As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, today we are focusing on Films Directed and Created by Black Female and Non-Gender Conforming Filmmakers. 

Adullam (2020)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Regina Hoyles

Stars: Regina Hoyles, DeMorris Burrows, Allegra Sweeney, Danny Farber

A young Chicago woman with a well-kept secret enjoys a typical day in the south suburbs.

You can learn more about the film here and watch it here.




Axis (2017)

Narrative Feature

Director: Aisha Tyler

Writer: Emmett Hughes (original screenplay) (story by),Stephen Morrissey (story by)

Staras: Emmett Hughes, Emily Bett Rickards, Amber Nash, Paula Malcomson, Jonathan Sadowski, Jean-Luc Bilodeau

On the morning he is set to star in a career-changing blockbuster film, an Irish actor trying to live down his rocky past confronts a series of devastating events that threaten his sobriety.

You can watch the film here.




Broken Bird (2020)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Rachel Harrison Gordon

Stars: Indigo Hubbard-Salk, Chad L. Coleman, Jari Jones, Mel House, Bill Aiken

Birdie, a biracial girl raised by her Jewish mom, spends a rare visitation day with her father while preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. They share a meal, she overcomes her doubts, and decides to risk inviting him back into her life. Birdie confronts what independence means as she steps into adulthood on her own terms.

This film won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can learn more about the film here and watch here.




Cracked (2021)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Lin Que Ayoung 

Stars: Tatum Marilyn Hall, Meliki Hurd, Kizzmett Pringle, Dwayne R Grant, Paris Crayton III, Destinee Mikayla Henry, Bonnie Schneider, Kamal Ani-Bellow

It’s the end of the summer of 1985 in Queens, New York City. Toya, a feisty young girl, falls in love for the first time. After a series of disturbing events, Toya’s affection for Poochy compels her to face her traumatic past.

You can watch it on HBO Max or Hulu.





The Daphne Project (2021)

Narrative Feature

Directors, Writers: Zora Iman Crews, Alec Tibaldi

Stars: Zora Iman Crews, April Lavalle, Reed Lancaster, Jake Horowitz, Geena Quintos, Annie-Sage Whitehurst, Duncan Menaker, Yael Rizowy, Austin Letorney, Piper De Palma

Daphne Wilco, actress and social justice warrior, wreaks havoc on a production of Euripides’ “The Bacchae” in the name of progress — her progress.

The film is currently making its way around the festival circuit – you can learn more about the film here and keep up with it here



Dry (2015)

Narrative Feature

Director, Writer: Stephanie Linus

Stars: Liz Ameye, Darwin Shaw, Stephanie Linus

An inspiring true story of Zara, a successful doctor who lives in Wales, and Halima, a young 13 year old girl who is about to be wed in a rural part of Africa. However, as time goes on Halima develops a disease, which she gets shunned for by her community. Throughout her journey she is somewhat alone until her path collides with Zara. The day they meet their lives changed forever. Filmed in Nigeria, it portrays a diverse cast of people from across Africa.

This film won the Jury Award for Best Protagonist at the 2015 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can watch the film here.



Flight (2019)

Short Film

Directors: Kia Mosese, Adrian McDonald

Writer: Kia Mosese

Stars: Akalia Golding, Christopher McKoy, Zbek Nelson, Rohiem Phillips, Danielo Reid, Craig Robinson

A Jamaican boy sets out on a dream, ten times his size, to fly to the moon, despite his circumstances and opposition from his father.

This short won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can keep up with the film here.




I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) (2021)

Narrative Feature

Directors: Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina

Writers:  Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina, Roma Kong

Stars:  Wesley Moss, Kelley Kali, Dominique Molina, Lucas Byrd, Jacolyn Holmes, Xing-Mai Deng, Julia Kennedy, Angelique Molina 

In this exhilarating, poignant debut feature, Danny, a recently widowed woman barely makes ends meet by braiding hair and making deliveries on roller skates. Having convinced her 8 year old daughter they are ‘camping out’ in a tent for fun (in a nod to “Life is Beautiful”) she manages to save enough money for a downpayment on a new apartment. When a client is unable to pay her, she realizes that if she can’t raise  $200 by day’s end she will lose the apartment and have to admit to her daughter that they are actually “houseless”. What follows is an intense, manic and frayed day until the final reckoning. In a world where we need more underrepresented voices telling their own stories, this movie hits the mark. Equal turns funny and heart wrenching, this is a soaring, urgent achievement that announces the co-directors, co-writers, and leading cast as major forces in a work that will have audiences cheering. 

You can learn more about the film here and watch it on BET+  here or Amazon here.



In Hollywoodland (2020)  

Short Film

Director: Jessica Sherif

Writer: Yetide Badaki

Stars: Yetide Badaki, Karen David, Dominic Burgess, Jen Richards, Luke Youngblood

IN HOLLYWOODLAND is a dark fantasy short film that follows Zodwa, a struggling actress, as she heads to an exciting, once-in-a lifetime audition and lands in a strange place reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s most famous work.

You can watch the trailer here and keep up with the film here.




Like Cotton Twines (2016)

Narrative Feature

Director, Writer: Leila Djansi

Stars: Irene Adotey, Adjetey Anang, David Dontoh, Ophelia Klenam Dzidzornu, Jay Ellis, Aiyanna Johns, Ludwig Mawuli Kalms, Luckei E. Lawson, Yvonne Okoro, Mawuli Semevo

An American volunteer begins teaching at a remote school in an African village, where he meets Tuigi: a 13-year-old girl who is to become a “Trokosi”. He tries to save her from this religious practice, in which she will be offered as a shrine slave to the gods. In spite of her fate, Tuigi’s only desire is to be able to write her GED.

You can learn where to watch the film here.




Mavericks (2020)


Director: Michael Michele

Writer: Chris L. Jenkins

MAVERICKS is a 6-part docu-series exploring the uncommon and unorthodox lives of American women whose lives break the stereotypes of how women live in 21st century America despite pressures to conform.

You can learn more and watch here.






Message Read (2021)

Short Film

Director: Spencer Glover 

Writers: Spencer Glover, Kariss Forte

Stars: Ricco Ross, Germar Gardner

In the afterlife material possessions cease to exist. For those who can’t let go, there’s one stop before that final resting place and it’s called Firth. Message Read tells the story of a father who desperately misses his son and must decide between moving on to finality or spending another eternity stuck in Firth.

You can learn more and watch the film here.





Olympia (2018)

Narrative Feature

Director: Gregory Dixon

Writer: McKenzie Chinn

Stars: McKenzie Chinn, Charles Andrew Gardner, Ericka Ratcliff, LaNisa Renee Frederick, Penelope Walker, Lee Palmer, Nyimah Zavaleta

A struggling Chicago artist finds herself at a crossroads in life, overwhelmed by changes and needing to make a critical decision in her relationship.

McKenzie Chinn was one of our 2020 BFFestival “See It Be It” fellows and her film won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can learn more here and watch the film here.




Postmarked (2019)

Short Film 

Director: Malakai

Writer: Angela Carbone

Stars: Loretta Devine, Rob Morgan, Jaylin Fletcher, Quei Tann

Young Scooter, his God fearing father Lionel, and his brother Tyler used to be a big happy family who lived at the end of a cul de sac on a Mart, Texas Street. However, when Tyler comes out as transgender and reveals she wants to be identified as Ty, she’s met with adversity from family and friends alike, forcing her to flee home from the tender young age of 17.

You can watch the film here.




Ride or Die (2021)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Josalynn Smith

Stars: McKenzie Moser, Kazia Steele

PAULA and JAMIE are on their way to Thebes-Thebes, Kentucky that is. As Paula drives Jamie through the Midwest, they make a few stops along the way that deepen their relationship. Their romantic night reaches its peak at the drive-in movie theatre. Near the end of their journey, Paula wants nothing more than for Jamie to change her mind about seeking revenge on her father. Jamie, prioritizing her own trauma, tells Paula that they will continue on to her father’s house.

You can watch the film here.




Solace (2018)

Narrative Feature

Director, Writer: Tchaiko Omawale

Stars: Hope Olaide Wilson, Chelsea Tavares, Lynn Whitfield, Luke Rampersad, Glynn Turman, Melvin Abston, Sydney Bennett, Ralph Cole Jr., Sahra Mellesse

Following the death of her father, a 17-year-old girl is sent to live with her estranged family and finds comfort in a questionable friendship with a self-destructive neighbor, leading both on a startling path to self discovery.

You can learn more about how to watch the film here.




The Subject (2020)

Narrative Feature

DirectorLanie Zipoy

Writer: Chisa Hutchinson

Stars: Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis, Anabelle Acosta, Carra Patterson, Nile Bullock, Caleb Eberhardt

A successful documentarian deals with the moral fallout from his last film, which caught the murder of an African American teenager on tape. Now, someone else is videotaping his every move, threatening his idyllic life.

You can learn more about where to watch the film here.





They Won’t Last (2020)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Portlynn Tagavi

Stars: Jack De Sena, Brittany Renee Finamore

After attending their friends’ perfect wedding, Christine is forced to consider the future of her own relationship when her hopeless romantic boyfriend Alex proposes. When Christine is unable to say yes, Alex makes it worse by giving her an ultimatum: either get engaged or break up right now.

You can keep up with the film here.







Velvet (2020)

Short Film

Director: Coz Greenop

Writer: Victoria DeBlauss

Stars: Charlie Clapham,Victoria DeBlauss, Francesco Martino, Jackson Knox

1960s America. Outlaw lovers, Eve and Austin, await their getaway driver in the Mojave Desert. Austin’s racial prejudice threatens to tear them apart when he finds out Eve has a Black mother. Meanwhile, a famous Italian director watches their every move.

You can watch the film here.






When The Leaves Fall (2021)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Chantel Chavon

Stars: Morgan Lavenstein, Sophie Leonard, Nadia Simms, Mickey O’Sullivan,  Tonray Ho, Jeremey Phillips, Chantel Chavon

Triggered by a haunting childhood memory, a homeless woman (Laney) living inside an abandoned bus shelter loses her grip on reality, unknowingly putting herself and those around her in imminent danger. Based on true accounts, “When the Leaves Fall” is a gripping story that explores the intersectionality of mental illness and racism, exposing the dangerous fallout that can arise for people when symptoms are ignored or neglected. This is a thought-provoking film that hopes to bring awareness to those who suffer alone from mental illness and to ignite a powerful conversation around the pervasiveness of racism in today’s society.

You can learn more about the film here



Wish You Well (2013)

Narrative Feature

Director: Darnell Martin

Writer: David Baldacci

Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Josh Lucas, Ned Bellamy, JP Vanderloo, Alano Miller

Based on the novel, after a family tragedy, a young girl moves from New York with her younger brother to live with their great grandmother on a Virginia farm in the 1940’s and comes closer to understanding the land and roots that inspired her father’s writings while discovering herself, the love of family, and the power of truly believing.

You can learn more about where to watch the film here.





As Black History Month continues, today we are focusing on Documentary Films centered around Black Stories that have been screened at BFF.



(In)Visible Portraits (2020)

Documentary Feature

Director: Oge Egbuonu

Stars: ​​Joy Degruy, Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, Dr. Melina Abdullah, and Dr. Ruha Benjamin

(In)Visible Portraits is a powerful celebration of Black women sharing their stories of struggle, resilience and beyond. The documentary shatters the too-often invisible “otherizing” of Black women in America and reclaims the true narrative as told in their own words. The film illuminates the history of how we got here, dismantles the false framework of the present-day reality and celebrates the extraordinary heritage of exceptional Black women who have come before as well as igniting hope for the next generations. The film is described by Oge as a “love letter to Black women and a reeducation for everyone else.”

You can watch the film here.



All On A Mardi Gras Day (2019)

Short Film

Director: Michal Pietrzyk

Stars: Demond Melancon

In a gentrifying New Orleans, Demond sacrifices to be Big Chief in a secret 200-year culture known as Mardi Gras Indians: African-American men from the city’s roughest neighborhoods who spend all year sewing feathered suits they’ll wear only once, in a battle to decide who’s “the prettiest.”

Learn more about the film and artist Demond Melancon here.



All These Sons (2021)

Documentary Feature

Directors: Joshua Altman, Bing Liu

Stars: Marshall Hatch Jr., Billy Moore

On Chicago’s South and West sides, guns and gangs are destroying countless lives. Two men dedicate their lives educating, empowering and healing young Black men at high risk for being victims-or perpetrators-of deadly gun-violence.

Learn more about the film here and watch a clip here.





Always In Season (2019)

Documentary Feature

Director: Jacqueline Olive

Writers: Jacqueline Olive, Don Bernier

Stars: Danny Glover, Reverend William J. Barber II, Sherrilyn Ifill, Bryan Stevenson

Claudia Lacy, Pierre Lacy

When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present. The brutality against Black Americans that continues to derail this country must continue to be put in check.

You can watch the film here.




A Ballerina’s Tale (2015)

Documentary Feature

Director: Nelson George

Stars: Misty Copeland, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Robyn Gardenhire, Alicia Graf Mack, Daisha Graf, Victoria Rowell, Gilda Squire, Bevy Smith, Tracey Kemble, Raven Wilkinson

A feature documentary on African American ballerina Misty Copeland that examines her

prodigious rise, her potentially career ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.

You can watch the film here.




Black Boys (2020)

Documentary Feature

Director: Sonia Lowman

Stars: Carmelo Anthony, Malcolm Jenkins, Vic Mensa, Chris Carter, Malcolm London, Jemele Hill

For a young black boy growing up poor today, sports and entertainment–not education–represent the way out of dire circumstances forged by generations of systemic oppression. He watches the lucky few get drafted to major sports leagues, or the even fewer become wealthy rap or hip hop stars. But mostly, he watches men who look like him get locked up or killed. In every arena, he has been silenced. But it’s time we heard him. The feature-length documentary BLACK BOYS illuminates–in their words–what it means to be born black and male in America. Through an intimate, intergenerational conversation at the intersection of sports, education, and criminal justice, BLACK BOYS serves as a powerful reimagining for black males in America.

You can watch the film on Peacock here.



Changing the Game (2019)

Documentary Feature

Director: Michael Barnett

Stars: Andraya Yearwood, Sarah Rose Huckman, Mack Beggs

Journeying into the lives of three high school athletes at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and their unique paths as transgender teens. Their stories span across the U.S.; from Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire, to Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly transitioning into her authentic self, and to Mack Beggs, who made headlines last year when he became the Texas State Champion in wrestling.

You can watch the film on Hulu here.



In My Father’s House (2015)

Documentary Feature

Directors: Ricki SternAnnie Sundberg

Stars: Che “Rhymefest” Smith

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE explores identity and legacy in the African-American family, as Grammy award-winning rapper Che ‘Rhymefest’ Smith and his long-lost father reconnect and try to build a new future in Chicago’s turbulent South Side. Himself a child of a broken home, Che hasn’t seen his father, Brian, in over 20 years, and presumes him dead. But after buying his father’s childhood home, Che sets out to find him, and learns that his is now a homeless alcoholic living only several blocks away/ The film offers a probing take on memory and identity in a family two generations removed from slavery as it tracks Che and Brian’s shared journey to create a new legacy for themselves, their community and the next generation of family.

This film won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the 2015 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can watch the film on Hulu here.



Mully (2015)

Documentary Feature

Director: Scott Haze

Stars: Charles Mully, Esther Mully, Isaac Mulli

A homeless orphan in Kenya becomes a lucrative businessman, only to give it all up and open an orphanage that today serves over 2000 Kenyan children.

This film won the Man In The Mirror Award at the 2017 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can watch the film for free on Peacock here.



Pier Kids (2019)

Documentary Feature

Director: Elegance Bratton

Stars: Krystal Dixon, DeSean Irby, Krystal LaBeija, Jusheem Thorne

PIER KIDS is a verité documentary that’s inspired by Marlon Riggs’s Black is Black Ain’t and the Maysles brothers Gray Gardens, and Field Niggas by Khalik Allah. The film was made in the moment run and gun guerilla style. The interviews are often on the go to reflect the transience experienced by the characters. The film is also about the value of public space for brown and black queer bodies to become their most realized versions of themselves. The film is mostly shot outdoors on purpose. It sees the presence of these bodies in this space as natural and necessary. Pier Kids is directed by the truth of the experience of coming of age outside.

You can watch the film with POV on PBS here.


Rikers: Innocence Lost (2018)

Short Film

Director: Garret Hubbard

Writer: Chris L. Jenkins

Rikers: Innocence Lost reveals the injustices of the money bail system, the human costs of mass incarceration and overcriminalization, and the lived experiences of those directly impacted by the incarceration at New York City’s principal jail. The film is done in honor of the memory and life of Kalief Browder’s mother, Venida Browder.

You can watch the film here.




Subjects of Desire (2021)

Documentary Feature

Director: Jennifer Holness

Stars: Ryann Richardson, Alexandra Germaine, Seraiah Nicole, Brittany Lewis

Subjects of Desire explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards

towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features while exposing the deliberate

and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media. From society’s new fixation on the ‘booty’, fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment. But others, primarily Black women, argue that traditional Black features and attributes are seen as more desirable when they are on White women.

You can learn more about the film and resources here.


Through the Banks of the Red Cedar (2018)

Documentary Feature

Director: Maya Washington

Stars: Sterling Armstrong, Clinton Jones, Alan Page

In 1963 Michigan State Head Coach Duffy Daugherty gave 23 African American young men the opportunity of a lifetime. The daughter of football legend Gene Washington uncovers how the first fully-integrated college football team in America changed the face of the game forever.

Learn more about the film and where to broadcast on PBS this month here. You can also stream on Amazon here.





Unrest (2017)

Documentary Feature

Director: Jennifer Brea

Writers: Jennifer Brea, Kim Roberts

When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and her community, a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms by ME, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

You can watch the film here.



Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance (2021)

Documentary Feature

Director: Khadifa Wong

Writer: Zak Nemorin

Stars: Debbie Allen, Joshua Bergasse, Al Blackstone

The history, lineage and future progressions of jazz dance.

The story of Jazz Dance is a complex one, it goes to the very heart of humanity.It is a story of triumph over adversity, oppression and privilege as well as a celebration, because ultimately, what all people have in common is rhythm and a basic human need to get down.

Learn more about the film here and watch it on HBO Max here.





In the spirit of Black History Month, we are highlighting films that star Black leads that have screened at BFF.


Allen (2017)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Nayip Ramos

Stars: Madison Iseman, D’Meetri Griffin, Stephen Barrington, Mendel Fogelman, Danielle Andrade, Hunter Clowdus, Anissa Borrego, Legend, Dylan Summerall, Walter Cox

A black teen from South Los Angeles falls for his white tutor. Their Romance struggles as the color of their skin is a reminder of their differences.

You can watch the film here.




Americanish (2021)

Narrative Feature

Director: Iman Zawahry

Writers: Iman Zawahry, Aizzah Fatima

Stars: Aizzah Fatima, Salena Qureshi, Shenaz Treasurey, Lillette Dubey, Mohammed Amer, Godfrey, George Wendt, Ajay Naidu, Kapil Talwalker, David Rasche

In Jackson Heights, Queens two sisters and their fresh off the boat cousin try all the conventional ways to earn the love and respect of the matriarch of their family only to learn that life works out in the most unconventional ways.

The film is still rounding its festival circuit and you can keep up with the film here.




Americanized (2021)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Erica Eng

Stars: Terry Hu, Amber Gaston, Shannon Dang, Charles Yan, Helen Ong, Mark A. Neely

Growing up in Oakland’s hip-hop culture, Eng struggles with her Chinese American identity. To her high school basketball team she’s just that girl who sits on the bench, but to the Asian kids she’s “Americanized.” As her sophomore year of high school comes to an end, Eng tries to find a sense of belonging within the two worlds that don’t accept her.

This film won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival.

Watch the trailer and learn more about the film here.




Beast (2018)


Director, Writer: Ben Strang

Cast: Elijah Mayo, Chantal Nchako, Helen Hedman, Jay Potter

In a small fishing town, a grieving teenager recruits the help of a hardened fisherman to figure out what happened to his missing father.

This film won the Jury Prize for Best Episodic at the 2018 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can watch it here.






Benji the Dove (2018)

Narrative Feature

Director: Kevin Arbouet

Writers: Kevin Arbouet, Brandon Dickerson, Friðrik Erlingsson (book)

Stars: Gerald Jones III, Karen Pittman, Frances Turner, Royce Johnson

Based on the book with the same name, a tender tale of four boys who are rapidly coming to terms with school, bullies, friendship, and loyalty. Not to be limited by a poor upbringing, they tap their immense creativity and imagination to create The Order of the Red Dragon, a brotherhood of knights determined to fight injustice with justice. It’s terribly exciting, and life is one big adventure. But when fissures appear in the friendship, their adventure turns dark, and they are forced to face real-world dilemmas, and muster all they’ve got to save each other.

The film is not yet streaming, but you can watch the trailer and await its release here.




Big Touch (2020)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Chris Tenzis

Stars: Astra Marie Varnado, Raymond Ejiofor, Carly Stewart, Arabella Frost

An Afro-surrealist story about a giant woman and a tiny man who through the power of touch, experience an unexpected transformation.

Watch the trailer and learn more about the film here.






Boy Genius (2019)

Narrative Feature

Director: Bridget Stokes

Writer: Vicky Wight

Stars: Miles Brown, Zach Gilford, Tracie Thoms, Rita Wilson, Arden Myrin, Nora Dunn, Patrika Darbo, Ravi Patel

A twelve year-old child prodigy teams up with a quirky retiree to solve a crime and save his family from splitting up.

This film won the Jury Award for Best Family Film at the 2019 Bentonville Film Festival.

Learn where you can watch the film here.





Brooklynification (2016)


Director: Keith Miller

Writer: Christopher Poindexter

Stars: Tarik Davis, Felecia Harrelson, Jaiden Kaine, Alicia Sable, Addison Anderson, Rory Clarke, Okema Moore, Tessa Hersh, Tallie Medel, Lizan Mitchell

Brooklynification is both a wildly funny and eye-opening take on rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in the county of Kings.

Watch the full series here.





The Dream (2020)


Director: Ron Najor

Writers: Ron Najor, Trevor Fernando

Stars: Micah Bijon, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Kaleti Williams, Nikohl Boosheri

Daryl just graduated film school with an award-winning short and a mountain of student debt. He moves to LA in hopes of realizing his dreams of becoming a director but first, he must find work to survive and learn the ropes of the industry. His friend from film school, Meena, now works as a production coordinator on big shoots and hires him on as a production assistant on a music video for a very famous pop artist. If he does well, she can keep hiring him. Daryl is inundated with constant mishaps, big egos, and insane demands while a ragtag gang of PAs school him on how to survive. Daryl has big dreams but quickly realizes how far he’ll have to climb to reach his goals.

Watch the trailer and learn more about the pilot here.



Farewell (2020)

Narrative Feature

Director, Writer: Chris Chalk

Stars: K.D. Chalk, Chris Chalk, Cesa Pledger, Eden Marryshow, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut

On her last night in town before the big move, Grace finds herself at a going away anniversary party with her husband and closest friends. Grace’s struggle with personal boundaries are tested when the familial gathering splinters into a fight for survival. Some Farewells mean forever.

This film won the Jury Award for Best First Feature at the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival.

Watch the trailer and keep up with the film here.






Feeling Through (2019)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Doug Roland

Stars: Robert Tarango, Steven Prescod

A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a DeafBlind man.

Learn more about and watch the film here, as well as the supporting documentary about the creation of the film.





Gallows Road (2015)

Narrative Feature

Director: Bill McAdams Jr.

Writer: Bill McAdams Jr., Grace McAdams

Stars: Ernie Hudson, Kevin Sorbo, Bill McAdams Jr., Marcus M. Mauldin, Rett Terrell, Frank Mosley

Family Man, Bob Collins is devastated by a tragic crime, creating unbearable guilt for Jake Knight. While Bob’s brother Seth fights to help him reconnect with God, all three are terrorized by revenge driven bully, Snake Cain.

Find out more about where to watch here.






Gossamer Folds (2020)

Narrative Feature

Director: Lisa Donato

Writer: Bridget Flanery

Stars: Jackson Robert Scott, Alexandra Grey, Sprague Grayden, Franklin Ojeda-Smith, Shane West, Ethan Suplee, Jen Richards

In 1986, nine-year-old Tate Millikin is uprooted and unwillingly moved to the suburbs of Kansas City. As his parent’s marriage unravels, Tate finds solace in the unlikely friendships of his new next door neighbors: a retired college professor and his transgender

daughter, Gossamer.

Watch the trailer here and keep up with the film here.




Long Ride Home (2020)

Short Film

Director: Dame Pierre

Writer: Charles Andrew Gardner

Stars: Charles Andrew Gardner, Byron Coolie, Ambria Sylvain

The purpose of the film is to explore the unfortunate reality that it’s extremely hard to ‘make it out.’ To show Black people who are fortunate enough to transition from being a have-not to a have, that it is not always as simple as pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. To show that systematic oppression is real and difficult to get past. To examine the effects of social exclusion. To show how split-second moments in time can completely alter our lives.

You can watch the film here.





Ludi (2021)

Narrative Feature

Director: Edson Jean

Writer: Edson Jean, Joshua Jean-Baptiste

Stars: Shein Mompremier, Alan Myles Heyman, Madelin Marchant, Success St. Fleur Jr., Kerline Alce, Plue Pierre, Patrice DeGraff-Arenas

Ludi, a hardworking and exhausted nurse, battles coworkers, clients and one impatient bus driver to learn her self worth as she chases the American Dream in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.

Keep up with the film here.




Marie Celeste (2019)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Tori Larsen

Stars: Amanda Brugel, Madeline Brewer

Renowned French artist Marie Celeste invites gallery assistant Lucy into her strange and elegant world only to discover they share a connection much deeper and darker than just art.

Watch the trailer here.






Noor & Layla (2021)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Fawzia Mirza

Stars: Sahar B. Agustin-Maleki, Nicole Nwokolo, Urvah Khan

Five prayers coincide with five stages of a Muslim couple’s relationship, demystifying queerness in the Muslim community and religion in queerness.

Watch the trailer here.





An Occurrence at Arverne (2020)

Short Film

Director, Writer: Robert Broadhurst

Starring: Curtiss Cook, Jr.

A young man arrives at an unknown home with an unknown agenda.

Learn more and watch the film here.








Revival! (2018)

Narrative Feature

Director: Danny Green

Writers: Harry Lennix, Holly Davis Carter

Stars: Mali Music, Harry Lennix, Dawnn Lewis, Paula Newsome, Chaka Khan, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Anthony Azizi, Ahmed Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Victoria Gabrielle Platt

In its meta-theatrical stylized bridging of the theater and the audience’s everyday experiences, Revival is a mixed media virtual experience of the gospel according to John the Apostle. The presentation of this timeless story is told by dramatizing supremely constructed gospel music that helps recount the mission, ministry and miracles of Jesus. It is a gospel, funk fantasia that speaks to all throughout the world; either as a film or as a live-action musical. Every element is designed to deliver a clear, comprehensive, and compelling entertainment experience-from the vibrant wardrobe to the irresistible music; from the craft of acting and the gift of song and dance.

You can watch on Amazon Prime Video or on Apple TV+.




Root for the Villain (2018)


Director, Writer: Max Rissman

Stars: Corey Allen, Akash Kumar Bhairi, Brandi Bravo, Alex Carmine, Paulie Deo Jr.

In a superhero universe, Lana is a parole officer who works with low-level super-villains, helping them reintegrate into society after they are released from prison.

Watch the trailer and keep up with the series here.






They Charge for the Sun (2016)

Short Film

Director: Terrence Nance

Writers: Terrence Nance, Eugene Ramos

Stars: Rylee Nykhol, Jontille Gerard, Crystal Cotton, Vickie Washington, Brooke Toliver, Tiffany Tenille

In a dystopian future where people live nocturnally to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, a young black girl unravels the lie that has kept her and her sister in the dark.

Unfortunately, the film is not yet streaming, but you can watch the trailer here and keep up with the film here.







Happy Black History Month! To honor and celebrate the triumphs and successes of black people throughout our history, we want to highlight films that have screened at BFF, brought to us by creators that are making history themselves.


The Counter: 1960 (2018)

Short Film

Director: Tracy ‘Twinkie’ Byrd

Writers: Tracy ‘Twinkie’ Byrd, Ashley Jackson

Stars: Ashley Jackson, Tabitha Brown, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Nic Few, Jerod Haynes, Buddy Lewis, Etienne Maurice, Charles Malik Whitfield

Three “woke” Black students from 2017 find themselves sitting at a lunch counter in 1960. Will they be served?

Unfortunately, the film is not yet streaming, but you can watch the trailer and read about it here.






Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2016)

Documentary Feature

Directors: Michael Fiore, Erik Sharkey

Stars: Cosmo Anzilotti, Jane Baer, Dave Bossert

Animator. Storyman. Troublemaker. At 80 years old, see how Disney Legend Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator at Disney, continues to impact animation and stir up “trouble” after the company forced him to retire at age 65.

This film won the BFF Audience Award at the 2016 Bentonville Film Festival.

You can stream the film here or you can purchase the Blu-ray or on iTunes here.




A Fire Within (2022)

Documentary Feature

Director: ​​Christopher Chambers

Stars: Elester Latham, Angus Benfield, Danelle Von Visger

A FIRE WITHIN chronicles the incredible true story of three Ethiopian women who immigrate to the U.S. after surviving torture in their home country, only to discover that the man responsible for their torture is living in America…and working at the same Atlanta hotel as one of the women.

It is an inspiring story about three immigrants, three refugees, three survivors taking a stand to make their voices heard and their courageous attempt to bring their torturer to justice here in America.

Unfortunately, the film is not yet streaming, but you can stay updated about it here.





Freedom (2014)

Narrative Feature

Director: Peter Cousens

Writers: Timothy A. Chey, Peter Cousens, Douglas Nyback, John Senczuk

Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Sharon Leal, David Rasche

In 1856 a slave, Samuel Woodward and his family, escape from the Monroe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia. A secret network of ordinary people known as the Underground Railroad guide the family on their journey north to Canada. 100 years earlier in 1748, John Newton the Captain of a slave trader sails from Africa with a cargo of slaves, bound for America. On board is Samuel’s great grandfather whose survival is tied to the fate of Captain Newton. The voyage changes Newton’s life forever and he creates a legacy that will inspire Samuel and the lives of millions for generations to come.

You can watch it on Amazon here or other streaming platforms.



Fresh Dressed (2015)

Documentary Feature

Director, Writer: Sacha Jenkins

Stars: Damon Dash, Daymond John, Karl Kan, Nas, Pharrell Williams

FRESH DRESSED chronicles the history of Hip-Hop, Urban fashion, and their rise from Southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s South Bronx, to corporate America, and everywhere in-between. Supported by rich archival materials, in depth interviews with individuals crucial to this evolution, and the outsiders who studied and admired them, Fresh Dressed goes to the core of where style was born on the black and brown sides of town.

You can watch the film here.






Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2016)

Documentary Feature

Director, Writer: Rita Coburn Whack

Stars: Maya Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Common

The story of iconic writer, poet, actress and activist Maya Angelou whose life intersected some of the most significant moments in the recent history of the United States of America.

You can learn more about the film and where to watch here.





Misbehaviour (2020)

Narrative Feature

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe

Writers: Gaby Chiappe, Rebecca Frayn

Stars: Kiera Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Lesley Manville

In 1970, the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by US comedy legend, Bob Hope. At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show on the planet with over 100 million viewers. Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned w

omen, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.

Learn more about the film and where to watch here.



Selma (2014)

Narrative Feature

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Paul Webb

Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Jim France

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Learn more about where to stream the film here.