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Black History Month Film Festival Program 2: The Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s Film Showcase + Autumn Beat

Sunday, Feb 26, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Hosted by Vernon “Smij” Williams (Afrikan Poetry Theatre) 

Short Film Showcase: 2:00 p.m.

Followed by a Q&A discussion, this free showcase will feature a selection of short films, including one written, shot, and produced at The Afrikan Poetry Theatre, a cultural organization that has brought educational programs and workshops to southeast Queens for decades. In addition to Atiya Taylor’s No Way Home, a documentary about the homeless crisis for immigrants in New York City that was developed in The Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s film class, the program includes Gabrielle Barlatier’s Not Enough, about a married couple seeking to restore their relationship; and Home Confinement, a locally shot situational comedy directed by Vernon “Smij” Williams about an ex-con who becomes a babysitter. Total runtime: 64 min. 

Autumn Beat: 3:00 p.m. 

Dir. Antonio Dikele Distefano. 2022, 103 mins. With Hamed Seydou, Abby 6ix, Geneme, Juliet Joseph, Dylan Magon, Mohamed Diallo, Marco Renna, Mamy Seny Gueye, Gué Pequeno, Ernia and Sfera Ebbasta. Produced by Amazon Studios with Indiana Productions, Autumn Beat is a moving, unprecedented story depicting Black culture in Italy. The film is about two brothers, Tito (Seydou) and Paco (Abby 6ix), who have the same dream: to break into the rap music industry. Paco is a born performer and Tito knows how to write yet ambition, life, and love for the same woman will test their bond. Using music as a symbol for redemption and the search for identity and stunningly shot by cinematographer Luigi Martinucci, director Antonio Dikele Distefano’s film is a beautifully crafted story expanding over decades of the lives of brothers and sons. 

Following the screening, there will be a discussion in the Fox Amphitheater with director Antonio Dikele Distefano; Vernon “Smij” Williams of Afrikan Poetry Theatre; and Sarah Von H, music curator and founder of the cultural journal RAREPEACE, about the production of Autumn Beat and the use of hip-hop music in film. 

Free with RSVP.