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Seventh Annual Denton Black Film Festival Wraps Up First-Ever Virtual Festival

Seventh Annual Denton Black Film Festival Wraps Up First-Ever Virtual Festival

The annual cultural event offered an impressive 136 films, 30+ workshops, musical performances, art, dance, yoga and great conversations.

 

DENTON, Texas, February 2021 – With more films and workshops than ever, the Denton Black Film Festival wrapped up its seventh annual event, offering 136 films, 30+ workshops, musical performances, spoken word, visual art exhibits, dance and interactive chat forums.

 

The record-setting number of films – narrative and documentary features, shorts, episodic/web series were all available video-on-demand during January 27 – February 1st. There was a rich collection of drama, comedy, narrative, animated and documentary films. Linda Eaddy, director of film programming, and Sarah Hodge, coordinator of film programming along with a team of volunteer judges chose the selections from around the country, Canada and as far away as Denmark, Finland, and Mozambique.  

 

“When the pandemic hit, we had to do some soul searching,” said Harry Eaddy, the festival’s director. “In the end, our team of volunteers didn’t back off. They embraced the challenge to identify the digital platforms to produce one of the most ambitious, most technologically-advanced festivals we’ve ever had.”

 

Linda Eaddy added, “I can truly say we offered enough of a variety this year to appeal to anyone’s interest. I know we were ambitions, but I’m thrilled that were able to share the works of so many talented filmmakers.”

 

This year’s featured musical performer was Tatiana “LadyMay” Mayfield, an award-winning jazz vocalist, musician, and composer from Fort Worth, Texas. The festival also featured a daily morning show highlighting the day’s events hosted by NBC5’s Laura Harris; veteran broadcaster and attorney Dawn Neufeld; and journalist and professor Neil Foote. Events included Social Justice screenings with livestreamed panel discussions; spoken word; poetry; screen dance; virtual yoga classes; and, lounges for festival goers to engage with each other and special guests.  

 

The DBFF Institute offered one of the most wide-ranging selection of workshops, including kicking off a year-long partnership with Panavision who will collaborate with the Institute to curate a series of workshops that aim to educate, train, and inspire the next generation of Black storytellers. The four-part educational series for 2021 kicked off during the festival, with subsequent workshops to follow quarterly, covering a range of technical and creative topics confronting filmmakers from pre-production through post. Additionally, to continue amplifying the voices of Black artists, DBFFI and Panavision have created Voice x Vision, a social video series that provides a platform to filmmakers who are telling powerful stories related to the Black experience.

 

This year’s presenting sponsors were NBC5, Panavision and the City of Denton.

 

For our Competitive awards, we added several new categories, including the “Best Episodic/Web Series,”, and the winners of both the People’s Choice Original Music Video” and “Collaborative Film Challenge” being voted on by festival-goers. The Institute collaborative project challenged filmmakers to create a short 3–5-minute film, inspired by the theme “We Tell Our Stories.” They could create the film in any genre, format or style, and with only two weeks, we had four team come together to create some really dynamic short films. 

 

Here’s a list of the winners, runners ups and honorable mentions. 

 

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURES

 

WINNER

The Subject

Director Lanie Zipoy

 

RUNNER – UP

Vagrant

Director Caleb Ryan

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

 

WINNER

Black Seeds: The History of Africans in America

Director Bayer Mack

 

RUNNER – UP

On the Front Line: The Rangers of Gorongosa

Directors James Byrne & Carla Rebai

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Cool Black North

Director Alison Duke 

 

“I’m Just a Layman in Pursuit of Justice” Black Farmers Fight Against USDA

Directors Shoun Hill & Waymon Hinson 

 

BEST NARRATIVE SHORTS

 

WINNER

AUGUSTUS

Director Jon Alston

 

RUNNER – UP

Brother

Director Ya’Ke

 

HONORABLE MENTION

the rage

Directors Aurelien Mathieu & Samir Mokeddem

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

 

WINNER

Sawubona

Directors Tyler Dunham & Brendan Calder

 

RUNNER – UP

death.everything.nothing

Director LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Finding Elijah

Director Yolanda Johnson-Young

 

BEST EPISODIC/WEB SERIES

 

WINNER

The Pandemic Chronicles

Director Ya’Ke

 

RUNNER – UP

Therapy

Director Gregg DaCosta

 

HONORABLE MENTION

The Other Side of Normal

Director Brandon Miree

 

BEST COLLEGE SHORTS

 

WINNER

Misfits

Director Ciani Rey Walker

 

RUNNER-UP

Run Little Boy

Director Dominick A. D. Bedasse

 

HONORABLE MENTION

The Walk Home

Director Kendra Brown

 

BEST TEXAS SHORT

 

WINNER

The First Time After

Director Calvin J Walker

 

RUNNER-UP

Brother

Director Ya’Ke

 

HONORABLE MENTION

She Had to Ask

Director Tailiah Breon

 

TEXAS COLLEGE SHORT

 

WINNER

The Fregoli Project

Director Samuel Broadous

 

RUNNER-UP

Ike & Judy

Director Sarah Christine

 

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORT

 

WINNER

The Perfect Ask

Director Stanley Turner

 

RUNNER-UP

The Pamphlet

Director Vincent Holloway

 

HONORABLE MENTION

New Boss

Director Daviah Harrison

 

People’s Choice Original Music Video (new category)

Monica: An Afro Fantasy

Directors: Keirra Ewah and Ore Aweda

 

The winner in each category won equipment or money, trophy and a certificate:

  • Panavision provided a $20,000 camera package to the winners in the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature categories. 
  • The Denton Black Film Festival awarded $500 for the Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Episodic/Web Series; $300 for People’s Choice Original Music Video; $250 for Best College Short, Best Texas Short, $200 for Best Texas College Short; and $100 for Best Texas High School Short and.
  • All runners up received a trophy and certificate, and all honorable mentions received a certificate.

 

The People Choice Film Awards: Voted on by Festival Goers (new category)

 

Narrative Feature

Indifferent Enchantment

Director:  Samina Najmah

 

People’s Choice Documentary Feature

“I’m Just a Layman in Pursuit of Justice” Black Farmers Fight Against USDA

Directors: Shoun Hill & Waymon Hinson

 

People’s Choice Narrative Short

Mr. & Mrs. Ellis

Director:

 

People’s Choice Documentary Short

FREE TO BE

Director: Ugenia Stokes

 

People’s Choice Episodic/Web Series

The Black Experience in America: Past/Present/Future

Directors: Ivory Leonard IV & Diante Thomas

 

People’s Choice College Student Short

Leave Us Here

Director: Tari Wariebi

 

People’s Choice Texas Short

The First Time After

Director: Calvin J. Walker

 

People’s Choice Texas College Short

Ike & Judy

Director: Sarah Christine

 

People’s Choice Texas High School Short

The Perfect Ask

Director: Stanley Turner

 

Each People’s Choice Film winner receives a DBFF Award Certificate and Bragging rights. 

 

The DBFF Institute – The Collaborative Short Film Challenge Winners (new category)are:

 

First Place Winner

District 00

Directors: Oreoluwa Adebo, Ifeoluwa Adebo, Aaron Middlebrooks, & Michael Nguyen

Winners of a $400 dollar cash prize and complimentary VIP passes for each team member to the 2022 Denton Black Film Festival

 

2nd place

Knights of Elm Street 

Directors: Kimani Oletu & Jasmine Doltie

Winners of a $300 dollar cash prize and an All Access Film passes for each team member to the 2022 Denton Black Film Festival 

 

3rd place

#LoveBlack

Directors: Corrigan Revels and Ivy K. Arnold

Winners of a $200 dollars cash prize and 1 film block voucher to the 2022 Denton Black Film Festival

 

For more information, contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, neil@neilfoote.com, 214.448.3765.

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