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Ava DuVernay, 13TH

The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF) kicks off its 43rd season on June 28 at the Newark Museum with 13th, Ava DuVernay’s exploration of the history of race, justice and mass incarceration in the U.S., focusing on the nation’s prisons that are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Youth Cinema, the accompanying summer-long series of free children’s features and short films, debuts on July 3 at The Newark Public Library and July 5 at the Museum.

Since its introduction by the Museum in 1974, the NBFF has provided a forum for emerging writers, directors, producers, performers that highlight the work and history of African Americans and the African Diaspora that reflect the diversity of viewpoints, from documentaries to the avant-garde. Screenings are followed by a Q&A session.

Screenings are free, but reservations are strongly suggested.

All screenings begin at 7 pm in the Newark Museum BJ Auditorium, unless otherwise noted.

June 28: 13th
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of race, justice and mass incarceration in the U.S., focusing on the nation’s prisons that are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
Opening Reception: 5:30 pm
Speakers: Khalil Muhammad, Prof. of History, Race and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; and Lawrence Hamm, People Organization for Progress
Host: Gloria Hopkins Buck

July 5: Queen of Katwe – Family Night in the Museum Garden
Living in the slum of Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona and her family. Her world changes when she meets a missionary who teaches children how to play chess.
Enjoy pre-film activities at 7 pm with the Newark Chess Club, a mentorship program that teaches strategic theory and thought, through chess. Screening will follow at 8 pm.
Speaker and Host: Darryl Scipio, Newark Chess Club

July 12: Steps
A young attorney left traumatized after an armed robbery becomes an alcoholic, loses everything and spends 14 years on the streets. After he befriends a local pastor, his story shifts to one of redemption and love in this Indie film set in Jersey City.
Speakers: Eddie Harris, filmmaker/writer; and Penwah, actress/producer/comedian
Host: Richard Wesley, screenwriter/educator

July 19: Shashamane
This documentary, set in Shashamane, Ethiopia, tells the story of Africans returning to their homeland, after generations of slavery and oppression, to reclaim their African identity.
Speakers: Giulia Amati, Producer, Karl Courtenay Phillpotts, President, The Shashamane Settlement Community Development Foundation and Jake Homiak, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives.
Host: Akil Khalfani, Director of Africana Institute, Essex County College

July 26: Millie & The Lords
Milagros Baez, a young Puerto Rican woman, has her life changed for the better when she learns about the Young Lords Party who fought for social justice in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s.
Speakers: Jennica Carmona, writer/director and Jessica Carmona, co-producer and plays the role of Millie
Host: TBD

August 2: John Lewis: Get in the Way
A portrayal of John Lewis’ personal journey of courage, disappointments and hard-won triumphs. Over decades, he has inspired others to stand up and seek justice for the marginalized.
Speaker: Kathleen Dowdey, producer/director
Host: TBD

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