In Person Festival returns January 25-29, 2023 

2019 Thank You

Thank You from the Entire DBFF Team

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the 2019 Denton Black Film Festival — including all the filmmakers, creatives, festivalgoers, volunteers, sponsors, community partners, and other friends! We truly appreciate all the love and support in making our 5th year celebrations so fantastic.

2019 was a phenomenal year! More than 7,000 event attendees participated this year, making this our biggest and best year yet. 

Starting with our opening film screening, the 1959 classic “Imitation of Life” (which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019), we screened so many amazing films, including “Bruce!!!” (which doesn’t hit theaters until March), “16 Bars” (a amazing piece about hip hop artist Speech’s work helping prison inmates tell their stories through music), and “Half the Picture” (a film about the work of female filmmakers and the obstacles they obstacles they experience) and “Mr. Soul” (which chronicled the life of a fearless black pioneer who reconceived a Harlem Renaissance for a new era). In case you missed it, we also unveiled a never-before-seen interview clip with actress Juanita Moore and family interview from her nephew Arnett Moore. The interview was completed by DBFF historian Walid Khaldi. 

Along the way, we sprinkled in some of the amazing events you’ve come to love. This year featured two art exhibitions: one from talented fibers artist Taylor Barnes and the other from the renown Barbara McCraw, a master quilter who also custom crafted a quilt for us which we raffled off, raising about $3,000 for student scholarships. (The quilt, “The Entertainers” honors the work of early black artists.)

Among our free offerings, we also hosted nearly a dozen free workshops and panels for filmmakers, including the Creative Resource Expo, the Women in Film panel and and Human Trafficking and Mental Health social justice panels. We also used our panels as a platform to announce the creation of the DBFF Institute, a space for creatives to connect and grow their craft. If you’re interested in becoming a member, join our DBFF Institute email mailing list.  

We also brought back the hugely popular spoken word and open mic night, featuring host Verb Kulture. (Our Poetry Slam winner for this year was Wayne Henry, who’s work is dedicated to bringing awareness to issue such as mental health, oppression, depression and concepts of spiritual growth.) Also returning this year was the hilarious Piper the Comedian, joined by Joel Runnels, for our comedy night. Led by our very own music director Nick Frederickson, the Fingerprints band also swung by for a Saturday night music jam. True to DBFF style, we also debuted a new event – Taste of DBFF, which allowed festival attendees to sample Black Cuisine and our newly created ice cream flavor, the Michaeux Macchiato (a gluten-free, vegan friendly treat named to honor Oscar Deveraux Michaeux, the first Black owner of a film production company). 

See more photos on our Facebook page at http://bit.ly/DBFFalbums. 

We closed out Sunday with our Filmmaker Awards Brunch (see the winners below) and Grammy nominated jazz great Kirk Whalum, who headlined an amazing concert opened by the world famous One O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas College of Music. The concert was incredible. If you missed it, Kara Dry, one of our talented photographers with Hatch Visuals (a student-run photography agency at UNT) captured a bit of the end. 

If you’re already missing DBFF, then you’ll be excited to know that we’re launching MONTHLY film screening featuring the work of Black artists – thanks to our friends over at Alamo Drafthouse in Denton. You can check out the latest screenings at https://dentonbff.com/films-events/. And of course, we’ll be back Jan. 22-26, 2020!  

Again, thank you all for your continued love and support. See you next year! 



Best Texas College Short Film:

  • Winner — Skintight by Ciara Boniface
  • Runner-up — Street Flame by Katherine Propper

Best Texas Short Film:

  • Winner — Don’t Drink the Water directed by Issa Currie
  • Runners-up — Alora directed by Nicholas Muthersbaugh and Pound directed by Anjola Coker

Best College Short Film:

  • Winner — Skintight directed by Ciara Boniface
  • Runner-up — Showtime directed by Shawn Antoine II

Best Short Film:

  • Winner — The Beach directed by Toroes Thomas
  • Runner-up — Training Wheels directed by Sandrel “Sanicole” Young
  • Honorable Mention — Little Church directed by Zachary Cunningham

Best Documentary Feature:

  • Winner — The Mayor’s Race directed by Loraine Blumenthal
  • Runner-up — Black, White & US directed by Loki Mulholland

Best Narrative Feature:

  • Winner — Alaska is a Drag directed by Shaz Bennett
  • Runner-up — 1 Angry Black Man directed by Menelek Lumumba


  • 64 Film Screenings
  • 7 Narrative Features (includes 3 invitational and 4 submissions)
  • 11 Documentary Features (includes 4 invitational and 7submissions)
  • 36 Short Films (Includes 4 invitational and 32submissions)
  • 10 College Student Films (All submissions, but includes 1 High School Film)
  • Women Directors: 19 (30 percent of films screened)
  • Foreign Films: 6 (9 percent of films screened)
  • Texas Filmmakers: 15 films screened (23 percent of screenings are from Texas Filmmakers)
  • 5 Women Filmmakers (33 percent of Texas Films)
  • Premiere Status: 45 (70 percent of films)
  • World: 12 (19 percent of films screenings)
  • U.S.: 6 (9 percent of films screened)
  • Texas: 20 ((31 percent of films screened)
  • North Texas: 7 (11 percent of films screened)



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