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2021 NC Black Film Festival

Due to the Pandemic, This year's  17th Annual North Carolina Black Film Festival hosted in Wilmington, NC will be total virtual.  Thanks to our partners at Film Festival Plus, our NC Black Film Fest enthusiasts will be able to screen their films of choice in the comfort of their home or in small group settings.  

The best way to do that is join us February 25th-28th at and click on NC Black Film Fest and you can purchase passes and individual tickets to screen this year's official selections of the 2021 North Carolina Black Film Festival.


DVD & Chill

In the City of Angels, a jungle filled with predators & opportunists perpetually on the prowl, Zora a beautifully exotic groupie wants nothing more than to rub shoulders with her celebrity obsession & Hollywood hunk Shemar Moor. So she arranges to spend the evening watching a DVD at her condo with Moor's handsome slick tongued half-brother Cyrano in a ploy to use him as a stepping stone to Shemar. But Cyrano, hip to the hustle, & out to quench the thirst of his own desire, plots to use his charm & the fame of his half-brother as bait to seduce Zora. And as their movie glimmers, these two sexy beasts hunt one another & by the end of an intimate evening, one will never be the same.

Brick by Brick

Take the journey with Buddy, a 19-year-old brick mason and farmer, as he confronts numerous systemic obstacles in pursuit of rebuilding the relationship with the father he thought he knew. Based on a true story, screenwriter and director Tina Chapman DaCosta tells the compelling story of her father, young Elza “Buddy” Cannaday, who leaves his small town to find his father, presumed dead after a riot. Experience an after-hours smoky abode, jazz music of the time, and a cameo appearance by jazz pianist Johnny O’Neal, who resurrects his role as Art Tatum from the film Ray. Based on true events.


The Black Baptism

Informed by a mysterious voice, an imprisoned young woman must pass a series of enigmatic tests or face a violent death as the terrifying situation unlocks a dormant power in this story of courage and redemption.

THE BLACK BAPTISM is a short film about a young woman who awakens imprisoned by a mysterious group. This afro-futurist psychological thriller explores themes around redemption, finding the courage to face fear and connecting to the God within using mythological concepts to visualize the Prisoner’s evolution through a fantasy lens. The plot is told from the protagonist’s point of view as the existential crisis shatters her concepts of God, justice, authority and humanities ability to create reality.

The story opens as the Prisoner painfully struggles to crawl out of a coffin-like hole. Soon after emerging it becomes obvious, she only escaped into an even larger prison cell when a woman’s voice informs her (through a surveillance system) that she must pass a series of tests, including removing a sword from a stone, for any hope of survival. 


When her escape plan fails the Prisoner is horrified to learn she is being guarded by several mysterious bird-like creatures as she realizes something other worldly is amidst. Following several failed attempts to remove the sword, an electrical disturbance from the stone projects the prisoner into outer-space where she comes face to face with a supernatural being called The First. Her voice is eerily the same as the woman in the prison. The First explains that she is God, the living universe, and gives the Prisoner the secret to passing the cryptic trials. 


The Prisoner regains consciousness in the prison. Now connected to the God within she realizes her intense fear had distorted her ability to clearly see reality. She tosses a bowl of water on the sword to expose the holographic technology creating the stone illusion. When she takes the sword in her hand the voice informs her the final test is imminent. Several terrifying bird creatures burst into the cell opening fire with assault rifles. The Prisoner recalls The First’s words "fear is a lack of imagination" and spins the sword into a shield to block the bullets. The creatures cease-fire and stand at attention like robots. The Prisoner reluctantly pulls off the lead creature's mask revealing a man. The final test is complete. The guards escort the Prisoner from the cell to meet the voice. 


Her Happy Place 

A female time travels to change a past relationship hoping to find her happy place.


Hawks Ridge

A microcosm of current events, Hawks Ridge is the story of a black, grieving ex-pastor who ponders whether to save the life of the white man who killed his wife.


Destiny's Road

At her high school graduation party, a teenage girl, whose only chance of making it out of poverty is through college, scrambles to recover stolen tuition money before reliant family members catch on to her secret.


Jail or Yale?

Significant data reveals that Black students are being pushed into prison through our school systems, known as the School-to-Prison Pipeline:

40% of students expelled from U.S. schools each year are black 
70% of students involved in “in-school” arrests or referred to law enforcement are Black or Latino  Black students are 3.5x more likely to be suspended than whites.  Black and Latino students are 2x more likely to not graduate high school as whites.  

68% of all males in state and federal prison do not have a high school diploma. People of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but 67% of the prison population.

Their performance is inferior to every other comparable race and sex. "Many teachers begin to systemically look at Black males as troublemakers and as less intelligent than their peers, and this becomes the assumption rather than the exception. "


Does the bias inflicted upon Black males affect them in such a manner that they begin to view themselves in an inferior way, thus compounding the issue at hand.

Jail or Yale is an expository documentary set to explore whether black boys are being trained and prepared to enter the prison system? 
Is there any correlation between the bias inflicted upon Black males as they progress through the educational system, and their over representation in the criminal justice system? 


Waters of March

Waters of March is an exploration of grief and how it affects an entire family. Our point of entry is through our main character, March, who upon losing the matriarch of his family, his grandmother, becomes physically and emotionally devastated.

Without much space or attention to grieve, March creates liminal mental spaces where he searches for traces of his Grandmother amidst darkness and uncertainty.


The Sound Of Silence

A man returns to his beach house along the Currituck Sound after losing his better half and wonders if the other half will ever be whole again.


The Brookland Literary & Hunting Club

​This oral history film honors the experience of 5 members of the Brookland Literary and 
Hunting Club (a.k.a. BLAHC), a poker and social club founded in Washington, DC in 1942 by 9 accomplished Black men from the Brookland neighborhood in the district — doctors, lawyers, scientists, university presidents — many with Howard University affiliations. They gathered monthly to discuss important topics of the day (the “literary”) and “hunt” (aka play poker). BLAHC has survived until today, but now it may be reaching it's end."


The Simple Path

“The Simple Path” follows the decision making of Nevaeh, an elder care nurse who struggles emotionally when one of her long-term elderly female patients, Helen, no longer has the financial ability to support the costs associated with the care facility for which she works. 

In an impromptu act, Nevaeh makes the decision to move Helen home with her to provide ongoing care with the help of her younger brother, Aman, who just returned home after a 4-year stint working as an oversees Peace Corp Volunteer.

Although the subject matter of “The Simple Path” is distressing in the realistic challenges for many elderly, the story finds emotional balance in the random acts of kindness that certain humans are willing to provide to those in need.



A successful type A security expert has to have a home monitoring system installed and realizes that her biggest problem maybe what happens in her own home.


Making Sweet Tea

Making Sweet Tea is a documentary film that chronicles the journey of southern-born, black gay researcher and performer, E. Patrick Johnson, as he travels home to North Carolina to come to terms with his past, and to Georgia, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. to reconnect with six black gay men he interviewed for the book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History


Digging For Weldon Irvine

Director Victorious DeCosta brings befitting and timely examination to the life and legacy of Weldon Irvine, whose work drew appreciation from the likes of Freddie Hubbard and Nina Simone to Mos Def and Q-Tip. His bountiful and socio-culturally evocative work in music and theater was central to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s; integral to the evolution of hip hop, from its inception through its golden era of consciousness and heavy jazz-laden sampling; and whose dedicated mentorship sparked a movement in his long-time residence of Jamaica/St. Albans, Queens, helping develop some of the most well-known figures in jazz today.

Through previously unreleased audio and music from Irvine, and exclusive interviews with those closely associated with the tortured artist professionally and personally, De Costa helps us understand the journey of an artist of moderate success yet monumental influence. Equally as important, how these two realities coexist, and why? Irvine, who wrote over 500 songs and over 50 plays, relentlessly strived to reinvent himself within an industry and a world that didn’t always reciprocate, understand or appreciate his voice. A hovering backdrop of generational burdens, toxic vices, and unapologetic blackness paint the complexities that sing an all too familiar refrain of the native sons' inability to fully escape the web of American fate. Yet, the resilience of Weldon Irvine's creative contribution remains a lovely, precious dream.

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