ALL ARTS presents new film fest, ‘Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized,’ starting Fri. March 26
AmNews Staff Reports | 3/24/2021, 3:24 p.m.
Afrofuturism centers Black people as fully actualized without the constraints of racism and oppression. In this alternate reality, Black imagination and creativity gets to make the rules. Inspired by African religions and culture from the continent and across the diaspora, Black futurist artists and thinkers reimagine worlds of freedom and liberation where Black people have true power and agency over their lives. Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized, the new Afrofuturist film festival from ALL ARTS, presents the possibilities of Black futures through the imaginations of 10 filmmakers. Beginning Friday, March 26 at 10 p.m. ET, all 10 films in the Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized festival will be available to stream for free nationwide on the ALL ARTS app and allarts.org/afrofuturism. In the New York metro area, films also premiere the last Friday of each month, March 26-December 31 at 10 p.m. on the ALL ARTS TV channel.
“The exploration of Black futures and what life could look like for Black people across the globe is more relevant now than ever before. There is a general awareness now that there are so many possibilities for life beyond the suffering so many of us experience across the diaspora,” notes James King, Artistic Director of ALL ARTS. “I’m proud that ALL ARTS is creating space with this festival to showcase a wide variety of films and unique interpretations of Black futures from a multitude of talented Black directors across the globe.”
Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized features short and feature-length films from the United States, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil and Martinique. The 10 films were hand-selected by filmmaker, visual artist, writer and self-described Black futurist Celia C. Peters, the curator of the festival. Directors featured in the film festival include Peters, Malakai, Donovan Vim Crony, Alain Bidard, C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, Keith Josef Adkins, Nick Attin, Janeen Talbott, H. Leslie Foster II, and Jonathan Ferr. Actors featured include Sterling K. Brown (“The Abandon”) and Tabitha Brown (“Souls”).
Besides creating her own art, Peters prioritizes creating platforms for other Black creatives. “I’m incredibly proud of Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized and beyond excited to share it with the world!” expresses Peters. “We’ve created a multilayered festival that shines a well-deserved bright light on fiercely talented, innovative Black creators who envision fascinating, empowered futures for people of African descent using Black culture, imagination and artistry. ALL ARTS is both forward-thinking and visionary, and I’m honored to be their partner in making this unprecedented Afrofuturist showcase a reality.”
Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized Film Festival Lineup on ALL ARTS
All films stream beginning Friday, March 26 at 10 p.m. ET nationwide on the ALL ARTS app and allarts.org/afrofuturism. New York metro area broadcast premiere dates on the ALL ARTS TV (channel) are below in parentheses.
Director Malakai brings us the story of Kai, a young girl forced to confront the realities of her grandmother’s declining health as a result of Alzheimer’s. Featuring Tabitha Brown, this film is a journey across the stars in the search of hope. (Friday, March 26 at 10 p.m.)
Addem and Efa are an alien couple living on Earth as humans, here to determine whether the planet has the right living conditions for their race. When they are called back to their mothership, they must fight uncontrollable urges to stay on Earth. Directed by Donovan Vim Crony. (Friday, April 30 at 10 p.m.)
Syanna is a young slave living in a world where plantations are video games and slaves must risk their lives to collect experience points. This is the first full-length animated feature film from Martinique and a unique showcase of its culture. Directed by Alain Bidard. (Friday, May 28 at 10 p.m.)
Nigerian director C.J. “Fiery” Obasi brings to life Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor’s story “Hello, Moto,” which explores what happens when three scientist witches use juju and technology to create wigs that grant supernatural powers. (Friday, June 25 at 10 p.m.)
Sterling K. Brown stars in this short film. Things take a surprising turn when five friends go on an annual hiking trip and learn a global event has changed the world. Now they must navigate interpersonal dramas as well as their own survival. Directed by Keith Josef Adkins. (Friday, July 30 at 10 p.m.)
From director Celia C. Peters comes the story of Roxë Jones, a high-strung prodigy who bets her future on technology. When a virus infects Roxë’s prized software and comes after her, saving her life’s work will also mean saving herself. (Friday, August 27 at 10 p.m.)
In the third feature film from Trinidad born director Nick Attin, several nations around the world join together in 2025 for an expedition into the furthest regions of deep space. Commander Nelson Obatala must risk this mission to rescue his friend. (Friday, September 24 at 10 p.m.)
In a technologically advanced future where mankind relies on spirits for guidance, Naji Bloom’s tribe is in crisis. When she learns the culprit behind the panic is close to home, Naji must decide whether she will save her people. Directed by Janeen Talbott. (Friday, October 29 at 10 p.m.)
A young priest living on Earth is pulled into an adventure a thousand years in the making as he discovers he is a member of a tribe of nomadic aliens caught in an intergalactic dilemma. Directed by H. Leslie Foster II. (Friday, November 26 at 10 p.m.)
Brazilian jazz pianist Jonathan Ferr directs this mystical short film soundtracked to Ferr’s song “Luv is The Way” from his album “Trilogia do Amor” (Trilogy of Love). Ferr explores the relationship between Aiye and Ona in this time-hopping experiential film. (Friday, December 31 at 10 p.m.)
For further exploration into each film, the Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized film festival will feature a monthly series of companion essays on the ALL ARTS website by a range of editorial contributors, including artists, academics, authors and changemakers at the forefront of Afrofuturist thought. In addition, an “Afrofuturism 101” explainer video is available to view on the site as an introduction to the genre. The festival will also feature filmmaker conversations livestreamed as part of the ongoing ALL ARTS Talks series to promote dialogue and understanding around each of the film’s themes. The first will take place on Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. ET on allarts.org/afrofuturism, YouTube and Facebook with details to be announced.
Afrofuturism: Blackness Revisualized is curated by Celia C. Peters. For ALL ARTS, Jake King is Multimedia Producer. Kristy Geslain is Senior Producer. Joe Harrell is Senior Director. James King is Artistic Director. Diane Masciale and Neal Shapiro are Executives in Charge.
Leadership support for ALL ARTS is generously provided by Jody and John Arnhold and the Arnhold Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Anderson Family Fund and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
ALL ARTS is breaking new ground as the premier destination for inspiration, creativity and art of all forms. This New York Emmy-winning arts and culture hub is created by WNET, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations. With the aim of being accessible to viewers everywhere, ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – is available online nationwide through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms, and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. New York area TV viewers can also watch the 24/7 broadcast channel. For all the ways to watch, visit allarts.org/everywhere.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJ PBS, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.