The Rehoboth Beach Film Society in partnership with The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice are proud to present the inaugural Rehoboth Beach African-American Film Festival. The mission of this event is “to deepen awareness of African-American cultures and experiences, and to explore community differences and commonalties through the art of film.”
Four films will be presented over President’s Day weekend (Friday, February 16 - Sunday, February 18) at the Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, Dartmouth Plaza (behind the Lewes Wawa). This year’s selection of films will cover a diverse range of topics, including the artistic legacy of black photographers, police violence against black youth, and the shifting definition of success in the lives of a group of urban thirty-somethings, to convey the complexity and vibrancy of the black experience in contemporary America.
Friday, February 16 at 7 PM
Opening the festival will be FRUITVALE STATION, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), whom he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day. Oscar's life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area - and the entire nation - to its very core. Peter Travers of “Rolling Stone” calls FRUITVALE STATION, “a gut punch of a movie. By standing in solidarity with Oscar, it becomes an unstoppable cinematic force.” [2013, US, Runtime: 84 minutes, Rated: R].
THROUGH A LENS DARKLY
Saturday, February 17 at 4:30 PM
The first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY probes the recesses of American history to discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. From slavery to the present, these extraordinary images unveil a world confronting the difficult edges of citizenship and what it means to be human.
Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book “Reflections in Black” and featuring works by Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, and many others, THROUGH A LENS DARKLY introduces the viewer to a community of storytellers who collectively transform singular experiences into a journey of discovery – and a call to action. “A fascinating, visually stunning, emotionally devastating documentary,” writes Ann Hornaday of “The Washington Post”. [2014, US, Runtime: 92 minutes, Not Rated].
Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 PM
Written and directed by Neil Drumming and set in Brooklyn on the eve of President Obama’s history-making election, three former members of a once promising hip-hop crew cross paths again to discover that some things never change. Former front man John, once known as Big Words, is now a working class guy who raps only to himself. James is a publicist living with his boyfriend, far removed from the days when he rhymed about getting girls. DJ Malik still spins records with a longing for the glory days. Together again, the friends reckon with dreams deferred and dreams yet to come. Eric Kohn of “Indiewire.com” writes, “Neil Drumming explores the disconnect between public and personal triumphs with a witty eloquence that stands in contrast to…mainstream American movies in general.” [2013, US, Runtime: 93 minutes, Not Rated].
3 ½ MINUTES, 10 BULLETS
Sunday, February 18 at 2 PM
Closing the festival will be the powerful documentary 3 ½ MINUTES, 10 BULLETS. On Black Friday 2012, four African-American teenagers stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. One of them, Jordan Davis, argued with Michael Dunn, a white man parked beside them, over the volume of music playing in their car. The altercation turned to tragedy when Dunn fired 10 bullets at the unarmed boys, killing Davis almost instantly. The seamlessly constructed, riveting documentary film 3 1⁄2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense laws by weaving Dunn's trial with a chorus of citizen and pundit opinions, and with Jordan Davis' parents' wrenching experiences in and out of the courtroom. Dennis Harvey of “Variety.com” calls it, “tight and accomplished on all levels.” [2015, US, Runtime: 98 minutes, Not Rated].
Doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of each screening. Admission prices are $10 per screening. Tickets can be obtained online at www.rehobothfilm.com, by calling 302-645-9095, ext. 1, or visiting the RBFS office, Mon – Fri, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. Please note that tickets are non-refundable.
Rehoboth Beach Film Society
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