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Please be advised: the Museum will be open on Wednesday, June 19, 12:00–6:00 p.m. for the Juneteenth holiday.

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Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s Black History Month Film Festival


Location: Bartos Screening Room

Presented by community partner Afrikan Poetry Theatre

Hosted by Gregory Branch & Mike Sargent, with keynote speaker Markuann Smith, and other guest speakers 

This year, Afrikan Poetry Theatre’s Black History Month Film Festival focuses on the emergence of black filmmakers, studios, directors, actors, and producers in film, television, and streaming services. The afternoon event features screenings of recent work by students and professional filmmakers; special guests including Markuann Smith, creator of the Epix/Netflix series Godfather of Harlem, which stars Forest Whitaker; and discussions with filmmakers and film critics. Please see below for the full program and RSVP for the event using the link at the bottom of the page.

Part 1: The Journey of the Black Creative (2:00 to 4:00 p.m.)

The program opens with a screening of work by students who participated in APT’s 2019 filmmaking class. Afterwards, keynote speaker Markuann Smith, creator, co-writer, and co-executive producer of Godfather of Harlem (courtesy of Epix/Netflix) will present an episode of his series and participate in a discussion with Professor James Small (historical consultant & Malcom X’s bodyguard); Sampson Styles (BET correspondent & creator/director of Killing Beef, a new show on Revolt TV); Eugenia Harvey (Emmy Award–winning producer); Vernon “Smij” Williams (writer/director), discussing the pitfalls of becoming a new filmmaker; and filmmaker Huriyyah Muhammad (winner, Sundance Institute / Amazon Studios Producers Award for narrative feature Farewell Amor). Each filmmaker will show a sizzle reel of their work as part of the discussion about the current atmosphere of black creative professionals in a majority non-black Hollywood.

Part 2: Black Film Critic Panel: Are We in an Urban Film Renaissance? (4:15 to 6:00 p.m.)

Film critic and filmmaker Mike Sargent (correspondent for The Oscars), will host a panel discussion with respected black film critics: Valerie Complex (Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Playlist) and Wilson Morales (editor of and contributor to Tim Gordon’s “Keeping It Real” radio show). They will talk about the future of black cinema and critique recent movies and series, such as Queen & Slim, US, Get Out, See You Yesterday, When They See Us, and more.

The program will be followed by refreshments and conversation in the Museum’s education space.

Free admission with RSVP. Please reserve a ticket by using this form. Note: Tickets are limited and will be distributed first-come, first-served from the RSVP list.