The 2004 Roxbury Film Festival

RFF 2004 | RFF 2004 Schedule | RFF 2004 Films | RFF 2004 Panel Discussions

The 6th Annual Roxbury Film Festival

Celebrating the Vision and the Voice of New England Filmmakers of Color
August 18-22, 2004

Sponsored by ACT Roxbury & The Color of Film Collaborative

The Roxbury Film Festival (RFF) is the largest festival in New England dedicated to celebrating the work of filmmakers and film industry professionals of color. Our mission is to support these filmmakers and provide an opportunity for audiences to view their works and experience stories often overlooked in mainstream media.

RFF showcases feature-length films, documentaries and short films by New England Filmmakers of Color. RFF also features panel discussions by industry professionals and networking opportunities for filmmakers. It is co-sponsored by ACT Roxbury and The Color of Film Collaborative and is held annually as part of the Roxbury Arts Series developed by ACT Roxbury. Films are screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Tower Auditorium at Massachusetts College of Art, and at the Blackman Auditorium at Northeastern University.

The 6th Annual Roxbury Film Festival will be held from August 18-22, 2004.Among the special things we are working on for RFF-6 are:

  • Retrospective Classic ScreeningThe Spook who Sat by the Door. Screening Wednesday, August 18, 2004 at the Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art. Followed by Q&A with author Sam Greenlee and actress Daphne Maxwell Reid.
  • Opening Night FeatureLove, Sex & Eating the Bones. Screening Thursday, August 19, 2004 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Followed by Q&A with actor Hill Harper (invited) and director Sudz Sutherland.
  • Meaningful Panels for filmmakers and film enthusiasts including: From Production to PBS, Music for Movies: Scoring Your Film, and An Animated Conversation about Animation.
  • Actor’s Workshop with featured guest Ernie Hudson – “Tips for Sustaining an Acting Career”
  • Celebrity Guests – Special Guests for this year’s festival include: actor, Ernie Hudson; actress, Daphne Maxwell Reid; actor, Hill Harper (invited); author, Sam Greenlee; and director, Topper Carew.
  • Q & A with filmmakers after most screenings.
  • Private and public receptions with special guests and filmmakers that are among the most diverse in Boston.
  • Closing awards ceremony. Awards include the Audience Favorite Award, the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, the Award for Emerging Local Filmmaker, the Award for Technical Excellence in Filmmaking, and the Festival Award for Best Short Film.

Check this website and for updated information or call the info line: 617/541-3900 x223.

Screening Venues / Driving Directions

All festival screening venues are located within a three block section of Huntington Avenue. Parking in the area is limited. Public Transportation is recommended.

  • Northeastern University – Blackman Auditorium in Ell Hall (346 Huntington Avenue) and Behrakis Center (30 Leon Street, off Huntington Ave). For directions to Northeastern University, visit their website
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Remis Auditorium. 465 Huntington Avenue. For directions, visit their website
  • Massachusetts College of Art – Tower Auditorium (621 Huntington Ave). For directions, visit their website

Festival Schedule

WEDNESDAY – August 18, 2004

Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art

Retrospective Classic Screening
The Spook Who Sat by the Door
(followed by Q&A with author Sam Greenlee and actress Daphne Maxwell Reid)

THURSDAY – August 19, 2004

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Opening Night Film
Love, Sex & Eating the Bones
Best Feature Film, Pan African Film Festival
(followed by Q & A with actor Hill Harper (invited) and filmmaker Sudz Sutherland)

FRIDAY – August 20, 2004

John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute, Northeastern University
(40 Leon Street, near Ruggles Station)

4 – 6pm
Actor’s Workshop with Ernie Hudson
“Tips for Sustaining an Acting Career”
(Tickets are $25. Limited capacity. Admission on a first come, first served basis)

Room 10, Berhakis Health Sciences Center, Northeastern University

Film Program 1: Sports on Screen
Getting to Fenway
El-Tiante: A Red Sox Story
Day of Independence

Film Program 2: Africans in the Diaspora – Part I
Sisters of the Screen: African Women in Cinema
Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection
African Dance: Sand, Drum & Shostakovich

Blackman Theatre, Ell Hall – Northeastern University

Everything’s Jake
(followed by Q&A with actor Ernie Hudson and filmmakers Matthew Miele & Chris Fetchko)

The Killing Zone
(followed by Q&A with director Joe Brewster)

Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art

Film Program 3: Dating, Love & Marriage – Part I
Across the Hall
Hey Monie: Episode 204
Til’ Death Do Us Part?
Out of Body Experience

Film Program 4: Dating, Love & Marriage – Part II
Mean Jadine
A Lover for My Husband

SATURDAY – August 21, 2004

Room 10, Berhakis Health Sciences Center, Northeastern University

Film Program 5: Short Films – Part I
How to Make It in Hollywood Before you Make It
Visa de Cuatro Puertos (Four Door Visa)
Blue Moon

1 – 2:30pm
Filmmakers Lunch at Au Bon Pain

Film Program 6: Young Voices
The Haiti Project
Table Manners
Grandma to the Tummy Rescue
What’s the Point? The Hope of a Growing Community

Film Program 7: Animation Nation
Hey Monie: Episode 201
Ravishing Raspberry
Wesley Gunn Shorts
Adopted by Aliens

Panel Discussion
“An Animated Conversation about Animation”
(Tickets available at the door. Free admission with Animation Nation ticket)

Film Program 8: Africans in the Diaspora – Program II
African American
A Panther in Africa

Blackman Theatre – Ell Hall, Northeastern University

Film Program 9: Urban Drama
The Imposters
Street Life

One Love

Love, Sex & Eating the Bones

Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art

Panel Discussion
“From Production to PBS”

1 – 2:30pm
Filmmakers Lunch at Au Bon Pain

Film Program 10: Culture & Identity
And the Rice Cakes Mama Makes
A Place of Our Own
We’re Still Here

got race. A pigment of the imagination

Brother to Brother
Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
(followed by Q&A with director, Rodney Evans)

SUNDAY – August 22, 2004

Room 10, Berhakis Health Sciences Center, Northeastern University

Film Program 11: Outside the Box – Unconventional Shorts
En Los Ojos (In the Eyes)
Ricky’s Palm & Ribs
Get Yours
Red Eye
Ravishing Raspberry

Panel Discussion
“Music for Movies: Scoring Your Film”

Blackman Theatre – Ell Hall, Northeastern University

Brother to Brother

One Love

Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art

Film Program 12: Local Documentaries
That’s Where I’m At
The Mason School: An Exemplary Public School
Bus to the Burbs
Understanding Violence

Film Program 13: Short Films – Part II
Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story
Day of Independence
Howard Thurman: In Search of Common Ground
All Our Sons
Alma’s Jazzy Marriage

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

We Don’t Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story

The Fine Art of Frying Chicken

(Followed by Q&A with filmmaker and Boston’s own renaissance man, Topper Carew!)

The Films

Across the Hall – directed, written and produced by Tisha D. Schiavone
23 minutes
A businesswoman secretly falls for her handsome neighbor who, unknowingly to her, feels the same. What happens when they won’t express their affection for each other? The forces of love step in but are misguided by a gossiping 12 year- old and a promiscuous woman wants him as well.

African American – directed by Askia Holloway, produced by Askia Holloway & Johnny Ramos
23 minutes
This documentary confronts the harsh conflicts between Black Americans and Africans from the continent of Africa. Many Black Americans have very little contact with their African ancestry and many Africans, from the continent of Africa, share the same feelings of contempt and misconception that many White Americans have about Black Americans. The constant influx of negative images of Africans and of the continent itself, has led many Black Americans to stray away from any connection to Africa and its people. The film focuses on the subconscious affect that negative imagery has on black American youth and documents the stereotypical view that many Africans have about “Black America.” The majority of the film was shot on the campus of Central State University (a historically Black college in Ohio), which serves as a microcosm for black America and for Africans and their experience in America. The film focuses on the experiences of three Black American students and their alarming thoughts concerning Africans, contrasted by the experiences of four African students from the continent of Africa and their striking first impressions of Black Americans.

African Dance: Sand, Drum & Shostakovich – directed & produced by Ken Glazebrook & Allan Kovgan (Boston filmmakers)
70 minutes
This documentary explores contemporary African dance through eight modern dance companies from Africa, Europe and Canada that participated in the Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in Montreal, Canadian 1999. Interviews, including those with dance historians Yacouba Konate and Alphonse Tierou, add insight to beautifully-photographed performances. What emerges is a fascinating diversity of contemporary African dance themes and styles. Exploring the interactions between tradition and modernism, the consequences of colonization and urbanization, the self-expression of women through dance, and the roles of masculinity and family relationships the film is a unique source of information and inspiration for dancers, dance historians, choreographers, critics, as well as those interested in contemporary African culture.

All Our Sons – directed by Lillian E. Benson
28 minutes
All Our Sons is a film that celebrates the triumphs and examines the struggles of Black firefighters in New York City. Framed by the events of September 11th, the film is told by the parents of the firefighters who sacrificed their lives to rescue thousands of people from the World Trade Center Towers. Twelve heroes and role models were lost; maverick individuals who fought to work in a trade had-pressed to accept them.

A Lover for My Husband – directed by Brandon Finney, produced by Brandon & Cassandra Finney
72 minutes.
Lacy reads an article about a woman’s erotic adventure after letting her husband sleep with another woman. Aroused by the story, she shared the article with her gregarious friend Carissa. Lacy confides in Carissa about her secret desire to have sex with another man. Carissa is shocked and dumbfounded because Lacy has the quintessential marriage. She tries to talk her friend out of the idea, but Lacy is determined and starts the ball rolling. Lacy reads the article to Tony and afterwards hints to him that she could be open to them having a night of passion with someone else. He is both confused and excited. What is he to think? His wife sleeping with someone else? But he would have a night with another woman. She finally got his attention. They find the perfect couple for a perfect evening.Unfortunately for Lacy and Tony, they have two things working against them – a nosy mother-in-law and a bitter, psycho ex-girlfriend. As the perfect night moves to disaster, it is up to Lacy and Tony to try and salvage their marriage.
strong sexual Content

Alma’s Jazzy Marriage – directed by Elizabeth Sher, Mal Sharpe, Sandra Sharpe
27 minutes
With a memory as “sharp as a 10 penny nail,” Alma Foster, jazz enthusiast and wife of seminal jazz bassist George “Pops” Foster recalls their life together during the Golden Age of Jazz. Starting in New Orleans, where Pops got Louis Armstrong his first job on the riverboats, to the 20s and 30s in Harlem, hilarious road trips, and later in San Francisco following the jazz migration in the 1950s. With vintage and personal photographs and film and including radio interviews with Louis Armstrong and Pops, Alma’s Jazzy Marriage provides a front row look at the giants who created jazz in America from a woman’s point of view.

And the Rice Cakes Mama Makes – directed by Robin Berghaus
3 ½ minutes
Through a self-guided journey, a young, Vietnamese-American man reconciles his Eastern and Western roots.

A Panther in Africa – directed & produced by Aaron Matthews
72 minutes
Pete O’Neal, a young Black Panther in Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. One year later, O’Neal fled the charge, and for over 30 years, he has lived in Tanzania, one of the last American exiles from an era when activists considered themselves at war with the U.S. government. Today, this community organizer confronts very different challenges, and he is a man living between two worlds — America and Africa, his radical past and his uncertain future.

A Place of Our Own – directed & produced by Stanley Nelson
53 minutes
A Place of Our Own is a rare inside look at the values and culture of the Black middle class. Through intimate personal stories of longtime families and newcomers to the black resort community of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, the documentary opens a window into important questions of identity, class and race.

Blue Moon – directed by Xavier Greene, produced by Xavier Greene & Sonja Inge
30 minutes
Darrin and Staci are a typical young couple. When Staci finds out about Darrin’s promotion, she plans a special evening for him complete with flowers, candles and lingerie. But a bad day at the office fowls Darrin’s mood and not only does he ignore Staci’s efforts, he opts to go out with the guys to a poetry reading, leaving Staci hurt, confused and angry. Time is running out on their relationship. After enduring playful teasing from his friends and contemplating a poem that seemed especially written for him, Darrin opts to go home and make things right with Staci, but the Blue Moon Prowlers are wreaking havoc all over the Washington, D.C. area and Darrin and Staci are on the agenda that night. Will Darrin get the chance to reconcile with Staci before it’s too late? Find out in this action-packed drama.

Brother To Brother – directed by Rodney Evans (Massachusetts Premiere)
90 minutes
(Special Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival) Brother To Brother is a feature-length drama which invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance through the memories of Bruce Nugent, who co-founded the revolutionary literary journal Fire!! with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Wallace Thurman. As an elderly man, Nugent meets a gay, African-American teenager in a homeless shelter and together they embark on a surreal narrative journey through his inspiring past.

Bus to the Burbs – directed & produced by Joseph Tovares
26 minutes
METCO (Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity) is the voluntary, largely African American, public school desegregation program in Boston (and Springfield, MA). It was designed as a way to introduce inner-city minority students to suburban, mostly white, public schools. La Plaza follows Miguel Montesino, a senior at Weston High School, and one of only five Latino MECO students there, to see how he straddles different socioeconomic realities between school and home.

Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story – directed by Jordan Mechner, produced by Jordan Mechner, Don Normark, Andy Anderson, & Mark Moran.
27 minutes
This half-hour documentary captures how a community was betrayed by greed, political hypocrisy, and good intentions gone astray. Don Normark’s haunting photographs evoke a lost Mexican-American village in the heart of downtown LA, raised in the 1950s to build Dodger Stadium.

Day of Independence – directed by Chris Tashima (Cambridge native), produced by Lisa Onodera
27 minutes
Set in a U.S. internment camp for Japanese Americans, this tragic World War II story chronicles the journey of a family torn apart by a forced, unjust incarceration, a decision that challenges a young man to find strength, and his triumph through courage, sacrifice and the All American game of baseball.

El Tiante: A Red Sox Story – produced & directed by Patricia Alvarado
26 minutes
It was autumn 1975 and the streets of Boston simmered with racial tension. On the mound at Fenway Park, Luis Tiant a black Cuban exile pitched his first game in the World Series. For the Red Sox, the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate, 60 years of shattered World Series hopes rested on the shoulder of “El Tiante.” The biggest issues of the day – race and baseball – converged on the pitching mound in the city’s fabled ballpark. And for Luis Tiant, who had worked his way up from Latin American baseball teams to the U.S. major leagues, there was only one question: would his best be good enough?

En Los Ojos (In the Eyes) – directed by Thea St. Omer, produced by Thea St. Omer & Fatima Faloye
30 minutes
The ‘faces’ of New York City. A short, experimental, film. No voice; no narration; no dialogue. Only sounds.

Etu & Nago: The Yoruba Connection –directed & produced by Morenike Olabunmi 23 minutes
Etu & Nago is the story of a select group of Jamaicans living in the western parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland whose Yoruba/Nago ancestors arrived in Jamaica as indentured servants during the 1840s.

Everything’s Jake – directed by Matthew Miele
90 minutes
Matthew Miele directs this tale about a mysterious homeless guy. Jake (Ernest Hudson) lives relatively contently in his homeless routine — he wakes in the morning, plays the bongos for change, and collects dog feces. Everything seems hunky-dory, as it were, until he encounters Cameron, who is attempting suicide. Jake takes the guy under his wing and shows him the ropes of life on streets.
explicit language

The Fine Art of Frying Chicken – directed & produced by Topper Carew (Roxbury native)
90 minutes
This documentary is about living legend, Maurice Prince, who at 22 set out from the color-divided Texas for color- divided Los Angeles. With a “dare to dream” adventurous attitude, zest, candor and a positive attitude, Maurice became the owner of the “Snack and Chat” in Los Angeles. She rose from live-in maid to nanny to cook for such Hollywood legends as John Garfield, Loretta Young, Cybil Shepherd and Orson Welles. On any given night, her restaurant’s celebrity regular clientele might include Steve Wonder, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Carson, Barbara Walters, Elton John, Johnny Cochran, Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Depp, and Magic Johnson. At 87, and still feisty, Maurice has been frying chicken for people as far back as Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Get Yours – directed & written by Jibril Haynes, produced by Shawn Newton (Boston filmmaker, Roxbury Native)
5 minutes
An action thriller. A filmmaker’s nightmare. Industry pirates battle starving artists. A true underdog story.

got race. A pigment of the imagination – directed & produced by Teja Arboleda (Boston filmmaker)
91 minutes
In this satirical look at race, power and politics in America, Alex Camacho checks the box marked “Black,” and lands the job. But soon life begins to unravel for this African-American/Native American and Korean/Ukraine/Malaysian and New Zealander/Danish & Filipino-Chinese man. Will the scales of justice weight in his favor – or against his race – whatever it is?

Grandma to the Tummy Rescue – directed & produced by Janet Chan (Youth work)
5 minutes
It was a typical day focusing on what I eat. No matter what I eat during the day, I always wait for dinner, cooked by my grandmother.

The Haiti Project – directed by Vanice Prien, Dominic Bonner, Dominique Breva. Produced by Vanice Prien, & Don Owusu (Youth work)
12 minutes
The Haiti Project is a magazine format program that intends on educating viewers about the culture, people, and history of Haiti. The three Haitian teenagers who produced the piece are frustrated about the negative and inaccurate portrayal of their people and country in the media. They chose to do something about it.

Hey, Monie – directed by Dorothea Gillim. Executive producer Dorothea Gillim, producer Patrick Downie
22 minutes/each
Episode 201: Monie and Vette audition for Oprah to be on a “Best Friends” episode. But they get into a fight in the waiting room and get kicked out before they have a chance to meet their hero.
Episode 204: The ladies go to look for love the old fashioned way; they go to church.

Howard Thurman: In Search of Common Ground – directed & produced by Arleigh Perlow (trailer, work-in-progress) (former Boston resident)
5 min
No African American has more profoundly inspired the spirituality of individuals throughout the world, across the divides of race, faith and culture. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi sought his spiritual insight and counsel. Yet few know of Howard Thurman or his story. This documentary tells the story of Howard Thurman and heartens the dreamer within us all.

How to Make It in Hollywood Before You Make It – directed by Christopher Odom, produced by Christopher Odoum & Edward J. Odom, IV (New England filmmaker)
52 minutes
How to Make It in Hollywood Before You Make It is a portrait of 10 emerging artists on the frontlines of Hollywood, running the gamut from actors, writers, producers, dancers, singers and songwriters, all at different stages in their careers. “Just about to break out, maybe they just broke out, and hopefully they will break out.”

The Imposters – directed & produced by Shane Gambill (Massachusetts filmmaker)
30 minutes
The Imposters is about a group of misfits (wanna be mobsters), who need to get $20,000 in two weeks to pay off a pimp. The gang tries to become modern-day Robin Hoods by robin from their town’s well-known criminals. Unfortunately, they keep goofing up every mission and as they get closer to their due date, they have only one chance to pull off the perfect heist.
explicit language

The Killing Zone – directed by Joe Brewster, produced by Joe Brewster & Michelle Stephenson
80 minutes
Dr. Malcolm Ojewku has obtained the American dream: a professional wife, a beautiful child, and a home in suburbia supported by his private psychiatric practice in Montclair, New Jersey. This dream is shattered, however, after witnessing the death of his friend and mentor at the hands of a homeless 12-year-old boy. The death evokes Malcolm’s own haunting memories as a child soldier in war-torn West Africa. Compelled to search for this young killer, Malcolm is driven to an obsessive exploration of the streets of Brooklyn, this new “Killing Zone,” and to an inevitable confrontation with his past.

Shot on location in Ghana and Brooklyn, The Killing Zone was written during the director’s tenure at the Harlem Mobile Crisis team. Struck by the difficulty in recruiting African American and Latino healthcare professionals to work in areas affected by high crime and ravaged by poverty and drug dependency, Mr. Brewster was forced to ask himself two questions: What would it take to bring us back? And what is the price of keeping us there? The Killing Zone is both a powerful answer and an indictment.
graphic violence & explicit language

Love, Sex & Eating the Bones – directed by Sudz Sutherland, produced by Jennifer Holness (Opening Night Feature, Massachusetts Premiere)
100 minutes
(Best Feature, Pan African Film Festival)Reality and fantasy square off in this sexy, urban romantic comedy about a man whose addiction to adult videos impedes his budding relationship with a flesh-and-blood woman. Michael is an aspiring photographer who meets Jasmine in a laundromat. The film revolves around a metaphor based on African-Caribbean history: slaves rarely received meat for their meals; when they did, they savored all of it. Jasmine and Michael have to “eat the bones”-suck the marrow from life, take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad-in order to realize the potential of the love between them.
strong sexual content

The Mason School: An Exemplary Public School – directed by Lynn Weissman, produced by Lynn Weissman and Amika Maran
5 ½ minutes
In the heart of Roxbury’s empowerment zone dwells a public school with high
standards and a pioneering approach to classroom learning. The Mason
Elementary School principal accepted an award for the school in 2003 from
the National Society of Black Educators at their awards ceremony and
conference, where this video premiered.

Maybe – directed by Carl Ford, produced by Cordell Lo Chin, Carl Ford, Agustin Gonzalez, Tohanna Bermudez (Massachusetts premiere)
20 minutes
When you’re looking for love, be careful what you ask for. Self-proclaimed pathological heartbreaker Indira Allai has once again ended the failed relationship. Struggling to determine the reasons why this one ended, she begins to dream about two different versions of her ex. Indira finds comic relief by submerging herself in this bizarre fantasy and recognizing that no man and no relationship is perfect.

Mean Jadine – directed, written & produced by Toni Ann Johnson
22 minutes.
Fed up with bad experiences, a woman decides to get revenge on a blind date.
strong sexual content

One Love – directed by Rick Elgood & Don Letts. Produced by Yvonne Deutschman &
Shelaagh Ferrell.
ONE LOVE tells the story of the forbidden love between a young Rasta
reggae musician Kassa and Serena, the gospel singing daughter of a devout Pentecostal preacher. Brought together through their mutual love of music, ONE LOVE explores how the power of music and love can overcome the strongest cultural and
religious differences. Soundtrack features Shaggy, Sean Paul, Bob Marley
classics and other top Jamaican artists. Screenplay by Trevor Rhone
(“The Harder They Come”).

Out of Body Experience – directed & produced by Van Elder
15 minutes
Out of Body Experience is a comedic outlook on the pregnancy process. A newlywed couple’s marriage is tested when the subject of having children comes up. Initially, Josh is not receptive to the idea of his wife, Melanie, becoming pregnant. Josh’s true feelings are put to the ultimate test when he reluctantly has to prepare for the possibility of parenthood.

Ravishing Raspberry – directed & written by Shawnee Gibbs, Shawnelle Gibbs.
10 minutes
Ravishing Raspberry, a mixed media animation, takes a glimpse into the life of Nyesha, a young woman desperate to look her best for a girls-night-out.

Red Eye – directed, written & produced by Kevin Gordon
16 minutes
What goes through a person’s mind in the blink of an eye? Could you let an assumption made in a split second influence your judgment? Those are the questions that Red Eye seeks to explore in this silent 16 minute short. This is a simple story about a local man on his way to the store whose journey culminates in a confrontation. The story asks the viewer to rationalize the decisions made by those people he encounters in his walk. The story also asks the viewer to question whether or not they would have made similar decisions. Red Eye deals with several different prevalent issues in our culture, including prejudice and xenophobia, in a silent manner, yet it is powerful enough to be felt with or without volume.
graphic violence

Ricky’s Palm & Ribs – directed & produced by John Adeokoje (Lives and works in Boston)
26 minutes
In a city where an Angel with a message from the sixties walks the night, and conundrums great and small are solved by deliberating with Ricky, a fortune teller who sells tasty ribs on the side. T-Bone, a young African American man searches for the killer of his only sister. Images of an African man flashes through his subconscious periodically as he obsesses over solving the homicide. T-Bone employs the help of Ricky and his fax machine to solve this crime, but is he going to get the answer he is looking for from Ricky? This experimental narrative deals with the relationship between Africans and African-Americans in modern times.
Explicit language

Sisters of the Screen: African Women in the Cinema – directed by Beti Ellerson
61 minutes
Sisters of the Screen documents the emergence of women filmmakers from every region of African and the African diaspora. The voices echoed in the film reveal the broad range of experiences that shape the cinema of African women – intimate thoughts on identity and how it influences their work. Some reflect on the themes of their films, from the personal to the poltical, while others contemplate their roles as communicators and catalysts for change. Still others stress the need for women to come together as a collective body to realize their objectives. As filmmakers, actors, and producers, they share a common goal to make a positive contribution to African societies through cinema.

Spook Who Sat By The Door – directed by Ivan Dixon. Produced by Ivan Dixon & Sam Greenlee.
(Retrospective Classic – The original – that was released and then quickly pulled from distribution! You can see it now!)

Dan Freeman is a token black CIA operative. Trained in all sorts of espionage, he is relegated to working in the copying department as a “showcase” employee of integration. As the title suggests, he’s placed by the door of the office so he’s the first person everyone sees. Incensed by his mistreatment (and the racial stereotyping of his superiors), he resigns to his native Chicago to become a social services worker.Secretly, he is training a street gang into a guerilla army to be the vanguard in a race war, using all of his training by “the man” against “the man”.
The details are impressive. Freeman explains how to establish a hierarchy in an underground movement, how to recruit new members, how to live on the street, and to form new cells. He also details how racial stereotypes can be used to one’s advantage, citing “no one ever notices a black man in an office carrying a broom”.
The film is a faithful adaptation of Sam Greenlee’s controversial novel of the same title, and a haunting look at what MIGHT have (and maybe damned near) happened in the USA during that turbulent period of history. “Spook”, shot on a small budget, has a powerful message: Never underestimate anyone! Not even “the spook who sat by the door”! All POWER TO the PEOPLE!!

Street Life – directed & produced by Antonio G. Cardoso (Roxbury native)
85 minutes
Street Life is a modern-day, urban drama capturing the classic conflicts of man-versus-himself. Caught up in the urban struggle of the tough streets of Boston, Drez Johnson must decide between the lucrative, often dangerous lure of the fast-paced but deadly vices of the street personified by his best friend, Amil Jones, versus the slower but more “righteous” path of education, self-elevation and legitimate advancement, emphasized by his dedicated but troubled mother. Filled with real urban issues such as street violence, guns, murder, police harassment, drug trafficking and jail time, Street Life forces you to appreciate some of the difficult elements of Drez’s rapidly shrinking world. The misplaced love of a support woman, Destiny might be the only thing capable of saving our urban protagonist. As the life of the street heats up, time’s winged chariot hurries near and only Drez can decide his statistical fate.
Explicit language and violence

Table Manners – directed by Iemanja Wells-Wingfield
5 minutes
(Youth work from Institute of Contemporary Art Fast Forward Afterschool video program, Boston resident)
A babysitter decides she must teach the badly behaving kids she is watching some manners after seeing some adults behaving worse.

That’s Where I’m At – directed by Lois Ginandes, produced by Alvin Fiering
20 minutes
(Roxbury connection – film about artist and Roxbury native Richard Yarde)
Shot 39 years ago using primitive equipment, TWIA is a nostalgic look backwards in time at growing up black in Roxbury in the 1940’s and 50’s. The artist Richard Yarde shows us the Roxbury of his childhood, the Roxbury that shaped his identity and the images forever imprinted in his memory.

Til Death Do Us Part? – directed, written & produced by David A. Arnold
David Arnold has problems, or so he thinks. Living with a wife that eats and drinks too much, and children that won’t behave, David is forced into counseling. Terrified by the life he has chosen, David reflects on his decision to marry. There’s just one catch– he’s not married, yet.

Understanding Violence – directed & produced by Roberto Arévalo (youth film, Boston filmmakers)
36 minutes
Four young people from Boston tell stories of how they have been affected by violence. They tell their stories from prison, high school, a wheelchair, and law school – reflecting the consequences of personal choice, but also the potential affects of exposure to violence and disadvantaged communities.

Visa de Cuatro Puertos (Four Door Visa) directed & produced by Robert Julian
15 minutes
(Studying at Berklee College of Music, lives in Jamaica Plain, MA)
David is a Dominican cab driver in New York City’s Washington Heights Neighborhood. One morning he finds out that his father is about to pass away in the Dominican Republic. Due to David’s immigration status in the U.S., he cannot leave the country and be by his father’s side because if he does he may not be able to enter the country again.

We Don’t Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story – directed & produced by Topper Carew (Roxbury native)
90 minutes

Robin Harris became famous as the legendary Master of Ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater in South Central, Los Angeles. He was the creator of BeBe’s Kids, the father in House Park, and Sweet Dick Willy in Do the Right Thing. In 1990 at the age of 34, after a sold-out uproarious performance at the Regal Theatre in Chicago, that night, he died in his sleep. The film features “never seen before” performances and accolades from his contemporaries, including Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, DL Hughley, Robert Townsend, Joe Torrey and more. They say that he and Richard Pryor are the two greatest stand up comedians they ever saw, that Robin opened the door for them and for so many, and that he is dearly missed and loved.

We’re Still Here – directed by Sindi Gordon, produced by Sindi Gordon & Jean-Philippe Boucicaut (Brookline resident)
60 minutes
We’re Still Here is a contemporary look at two communities often overlooked in the race dialogue: American Indians and Native Hawaiians. On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the program features the voices of three generations of Lakota families as they consider their past, their future and the process of merging multiple world-views, ways of life and ideas of America. Through the stories of these families the film considers the historical construction of Indian “otherness” and its influence on the ways a new generation of Lakota people will address issues of unemployment, alcohol, domestic abuse, and apathy ravaging their community. Meanwhile, across the Pacific Ocean, beginning in the late 1990s, lawsuit after lawsuit challenged the rights of native Hawaiians to run schools and housing programs that provided only for their beleaguered community. Having been accused of reverse-racism, how do they see themselves in relation to the rest of the nation? And what are their connections to other Native communities?

Wesley Gunn Shorts
10 minutes
Works by animator Wesley Gunn.

What’s the Point? The Hope of a Growing Community – directed & produced by Anymil Cabrera, Miguel Loazano, Panela Moreta, Grehica Moreta, Grettel Perez, Saul Pena, Kirssy Gonazalez, Brandon Ramsay, Margaret Gatterman, Omayra Felix, Joseph Bartley. (Youth work)
45 Minutes Eleven student interns from the Peabody Essex Museum created “What’s the Point? The Hope of a Growing Community,” a documentary about a neighborhood considered the traditional home of immigrants. Currently, people of Spanish Caribbean descent, mostly from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, largely populate the Point Neighborhood. The purpose of this documentary is to create public awareness and greater understanding of the Point and how its evolved and to express the visions for its future. The documentary was created in both Spanish and English. This is a lively and engaging film that showcases a neighborhood that is infrequently overlooked by other Salem residents. In the process of making this documentary, the students learn that they can be leaders in their community.

Panel Discussions

From Production to PBS
You have a great idea, a compelling story, you know it would be great on PBS or locally on WGBH, but how do you get it there? Who do you talk to? What are the criteria? What’s the newest trend? This panel, filled with those in the know and those who make the decisions on what makes it and what doesn’t will share with you the ins and outs, project selection, and the process for producing programming for PBS and WGBH. Panelists: Cheryl Jones, Senior Director, PBS Washington DC, Llew Smith, Independent Producer (Matters of Race, Jubilee Singers and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Story) Hillary Wells, Senior Producer, Local Productions WGBH, and Valerie Linson, Series Producer for Cultural Programs, Basic Black – WGBH. Moderated by Lisa Simmons, President/Founder – The Color of Film Collaborative, Inc.

Music for Movies: Scoring Your Film
You need music for your film and you can’t afford the rights or you are a musician who would love to get into the film business. This panel on Film Scoring, will look at the alternative ways to bring music to your movie without breaking your budget. Recommended for filmmakers and musicians alike who will benefit from knowing how to recreate musical scores and songs and how to network with independent filmmakers to produce original music for films. If you like music, if you like film, or if you just want to know how it’s done, don’t miss this panel. Panelists: Andrew DeRitis, Associate Professor/Acting Chair, Department of Music, Northeastern University, and representatives from Longy School of Music and Berklee College of Music.

An Animated Conversation about Animation
From big budget releases to no-budget web productions, from television to DVDs, the animation industry has ballooned in recent years. Who are the creators and how are these projects conceived? How much do they cost? What are the job opportunities in this field? Animators and producers will discuss animation from concept to production. This panel is a must-see for actors, writers, graphic artists and animation enthusiasts. Panelists include: Dorothea Gillim (Soup2Nuts), Wesley Gunn (Nickelodeon Online), Daniel Sousa(RISD / Handcranked Film Projects), Jenga Mwendo (Blue Sky Studios)

About The Color of Film

The Color of Film Collaborative is a non-profit organization that supports and fosters the individuals and organizations in the creation of diverse images of people of color in film, video, theater and other media, by providing artists with opportunities to exhibit, distribute and find funding for their work, as well as provide a supportive environment where they can share and develop their ideas, their vision and their work with their peers. About Us

Roxbury International Film Festival

Join us July 29th - August 1st, 2010 for the 12th Annual Roxbury Film Festival. Incredible movies will be playing and other events will be happening and more. Find out more

Dinner & A Movie (DAAM)

In collaboration with The Haley House Bakery Café, the Color of Film Collaborative presents our ongoing film series, featuring independent cinema and delicious food. Read more...

The Roxbury International Film Festival

Now going into its 12th year, the Roxbury International Film Festival is proudly presented by The Color of Film Collaborative to promote productions of color. Find out more here...

Contribute to The Color of Film

Help give back to the Arts in Boston - contribute to the Color of Film Collaborative today with a Donation or as a Volunteer. Contribute to TCOF