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Film Festival Schedule


THURSDAY, MAR. 21 - Cape Fear Union Station - 
Cape Fear Community College 411 North Front Street


6 p.m. – Cinemixer
Opening reception for kick-off for the 16th Annual NC Black Film Festival with an after-work business networking atmosphere. Sponsored by Ken Weeden & Associates

7:15 p.m. -  Festival Opening Film
Special opening performance by Techmoja Dance & Theater Company

FRIDAY, MAR. 22 - Jengo's Playhouse 815 Princess St. 

5 p.m. - Block 1

Living - 14 min. 

Director:  Marcellus Cox      

An Award Winning Drama about an Angel's descent from Heaven to Brooklyn looking too clear the air, bridging a Gap fining common ground addressing an important key of life between Law Enforcement and Minorities.

The Issue of Mr. Odell - 35 min. 

Director:  Rami Katz

A documentary about Jack O'Dell, a 94-year old African-American civil rights activist. This story details his historical involvement of civil rights and entails the contemporary incarnation under the stewardship of groups like Black Lives Matter. Though he worked closely with Dr. King and was integral to several key civil rights campaigns, O'Dell's story isn't nearly as known as it ought to be. 

6 p.m. - Block 2

Reflect - 3 min. 
Director: Nia Applewhite

A student film about a different perspective of a challenging topic

Introduction - 10 min. 
Director: Amber Delgado

Fed up with living in the shadows, Joanna finds the confidence to be her true self in a small rural town in North Carolina.

Dragavists - 7 min. 

Director: Savannah Rodgers

Dragtivists is a short documentary about the intersection of activism and drag performance. 

Black in Blue - 12 min.
Director: Titus J. Burrell

Officer Lavine is at the height of his law enforcement career when he and his partner respond to a routine police call and things take a turn for the worse. In a matter of seconds officer Lavine is forced to choose between his loyalty to his brothers in blue or the citizens he swore to protect. 

6:40 p.m. - Block 3

#Softness - 1 min

Director:  Aurie Singletary

#softness is a writing project concept by Honey Martin showcasing the often forgotten and seldom seen softness of the black woman. First time filmmaker Aurie Singletary tries to capture the dynamic range of emotions black women go through on a daily basis within a minutes time.  

Baby Fish - 14 min. 

Fed Up - 7 min. 

Details to Follow - 5 min. 

Director:   Michael P. Spencer

A young couple's evening of TV and chill at home, is rapidly thrown into chaos, confusion and disaster. How well do they really know each other? It's late in the evening and a young couple are comfortably settled on the sofa watching TV. Nathan, and Gaia jokingly banter over what to watch, when an emergency broadcast alert stops them in their tracks. The warnings of an imminent missile strike should have them both in panic, but Gaia reacts in a very unexpected way. Nathan struggles to understand the whole situation, what's changed in his wife-to-be's demeanor and who the stranger on his roof is.   

7:20 p.m. - Block 4

Inside Our Diaries - 15 min. 
Director:  Shannia Spence

This documentary was created to bring light to controversial issues that happen in the black community. Black women often struggle with accepting  natural beauty due to misrepresentation or experiences from childhood. These testimonials were handpicked to show the diverse insecurities most black women face while growing up. 

Daddy's Girls - 9 min. 
Director:  Jasmine Jewet

A father and daughter struggle to let go of past pain after reuniting for the first time in years. 

A Lovely Corpse - 9 min.
Director:  Deshon Leek

After a painful break up, a woman travels back in time to prevent the day she met her old lover in order to erase his existence. 

Orisa in the Ghetto - 12 min.

Director: Dr. Kaia N. Shivers

A project created and curated by NYU professor, Dr. Kaia N. Shivers whose research focuses on media and the African Diaspora. 

8:10 p.m. - Block 5

Breathless - 7 min. 
Director:   Anaiis Cisco        

'Breathless' is the story of Larry, a middle aged Black man, whose trip to the bodega for coffee and cigarettes leads to his unwarranted death. Larry, a father “figure” and street “entrepreneur” in his Brooklyn community, stops by Major Deli to see the owner, and for his usual coffee and cigarettes. On his way out, he breaks up a fight between neighborhood teens, resulting in an illegal cigarette transaction. Consequently, two undercover officers approach Larry, accusing him of selling illegal cigarettes. This encounter with the police quickly escalates and leads to Larry’s untimely death. 

White Boy - 12 min. 
Director:  Carson Wallace

 "White Boy" explores the stifling preconceptions imposed on a young African-American man expected to conform, speak, and behave in racially coded ways. The protagonist rebels, comfortable in his own form of expression, and yet faces a disturbing incident where he is racially profiled by the police.

All Kids Go to Hell - 7 min.
Director: Chaz Bottoms

Two orphaned siblings, unknowingly using a ouija board, accidentally ask the devil to adopt them.

Blackground - 6 min.

Director: Nic Kelly

When Kadeem Farrell (Avi Bernard) decides to attend a Hollywood audition for the role of a defiant field slave, "Nigger Joe”, he draws some ironic suspicion from his fellow actors due to his light complexion. Seeing it as the opportunity of a lifetime Kadeem remains undeterred. As the time nears for his audition Kadeem tries to calm his nerves but to no avail. Once inside the audition, Kadeem's attempt at delivering a dynamic reading falls on deaf ears. However, the director Carrie (Bridgette Sell) has another role in mind for him. Forcing Kadeem to answer the question, what is the actual price of fame?

8:55 p.m. - Block 6

Time of Ashes - 11 min.
Director:  Tony Batchler, Jr.

Phoenix, a young woman stuck in an abusive relationship crosses paths with a neighbor that has an interesting connection with her father. Being reminded of what once was, Phoenix must find a way to rise from the ashes of her life.

Pinked - 1 min.

Director:  LaQuita James

A look at cell phones and how they can make us obvious to our surroundings.

The One Who Crosses the Earth - 19 min.
Director:   Philippe Roux

Moussa seems to be involved in a car accident. On the forest ground, a seriously injured woman is lying down. He helps her. 

Discharge - 5 min.
Director: Max Philisaire

Suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), military veteran Max (Marcus Ajose) comes home and finds himself battling inner demons. The dark side of war emerges when Max least expects it. He is haunted by his time in combat and grows increasingly detached from reality as he tries to integrate back into civilian life. Max drives through town in search of his girlfriend Maya (Jessica Rizo) in hopes of repairing their broken relationship. 

The One - 8 min.
Tony Batchler, Jr.

David is struggling to get over his ex Tia, in order to catch up on sleep he starts to take sleeping pills. Now constantly reliving their memories in his dreams, he must decide which place he wants to stay. 

10 p.m. - Block 7

Bang! Bang! - 1 min. 
Director:  Jackie Droujko

Two girls sick of the daily grind thieve their way to riches. The duo strikes big, but will they bite more than they can chew?

This One's for the Ladies - 1 hr 23 min.

Director:  Gene Graham

This film explores the sexual and social identity of contemporary black America through intimate, eye opening and often hilarious accounts from women and men who find love and community in the underground world of exotic dancing.    Runtime 1 hr 23 mins

SATURDAY, MAR. 23 - Cape Fear Community College
411 North Front Street

Cape Fear Room 1 

Family Cinema

10 a.m.

Legend of John Henry - 7 min. 
Director:  Nick Brooks

A young man embarks on a journey to find an ancestors buried treasure.   

Flag Duty - 7 min. 
Director: Raymond Knudsen

Tensions mount as two children reconcile their socioeconomic differences when they’re forced to work together on flag duty during elementary school.

Hoop Dreamin' - 6 min. 

Director: Nick Brooks

An 8-year-old Tariq Edwards has recently been let out of school for the summer and all he wants to do is play basketball!! Unfortunately, Tariq and his friends realize they’ll never get to play at the neighborhood courts so they move on to other things. Tariq, still stuck on playing ball, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he spots a basketball hoop for sale, but he doesn’t have enough money to purchase it. Tariq has to make a tough decision, to work for his hoop or enjoy his summer with his friends. Will his wildest dreams come true?

Sparkle - 2 min. 
Director: Bill Badi

Full Circle - 8 min.

Director: Raymond Knudsen

An accomplished NFL wide receiver looks beyond the football field in hopes to change the lives of the people from his poor hometown of Pahokee, Florida. 

The Wish and the Wisp - 15 min.

Director: Vashmere Valentine

Two bickering siblings learn the true value of friendship and the magic of believing, when they find a real wish and encounter the menacing creature who wants it back!​  

11 a.m.

Hardface - 1 hr 23 min. 

Director:  Mark Hood

For over thirty years, the Falcone family has run a boxing program for youth escaping life on the streets, hoping for a shot as professional fighters. Richard ‘Hardface’ Mason is the driving force behind this feature-length documentary as fighter-turned-trainer at Cincinnati’s struggling Northside Boxing Gym.Shot on 16mm film, Hardface explores the enduring bond between fighter and trainer, providing an inside look at the amateur boxing experience. Two promising young fighters embark on the journey to become the gym's next champions. The past merges with the present through family archive footage and interviews, revealing why Falcone's fighters 'always come home.

12:30 p.m.

The American South as We Know It - 56 min. 

Director:  Frederick Murphy

The American South As We Know It explores the lives and experiences of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era. This film depicts a time when racial tension was at its peak. The educators, historians and brave "everyday" people featured in this documentary, express their vested interest in creating a comprehensive narrative of what life was like for African- Americans in the south.

1:30 p.m. 

Under the Law - 10 min. 

Director:  Mitsu Miyashima

Adriel (Malachi Beasley), a qualified and determined individual, is looking for employment at a law firm, but a blemish on his record holds him back. However, everything changes when Karen (Christina Schulz) finds out what his motive was on the night of his incident. Karen asks for her boss, Mr. Manning (Mark Allyn), for his opinion as Adriel reminisces on his past experience. 

Black in Blue  - 13 min.

Director:  Julius B. Kelly

A Marine comes home from Afghanistan struggling with PTSD to find a cop has profiled and killed one of his younger friends. When the two finally meet a conversation goes awry with dark consequences.

4 p.m.

Fearless - 16 min.

Directors:  Jasmine Cannon, Yingxu Jane Hao, Branden Hampton

A community activist group struggles to mentor youth and intervene gun violence on the South Side of Chicago.

Lacheiavelli - 9 min. 

Director:  Derwin Graham

Making it through football was always Plan A in life. Finding out that ADHD was keeping him from efficiently learning a playbook wasn't part of the plan. Now Lache Seastrunk, a former football standout, strives to overcome the newfound trial in hopes of still fulfilling his dream of making it in the NFL.

Lucidity - 13 min. 

Director:   Jean-Michel Christopher Fischre

Faith is a college student who has had a pretty normal life until she started having visions that collided with reality. These visions are specific to social issues that are associated with the black community. Throughout Faith’s day, her knowledge and understanding of society are expanded because of the visions she experiences. Faith must make a choice of how she will use her newly found conscious when a woman is being viciously harassed in public.

5 p.m.

Len(n)y - 6 min.

Director:  Joshua Jordan

After being impregnated by aliens, Bart, an unemployed stoner, faces the challenges of pregnancy along with being kicked out of his mother’s house. After reaching out for help from multiple sources, everyone refuses to lend him a helping hand. Bart must find a way to get his life together while dealing with the struggles of becoming a single parent. 

Probaphobe - 17 min.

Director:  Joshua Jordan

After being impregnated by aliens, Bart, an unemployed stoner, faces the challenges of pregnancy along with being kicked out of his mother’s house. After reaching out for help from multiple sources, everyone refuses to lend him a helping hand. Bart must find a way to get his life together while dealing with the struggles of becoming a single parent. 

Mr. Carter - 10 min.

Director:  Gregor Wilson

Two years after losing his beloved wife in a hit and run, Drew Carter begins a new job, that unexpectedly offers him something he felt was impossible; a glimpse of happiness

Mattie: The Discovery - 1 hr 30 min.

Director:   Camy "Cameron" Arnett

Mattie Styles begins in a home where her daddy is unsure of his footing, not truly in or out of her life, and not sure whether there is enough reason for him to choose to stay. Her mother suffers from a slow debilitating disease that steals her memories and saps her of her ability to be cognitively present in her family’s life. Her paternal grandmother, Betty Jean, is holding the family by its fraying foundation, as she struggles to remind her son of his obligation to his family, tries to help anchor her daughter in-law’s mind to the NOW and prays God’s hedge of protection remain around her grandson and granddaughter.But a tragic murder serves as the catalyst that awakens hidden gifts and introduces Mattie to a life of discovery and unexpected temptations. It is during this life shattering funeral that Mattie experiences the dilemma of being between the road that leads to mercy, grace and forgiveness or bitterness and the evil use of her new found abilities. 

7:15 p.m. 

The Mayor's Race 1 hr 20 min.

Director:  Julius B. Kelly

A mixed-race child, Marvin grew up with his single mother in Bristol's ghettos in the UK with prostitution, violence and poverty on a daily occurrence. Ever since, Marvin had the desire to go against the injustices he experienced and decides to run for mayor. Despite his charisma and intellect, his biggest battle is believing anyone will take this black guy from the ghetto serious. In a tight race, he must accept his loss in front of rolling cameras. Though feeling personally ashamed, losing for him has a greater significance as the the city has a history of treating its black immigrants like no other.Bristol was part of the slave trade, was struck by a civil rights movement in the 1960's inspired by Martin Luther King and had the black youth revolting in the 1980's, which caused a nationwide riot. Today it is the increasing fear of muslims that shatters the city. Despite his doubts, Marvin decides to run again. More professional, stronger and with the vital support of the Muslim-Somali community. Will he manage to break the circle of history and become the first mayor of African decent of a city in Europe? 


Cape Fear Room 2

11 a.m.

#SAYITLOUD - 51 min.

Directors:   Valerie Keys , Kat MacDonald

Through a series of interviews conducted in Fayetteville, North Carolina, two young women question people of all ages, races, and ethnicities about their experiences with America's favorite pastime, racism.

12 p.m.

Challenging the Call - 20 min.

Director:  Milik Robinson

Challenging The Call is call is a personal journey film about discovering one's self worth while moving on from past pain. In this film, I set out to redefine what it means to be an athlete. As a child, I was one of the most promising dancers in my city. Years of being told to use my gifts for traditional athletics caused me to abandon my stage dreams. Years later, I'm looking back wondering if in my own way, I was an athlete after all. 

The Last Lesson - 12 min.

Director:   Gemal Woods

"The Last Lesson," a short film about the final boxing lesson from an esteemed boxing trainer and a young aspiring boxer. 15-year-old Sofia is given a lesson unlike any other lesson at her local gym, in a hope to keep her inspired to pursue her dreams. 

Harmonic Hues: Philadelphia - 18 min. 

Director:   Sean A. Wright

A documentary that captures a snapshot of Philadelphia's progressive black community and culture, and the thoughts and perspectives of the people who embody it. In part one, we look into the importance of annual cultural community celebrations, as seen by both attendees and organizers. 

1:15 p.m. 

Little Red Pocketbook - 13 min.

Director:   Holly Holder

“Little Red Pocketbook” tells the story of the brave students attending the all-black Adkin High School in Kinston, NC, in 1952. Under a segregated educational system, many disparities existed between Adkin and the all-white high school, Grainger. Adkin students were forced to learn from hand-me-down textbooks, share one microscope in science class, and attend school for an entire decade without a gymnasium. Even with all these hardships, the Adkin Pirates loved and respected their school. In order to fight for the learning tools they knew they deserved, the student body staged one of the first walkouts at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. Their legacy has helped shaped the course of history in Kinston, and now it is finally time for the world to know.

Riverment - 19 min.

Director:  Shayla Racquel

A former Civil Rights activist fears for the safety of her granddaughter who is determined to follow in her footsteps. 

FML - 12 min.

Director:   Ahsjah Exumé

A young man with PTSD continues to struggle with the effects of Hurricane Katrina, while trying to reconcile debts with FEMA

3 p.m. 

Distorted - 24 min.

Director:  Al G. Silah

Two sisters meet to put their father to rest when they get an unexpected knock at the door, turning their night upside down. 

Convicted - 10 min.

Director:  Sheena Vaught

After having an affair, Nicole can't escape conviction and comes clean to her husband. 

4 p.m.

A Man and His Trumpet: The Story of Leroy Jones - 1 hr 23 min. 

Director:  Cameron Washington

In a city full of musicians, Leroy Jones, trumpet virtuoso and consummate New Orleanian, is a musician’s musician. Follow Jones' life journey as he came up playing on the streets of the Saint Bernard Projects and 7th Ward, quickly establishing himself as one of NOLA’s most sought after trumpeters, founding the legendary Fairview Baptist Brass Band and Hurricane Brass Band. In present day Jones was touring and recording for the past 20 years with Harry Connick Jr. as the solo trumpeter. A decade after the storm that nearly destroyed his beloved city, Jones is navigating life as both a world renowned musician and a citizen amidst a rapidly changing New Orleans

5:30 p.m.

30 Day Promise - 1 hr 30 min. 

Directors:   Corey L. Branch

Having been told that she has two months to live, and on the same day Dan, Heather’s husband ask for a divorce. Instead of telling him that she’s dying, Heather agrees to give Dan the divorce but only if he carries her from the bedroom to the front door every morning for 30 straight days. 

7:15 p.m. 

Smoke and Paint - 8 min. 

Directors:   Stephen Beaty

Having been told that she has two months to live, and on the same day Dan, Heather’s husband ask for a divorce. Instead of telling him that she’s dying, Heather agrees to give Dan the divorce but only if he carries her from the bedroom to the front door every morning for 30 straight days. 

Jelly Bean - 12 min.

Directors:   Devin Walker

After the death of her adopted mother, a young girl named Claire and her still grieving adopted father try to move forward with their lives. Claire decides to find her biological parents behind her father's back, possibly causing a rift between them.

One Last Bullet - 15 min

Directors:   Richelle Fonville

A depressed woman is contemplating shooting herself with the one bullet that's left in her gun when a young teen comes to rob her. 

Main Stage

11 a.m.

One Bedroom - 1 hr 23 min.

Director: Darien Sills-Evans

Breaking up is easy. Moving out is hard. After five years of ups and downs, an African American 30-something couple in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood spends their final afternoon together arguing and remember better days, as one of them moves out and hopefully on with her life.

I Got a Call Back - 14 min.

Director:  Christopher Fox

An actor is put to the test in an audition that goes left.

12:45 p.m.

Sincerely, The Black Kids - 35 min.

Director:  Miles Iton

Sincerely, The Black Kids is a documentary on the institutional challenges black student government leaders face in primarily white institutions nationwide.Across the country, universities everywhere are becoming battlegrounds for racial politics and agendas. For every loud proponent of “agreeing to disagree” that surfaces, there’s a group of black students who don’t enjoy the privilege of choosing to be moderate. Follow the stories of black student leaders from American University, Cornell University, Clemson and New College of Florida in Sincerely, the Black Kids, a documentary of triumphs and tribulations that prove sometimes it IS because you’re black. 

1:20 p.m. 

Pretty Ass White Girl - 20 min.

Director:  John Eddins

In this dark comedy, the ending is only the beginning as lovers reunite 12 days after one of them gets a whole new lease on life and love.  

Rumination - 13 min.

Director:  Chad Eric Smith

A heartbroken man travels into the past for a second chance at a failed relationship. 

Beguiled - 7 min.

Director:  Regina McLeod

A selfless woman's recent actions threaten to undermine her relationship, with the younger man in her life.

2 p.m.

Black Burner Dream - 40 min. / Women's Panel 

Director:  Brenda Hayes

In 1951, Langston Hughes asked "What happens to a dream deferred." BackBurner Dreams explores the deferred dreams of Stephanie, Melanee, and Carla. Three ordinary women, doing an extraordinary thing, following their dreams. I challenge three women of color, ranging in age from 30 - 50 to revisit and try to revive the dreams for their lives they put on hold to raise children, work, support the dreams of everyone else but themselves; they had nine months to try to bring their dreams to the fore. What possibilities lay in wait when we remember our dreams.

3:45 p.m. 

Black Beach, White Beach - 60 min. 

Director:  Ricky Kelly

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, two national motorcycle festivals are held over the weeks around the Memorial Day holiday. One festival is primarily white, the other is predominantly black. While bikers of both colors enjoy both festivals, the city, community, and state have a vastly different way of looking at these two festivals, creating a divide among the participants, business owners, and residents. Against the backdrop of the historical relevance of the area’s segregated past, this documentary explores opposing viewpoints on segregation and integration, mutual love of motorcycle culture, and racial tensions that reach a boiling point every spring in this southern beach mecca. 

5 p.m.

Fighting Two Wars - 9 min. 

Director:  Aaron Curtis

Fighting Two Wars: The Story of Thalia Jane Ainsley features the story of Thalia Jane Ainsley, a Vietnam war veteran who transitioned into a woman later in life

Blood Hero - 19 min. 

Director:  Lorie Mitchell

Mickey Boudreaux, returns from the Vietnam War in 1973. After serving two tours of duty, he finds himself being haunted by both the inhumane results of what the war caused in Vietnam and the social and economic injustice of life for African Americans in Southern Louisiana.

5:40 p.m.

Black n Black - 1 hr 34 min. 

Director:  Zadi Zokou

Black N Black is a documentary that explores the relationship between African Americans and African immigrants to the United States. Although both communities originated from the African continent, their view of each other is often fueled by stereotypes and misconceptions. Their already limited and sometimes fragile connections are further complicated by profound social and historical issues such as their relationships with Whites or the alleged complicity of Africans in the Slave Trade, all of which present challenges to their solidarity.Black N Black highlights these issues in an effort to elevate the communication between the two communities. Filmed in the US, Ghana and Ivory Coast, the documentary presents compelling facts and thoughtful opinions intended to spark discussion and learning about each other as a means of building strong and authentic relationships. 

7:15 p.m. 

Dark Room - 9 min.

Director:  David Schell

The plot reveals an overbearing father discovering that his teenage son has transformed the basement of their New York City townhouse into an amateur darkroom. There the boy develops gruesome and voyeuristic images from his late-night crime scene photography. 

Unarmed- 1 hr 30 min.

Director:  Harold Jackson

Based on too many fatal traffic stops for Black men, "Unarmed Man" tells a fictionalized case statement recording by a Police Officer after killing an unarmed Black man during a traffic stop.  Officer Greg Yelich gives his recounting of the shooting in a scathing examination of racial profiling, prejudice and violence as the case statement interviewer (Aaron Williamson) digs for the truth one murky layer at a time.  Is this a case of an Officer doing his job or something much worse?  

9:10 p.m. 

F.A.M. - 30 min.

Director:  Kyle Romanek

Inspired by a true story, F.A.M. is a half-hour drama about a black blended family trying to live a normal life in the all-white suburb of Roswell, GA. The story covers the life of Trey, who is trying to balance his relationship with three women: Traci - his ex and the mother of his child, Dara - his new wife, and Olivia - his 15-year-old daughter who is struggling with her sexuality. Trey navigates the challenges of having a child coming out in a subculture of homophobia and co-parenting with a woman hellbent on destroying his marriage.

SUNDAY, MAR. 24 - UNCW Kenan Auditorium 
601 S College Rd.


3 p.m.  - Open to Music and Film with NHHS Marching Band

WE Ready - 50 min. 
Director: Drae Jackson

This new film will surely take us back to our college days featuring an Amazing Miles College Marching band label as the Underdog , the band shows what techniques they use to keep the crowd excited, artfully remixed old-school jams and make us take pride in our school’s “fight” songs. The film opens up with 3 high school graduates choosing and making the choice to attend Miles College . While going through the task of becoming excellent , the film opens the insights of hard work and determination, Band Director Willie j. Snipes Jr. lead his band to Success as they prepare for their new Arch rivals Alabama State University. 


NCBFF Festival Awards


4:45 p.m.  

Tell Them We are Rising: The Story of Black
Colleges and Universities - 1 hr 23 min. 

Director:  Stanley Nelson & Marco Williams

Black colleges and universities are a haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries and have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities examines the impact these institutions have had on American history, culture, and national identity. 

Festival Closeout


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