The Virtual Film Festival Showcasing BIPOC Storytellers

African Diaspora International Film Festival BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of afro.com

We’re fortunate to live in a time where there are more films than ever before about the Black experience created by Black directors and starred by Black actors. The flip side to that coin is that Black communities continue to play a marginal role in the film industry internationally. 

This is where the African Diaspora International Film Festival works to close the gaps; by showcasing the important works of identity, equality, and intellectual expansion created by communities of color, they craft a space in which Black talent can be front and center and a fertile ground for educating masses. 

For 28 years, the African Diaspora Film Festival has been highlighting culturally and socially meaningful films and features that center the human experience of people of color across the globe. 

The husband and wife team of Reinaldo Barroso-Spech and Diarah N’Day Spech have fueled this festival with their backgrounds. As an educator in foreign languages and a financial consultant, they merged their expertise to create an experience that breaks through boundaries in order to display innovative films that would otherwise live in the shadows.

By amplifying Black and Indigenous folks’ multidimensional voices, they shed light on the common misrepresentations they face and redesign the cinema experience. 

The festival features emerging and established filmmakers that strengthen the presence of people of color while shedding the discussion on life, culture, and human experience. 

As film festivals are finding creative ways to keep these traditions alive, the 28th anniversary of the African Diaspora Film Festival will be held virtually nationwide for the first time from November 27 to December 13. Seventy-five different films from 31 countries will be featured in the lineup of films that come directly from other festivals such as Tribeca, Venice, Toronto, Cannes, Berlinale, Durban, and more. 

The film that will be shown on opening night is Allen Resiner’s St. Louis Blues from 1958, based on the life of composer and musician William Christopher Handy. 

Some of the other films showing are Dust by Clarence Brown, Something of Value by Richard Brooks, Sergeant Rutledge by John Ford, and The Pawnbroker by Sidney Lumet. 

The last film to be displayed at the event is a documentary about contemporary dancer Charles “Lil Buck” Riley Lil’ Buck, Real Swan by Louis Wallecan. As a celebration of his role in elevating the art of street dance, Lil’ Buck will participate in a virtual Q&A focused on the festival’s Art, Resistance, and Activism program.

In a moment where the Black Lives Matter movement has made a more profound imprint in society, this celebration pushes boundaries further beyond and provides a platform for Black and Indigenous people to be at the center of the transformation and conversation. 

By demystifying the otherwise elite nature of film and cinema, they continue to pave the road for our communities to tell their stories. 

For more information about the 28th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, visit http://www.NYADIFF.org.