BIBFF WAS ON DECEMBER 3-4 2014
THE OFFICIAL SELECTIONS FOR THE INAUGURAL BALTIMORE INTERNATIONAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (BIBFF) WHICH WAS HELD DEC 3-5 2014 AT THE HISTORIC CHARLES THEATRE…..
A couple months ago, we reached out to local, national and international filmmakers, producers and directors to submit feature and short films with content of interest to the African-American, African Diaspora and Same Gender Loving – Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (SGL-LGBT) communities and experiences.
We shared with them our vision for a festival which is truly a “Charm City” event – blending entertainment and education in the greater Baltimore area through a uniquely diverse cinematic experience. They responded in a big way: We received scores of official entries for the BIBFF this year!!!
The motto for the BIBFF is “BRIDGING THE GAP” and with this OFFICIAL SELECTION we endeavor to make the much needed connections to empower our youth, seniors, educators, health services providers, activist, and the core group for whom the BIBFF was founded.
AND NOW, PRESENTING THE OFFICIAL SELECTIONS FOR THE INAUGURAL BALTIMORE INTERNATIONAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL!!!
WATCH OUR 9 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
We chose 9 Official Selections to screen here at the Inaugural BIBFF. They’re not just really impressive films individually – rather together, they tell the story of exactly why it’s so important that we “Bridge the Gap” as it relates to our Brotherhood (Sisterhood or Personhood), Leadership, Activism, Community and Knowledge.
TROOP 491: THE ADVENTURES OF THE MUDDY LIONS
2013 USA 105 MIN HD
“Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions” follows Tristian, a naive adolescent boy coping with life in the inner city. Tristian’s mother enrolls him in the Boy Scouts in an effort to keep him off the streets, when he witnesses a homicide, the local thug demands his silence. Tristian learns, with the help of his new scout friends, that doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Will he follow the code of the streets or will he follow the code of the scouts?
Produced by Praheme Tim Reid and Ken Roy | Written and Directed by Praheme Praphet | Cast: Kimani Coleman, Kameron J. Brown, Malique Hawkins, Terrell Donnell Sledge, Melody Tally, Michael LeMelle, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Tim Reid
Produced by Josh Ansen and Lamont Akbar Wilds | Written and Directed by Rasheed Wilds | Cast: Robert L Humphrey, Damion Omar Lee, Deron Brigdon Campbell, Angela Sims, Miriam Morales, Terron Jones, and John Smooth
2013 USA 110 MIN HD
The subjects of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But BEFORE is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie – whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.
Produced by Sara Giustini & PJ Raval | Directed by PJ Raval | Cast: Dennis is a gentle-hearted widower in his 70s who begins exploring his sexual identity and fondness for dressing in women’s clothing under the name “Dee.” Ty is an impassioned LGBT activist who hears nothing but wedding bells once gay marriage passes in New York. Robert “The Mouth” is a feisty bar owner who presses on when his neighborhood institution comes under threat.
2013 USA 75 MIN HD
OUT IN THE NIGHT (formerly titled The Fire This Time) follows the journey of a group of African American teenagers who went to a gay-friendly neighborhood in New York City for a night out. These lesbian and gender non-conforming friends, Patreese, Renata, Terrain and Venice were confronted by an older man on the street. They defended themselves. Strangers jumped in to support them and a fight ensued. Only the women were rounded up by police and charged and convicted as perpetrators of gang assault. They became known as The New Jersey 4.
OUT IN THE NIGHT follows their journey to Rikers Island, to the courtroom, and through slanderous media coverage that labeled them a “Wolfpack” and “Lesbian Gang”. The film examines the events after the fight: biased media coverage likening the women to “man-hating” animals, and the unprecedentedly harsh criminal justice response to these teenagers. This story shows how four young, queer women of color were unfairly criminalized for defending themselves.
Produced by blair dorosh-walther, Giovanna Chesler, Mridu Chandra, Yoruba Richen | Directed by blair dorosh-walther | Cast: Renata, Patreese, Terrain & Venice, Angela Davis, FIERCE
2014 USA 92 MIN HD
The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.
Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into lives, experiences and perspectives of black families that is absent from the traditional historical canon. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and society and its founding ideals.
Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book Reflections in Black and featuring the works of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a diverse yet focused community of storytellers who transform singular experiences into a communal journey of discovery – and a call to action.
Produced by Thomas Allen Harris and Dr. Deb Willis and Ann Bennett | Directed by Thomas Allen Harris | Written by Thomas Allen Harris and Don Perry | Cast (Interview Subjects): Deborah Willis, Lyle Ashton Harris, Carrie Mae Weems Thomas Allen Harris, Hank Willis Thomas and Robin Kelly
Raising Awareness, Changing and Saving Lives
As a documentary, “You Are Not Alone” is a little more than a run-of-the-mill film. While containing the basic elements of its genre – interviews with subjects telling their stories and mental health professionals placing these experiences and anecdotes in perspective, and at the same time presenting relevant statistics to support their respective positions; it nudges the envelope of understanding and acceptance a little further along. Using his creativity, skill and expertise, Stanley Bennett Clay listened to the interviews, wrote a script and directed re-enactments of the stories he heard. He moved the film from being a staid production of “talking heads” into, as he says, “some Hollywood thrown in”. While the film maintains the hard hitting edge of a documentary, it gently blurs the line between what is and what could be, moving into the realm of a docu-drama, and illuminating through examples, many of the underlying issues Black gay men are dealing with, but never talked about. This film breaks a taboo in the Black community; it exposes the raw truths behind the silent pain many Black gay men experience and live with.
Produced by Antoine B. Criagwell and Jeffery Gardere | Written and Directed by Stanley Bennet Clay | Cast: Robert Smith, Lester Greene, Jamaal Stone, Rian King, Sha Hayes, Andrew R. Cooksey, Jr., Nile Stevens, Vincent Michel Paul Filliatre and Ty Martin
2014 USA 14 MIN HD
In this riveting film we follow two friends (E Boogie and Chubb Rock) through a day in the life of their misdeeds and watch as their friendship unravels unexpectedly in dramatic fashion. Now they must face their final judgment and eternal fate. Is there redemption for those who ignore their salvation? Should there be? Are you ignoring your salvation?
Produced by Chubb Rock and Dana Dane | Directed by Joseph C. Grant Jr. | Written by Dana Dane and Joseph C. Grant Jr. |Cast: Karmia Berry, Nakia Dillard, Chubb Rock, and Earl “E Boogie” Thomason
2014 FRANCE 14 MIN RED
Voguing is an urban dance inspired by Vogue Magazine that grew out of New York in the 1980s, where dancers gather to compete in Voguing “battles.” The movement has since grown in France, thanks to its pioneers and to the success of singers like Madonna, Lady Gaga or Beyoncé
Lasseindra is one of the main drag queen leaders of the movement, based in Paris, who started competing in dance battles and organizing competitions at a young age. She was soon after recruited by House of Ninja, one of the most famous collectives that are skilled in Voguing.
Produced and Directed by VICE | Cast: Lasseindra Ninja and Stéphane Mizrahi
WHEN IT ALL FALLS DOWN…
2014 USA 18 MIN RED
When the truest love seems lost, will two soul mates find it before it’s too late?
Produced by Elliott “Lee” Cowart, Kalon Jackson and Terron Jones | Written and directed by Terron Jones | Cast: Branden Wellington and MaameYaa Boafo