A Weekend of Vibrant African-American Art, Film and Jazz
by JULIE GARISTO
Celebrate Black History Month with Artistic Triumphs at The Third Annual Florida Black Arts and Film Festival this Evening and Saturday.
Inspirational and impressive African-American films kick off The Third Annual Black Arts Film Festival 7-10 p.m. tonight. Gallerie 909, in partnership with the Sunshine City Film Festival, presents the multifaceted event.
The family-friendly, multimedia arts fest features works by more than 40 local and national artists. According to event organizer and Gallerie 909 owner Carla Bristol, the fest will showcase a diverse array of art from the African diaspora all day Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dundu Dolé African Ballet debuts its documentary Dundu Dolé: A Story of Inspiration 7 p.m. at Sundial Muvico. The documentary follows the music, dance, and folklore troupe for more than a decade, showing how the performers have created a “village of resiliency” through the arts. Bristol praised the film for promoting arts as an escape from the hardships African-American children endure across the nation.
Now I See follows. Set in the ’90s, the short film directed by promising Tallahassee filmmaker Demetrius Lindsey centers on an interracial friendship with switched stereotypes. The film touches on black and white stereotypes, the “Color Blind” belief and more. Lindsey’s other short, Blood & Water, will screen, as well. Edited by Zachary Hunter, the thriller stars the filmmaker’s family members — brothers Demarcus Lindsey and Justin Fisher and his mother, Shirley Lindsey.
This year’s featured film, Beatnik the Movie, caps off the night of screenings at Sundial. The film produced, written and directed by Mwamba Yeshitela, and produced by brother Weusi Waller, explains jazz as a transcending medium. Revealing the interconnection between culture, politics, and counter-culture, its story takes place on the last day of a summer diversion program in Oakland. Tickets to the movie event are only $10 and can also be purchased at the door.
Speaking of jazz, horn player Rick Adams and drummer Edward Burrows will bring their sophisticated avant grooves to the fest on Saturday. Alumni from the late-great Peggy Peterman’s famed Black History Pageant will perform midday.
Activities, courtesy of two of our favorite art purveyors-on-wheels — NOMAD Art Bus and Bluebird Books Bus, will keep kids occupied throughout the day Saturday, and the Dundu Dolé Urban African Ballet will kick off the festival with a performance at 11 a.m. A variety of other workshops and performances will be featured. Check the event’s Facebook page for more details.
Says Bristol: “Gallerie 909 has been in the community for almost four years, and our vision has always been to connect artists to opportunities — what better way than through this annual festival?”