by the late Ave’ Montague, and now it’s under the direction of her son, Kali O’Ray. Every year I’ve seen great films that don’t have the promotional budgets to reach a wider audience without the help of a festival like SFBFF.
On April 4, 2013, the Oakland Film Festival premiered the long anticipated documentary “Crimes of Police,” directed by Ansar El Muhammad and produced by Derrick Bowman. Now the documentary has been chosen for the San Francisco Black Film Festival as well, screening Saturday, June 15, 5:45 p.m., at the Jazz Heritage Center, 1320 Fillmore St., San Francisco.
There are two film festivals in the Bay Area that are famous for presenting excellent work by Black filmmakers: the Oakland International Film Festival and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. In a few weeks, thousands of people will be trailing into theaters all over San Francisco to check out what the SF Black Film Fest has deemed some of the best Black indie films of the year.
The Village Project, in collaboration with other community organizations, presents its Fifth Kwanzaa Celebration 2010 for the city of San Francisco. The celebration is seven days of free events throughout the city to celebrate the seven principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa.