2023 Festival Films
Silver Dollar Road
Raoul Peck, dir. | Amazon Prime Video | 1 hr 40 min
From Academy-Award nominee Raoul Peck, Silver Dollar Road follows the story of the Reels family, as told by two fierce and clear-eyed family members valiantly safeguarding their ancestors' land, after their relatives were wrongfully imprisoned for eight years - the longest sentence for civil contempt in North Carolina history. This documentary, based on the 2019 ProPublica article, highlights the covert ways the legal system keeps Black land ownership fragile and the racial wealth gap growing.
Jon Sesrie Goff, dir. | The Film Collaborative | 1 hr 28 min
Beautifully layered and expressionistic, After Sherman is a story about inheritance and the tension that defines the collective American history, especially Black history.
Rokhaya Diallo, dir. | Tamara Films | 58 min
Film in French with English subtitles
If African-American and Jewish people have had a complex and ambivalent relationship in the United States, they have also shown that unity against adversity is possible. This was especially true during the Civil Rights Movement.
Little Richard I Am Everything
Lisa Cortes, dir. | Magnolia Pictures | 1 hr 38 min
Without Little Richard, would Lizzo exist? Would Lil Nas X? Would the Rolling Stones? Rock n’ roll is the American idiom, our most enduring export, the lifeblood of our pop music. It’s also our cultural war zone, from the scandal of Elvis’s pelvis to outrage over Lizzo playing James Madison’s flute.
The Space Race
Lisa Cortés and Diego Hurtado, dir.
National Geographic Documentary Films | 91 min
THE SPACE RACE uncovers the little-known stories of the first Black pilots, engineers and scientists that became astronauts.
Directed by: J. Whitson
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was raised in the crucible of segretated Birmingham, but he was forged by its attempt to kill him. A new documentary explores the life and legacy of an unrelenting freedom fighter who inspired liberation movements all over the world.
Directed by: Josh Alexander
It tells the story of Rev. Al Sharpton, painting an intimate portrait of a tireless warrior who has never ducked a fight in his mission to transform the status quo.
A Still Small Voice
Directed by: Luke Lorentzen
A Still Small Voice is a meditation on faith, loss, and professional sustainability, that successfully finds hope and meaning in seemingly hopeless situations.
The Black Church: This is our Story
Directed by: Stacey L. Holman
The Black church has been a living institution at the epicenter of civil rights and the freedom struggle for centuries. Beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the Jim Crow South, this intimate two-part series traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.
Directed by: Anissa Latham
As uprisings spread across the country, a young poet in Birmingham, Alabama becomes involved in local protests against decades of police brutality. As he tries to reconcile the city’s modern image as a diverse and welcoming metropolis with its violent and complex civil rights history, he suddenly becomes a part of the story when he’s arrested at a demonstration.
Comida Pa Los Pobres
Directed by: Arleen Cruz-Alicea
Comida pa' los Pobres follows Giovanni, a young Puerto Rican activist, as he confronts the island’s persistent crisis of food insecurity. Motivated by his childhood struggle with hunger, he seeks to inspire his fellow citizens to join a movement of solidarity-oriented work by feeding families and college students through mutual aid efforts – all while facing challenges from local authorities.
Now Let Us Sing
Directed by: Dilsey Davis
An interfaith, interracial choir in Durham, North Carolina is forced to take a new direction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the choir, which is dedicated to racial unity, must grapple with the dual crises of the coronavirus pandemic and police killings of African Americans, all while trying to sing as one unit while living miles apart.
Backs Against the Wall
Directed by: Martin Doblmeier
The documentary "Backs Against The Wall: The Howard Thurman Story" chronicles the extraordinary life of theologian Howard Thurman, a poet and "mystic" who used religious expression to help ignite sweeping social change.
The Passing On
Directed by: Nathan Clarke
Produced by: Lana Garland & Tyler Trumbo
Renowned African American embalmer, James Bryant, puts his faith in a new generation to continue the legacy of Black funeral homes in San Antonio, Texas. But his young intern, Clarence Pierre, is conflicted about his commitment due to the judgment he receives as a queer, Christian man.
Stay Prayed Up
Directed by: D.L. Anderson and Matthew Durning
The only thing mightier than Lena Mae Perry’s electrifying voice is her faith. She’s spent the last 50 years sharing and honing both as the steadfast frontwoman of The Branchettes, a legendary North Carolina gospel group that has packed churches and lifted weary hearts throughout the South.