Founded in 1997 in collaboration with Spike Lee to highlight the excellence and diversity of African American cinema and films by black filmmakers from around the world, this program celebrates the richness and diversity of African-American and Black storytellers from Chicago to the Ivory Coast to Venezuela
A bracing examination of the U.S.’s longstanding racially and politically biased justice system, this powerful documentary bears witness to the lifelong efforts of Michael Africa, Jr. to secure the freedom of his parents, members of 1970s Black Liberation group MOVE, who were incarcerated for four decades.
After 17 years apart, Walter’s wife Esther and daughter Sylvia arrive in New York from Angola; time apart has rendered them virtual strangers, and the three must find a way to reconnect. This beautifully conceived film captures the immigrant experience with complexity and nuance.
Meet Mama Gloria. Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen emerged from the South Side’s drag ball culture in the 1960s to trailblaze a path for transgender youth to follow. With positivity and polish, she overcame prejudice and traumatic violence to become a proud leader in her community.
Night of the Kings La nuit des rois
Adapted from the award-winning play of the same name, One Night in Miami is a fictional account of the incredible night in 1964 when underdog Cassius Clay, soon to be called Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), defeats heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall—Clay memorialized the event with three of his friends: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge).
This program showcases the talents of Black filmmakers from across the diaspora, painting a sweeping image of Black life in the United States and abroad. A collection of varied genres and styles, these films are reflective, observant, and sometimes hilarious. Featuring works by Terrance Day, Nico Opper and Shannon St. Aubin, Kantarama Gahigiri, Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka, Tebogo Malebogo, and Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis.
The Special Especial
In this deftly told and uplifting debut, a profoundly charming young man must navigate the challenges of early adulthood with Down Syndrome as he seeks to build a life of independence from his troubled father. Long separated by an ocean of silence and shame, will the two men be able to assemble a common future?