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Films & Events

2019 Schedule

Everything you ever wanted to know about the 2019 Denton Black Film Festival events, including screenings, art exhibits, live music, spoken word, comedy & more. Purchase passes for access to a mix of films and/or events. Purchase tickets to access individual films, film blocks or events. 

Click here to view the schedule by day or download a printable version here

Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life, the opening night film for the 2019 Denton Black Film FestivalWe’re proud to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Imitation of Life, with the 1959 classic serving as our opening film for the festival.

Legendary actress Juanita Moore will be highlighted for her nomination for Best Supporting Actress by the Academy Awards for her role. The movie, which dealt with issues of race and class, also featured such female greats as Mahalia Jackson, Lana Turner, Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner. Whether you’ve seen the movie a hundred times or whether this will be the first time for you, it’s a wonderful opportunity to see this piece on the big screen.

In this story, an aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white. In Coney Island, the widow and aspiring actress Lora Meredith finds her 6-year-old daughter Susie playing with 8-year-old Sarah Jane, daughter of black homeless housekeeper Annie Johnson. Lora brings Annie and her daughter to live in her small apartment in New York and they become close friends. Lora has a love affair with photographer Steve Archer and soon he proposes. But the ambitious Lora dreams on becoming a star on Broadway and prioritizes her career and also neglects Susie. The light-skinned Sarah Jones rejects her mother and tries to pass as white for her friends. Lora succeeds in her career and reaches stardom. Ten years later, she meets Steve by chance and he pays attention to Susie while Lora is shooting a film in Italy. When she returns, she decides to get married with Steve; but Susie has fallen in love with Steve. Meanwhile Sarah Jane runs away from home to work in fleshpots.

Two screenings are available: 

 

Buy Tickets for Imitation of Life

Additional Film Screenings

What: More than 60 films – including documentaries, narratives and shorts – will be screened at the festival. 

When: Jan. 23-27, 2019. Pre-sale for discounted tickets ends Jan. 22, 2019. 

Where: Denton, Texas. Venue varies. See ticket for detail. 

Cost: Tickets for individual films or film blocks (which include a series of shorts) are $8 for seniors/students/children and $10 for general admission.

Buy Individual Tickets

Purchase tickets to access individual films, film blocks or events. 

Buy Passes

Purchase passes to access to a mix of films and/or events.

An Evening with Kirk Whalum

With Special Guest the UNT One O'Clock Lab Band

What: See Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum in a unique concert with the acclaimed University of North Texas’ One O’Clock Lab Band. This unique performance featuring jazz greats will be the closing event for the 2019 festival. 

When: 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Doors open at 5 p.m. 

Where: UNT Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 N Interstate 35, Denton, TX 76201. 

Admission: $40 via the discounted, pre-sale price. Buy at https://www.prekindle.com/event/12795-an-evening-with-the-kirk-whalum-band-with-special-guest-the-unt-one-oclock-lab-band-dentonhttps://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332092520

Jazz artist Kirk Whalum is pictured with his saxophone.

About: Kirk Whalum is a Grammy Award winning saxophonist who has performed along top artists like Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and most notably Whitney Houston. It’s his sax featured on the mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You.” With more than 20 releases, Kirk’s signature sound is heard on more than 300 recordings. He’s also an ordained minister with a daily, fifteen minute podcast called Bible In Your Ear (BIYE). His amazing performance with the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band at the Denton Black Film Festival will be the closing event for the 2019 festival, and if you’re looking for great jazz, this is it!

“A Smooth Groove Jam” with Fingerprints

A trumpeter performs at the festival's Funk NightWhat: Music Jam with Fingerprints and Friends! Join the Denton Black Film Festival for a special Saturday-night jam session. Hear live music from the Fingerprints featuring Shelley Carrol, Brad Leali, and Ardina Lockhart, along with special guest DJ Frances Jaye from Neo Soul Cafe.

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

Where:  Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial, Denton, TX 76201.

Admission: $10 in advance/$15 at the door. Buy at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332094403

Life Stories Told Through Quilts

The Quilts of Barbara McCraw - An Exhibition

Overhead photo of Barbara McCraw's Life Stories Exhibition at the Patterson-Appleton Arts CenterWhat: In recent years, traditional quiltmaker Barbara McCraw began to look inward at the places and times in her life. There were memories, experiences, and images that she wanted to depict, utilizing the African colors and patterns of her heritage. This exhibit features works – many in the Baltimore Album style – that each have their own story and are related to McCraw’s own life. Presented by the Denton Black Film Festival and the Greater Denton Arts Center.

When: Exhibition runs Dec. 7, 2018 – Feb. 2019.

Gallery Hours: For availability, visit https://dentonarts.com/directions-hours/.

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, Gough Gallery.

Admission: Free and open to the community.

Online Raffle

Barbara McCraw Custom-Made Quilt, "The Entertainers"

What: The Denton Black Film Festival is pleased to raffle “The Entertainers,” a unique quilt created by internationally acclaimed Master Quilter Barbara McCraw. The piece honors early Black artists and benefits the Denton African American Scholarship Foundation, Inc. for 2019 scholarships.
When: Runs Dec. 6, 2018 – Jan. 19, 2019.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, at DBFF during the closing performance featuring Kirk Whalum, a Grammy Award-winning jazz artist. Raffle ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
Cost: Raffle tickets are available for $50. Only 150 tickets will be sold.
Information: For detail/purchase, visit www.dentonaasfgiving.org.

My Genesis

An Exhibition by Taylor Barnes

Taylor Barnes, Fibers ArtistWhat: Join us for the Opening Reception for the 5th Anniversary of the Denton Black Film Festival. Learn more about all of the exciting films and events planned to Entertain, Educate and Inspire YOU. 

Where: UNT on the Square,109 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201.

When: Exhibition runs Jan. 15 – Feb. 14, 2019.

Opening Reception: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2019 (Wednesday), with remarks at 7 p.m.

About: “My Genesis” features large-scale charcoal works on cloth, screen-prints and assemblage. Barnes’ work displays concepts of race, identity and isolation. This show examines self-reflection and inevitable truths of being a black woman in America today. Genesis references a beginning. Barnes reflects on her life, sourcing from historical iconography and personal narrative to further interoperate these realities of her identity.

 

Gallery Talk: Taylor Barnes will lead a gallery talk about her work in My Genesis Jan. 17, 2019 (Thursday), at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Artist Dialogue: Renowned quiltmaker Barbara McCraw and fibers artist Taylor Barnes will have a dialogue about their respective exhibitions, fiber as a medium and the cross-generational subject matter in their work. Jan. 31, 2019 (Thursday), at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the community.

Taylor Barnes, from Dallas Texas, is an MFA candidate at the University of North Texas in Fibers. Barnes works with concepts of race, identity, and isolation. Her practice is informed by personal experiences and the ways in which she maneuvers through life, which are further analyzed through critical and historical rhetoric. Her recent work consists of large-scale charcoal works on cloth, screen-print, and sculpture. Through this, Barnes reveals these experiences and the inevitable truths of being a black woman in America today.

Verb Kulture, hostPoetry Get Down and Slam

Join us at one of our most celebrated events! Whether you are a Virgin to the Mic or a Veteran looking to build your Rep, This Open Mic set followed by a Fierce Poetry Slam has it all. Fans will get to experience National level Poets along with the best Emerging Talent in North Texas. Hosted by Chicago-Born Poet Verb Kulture, who’s been featured on TV One Verses and Flow. DJ Kevin Flanagan will be on hand to set the mood. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Featuring: Verb Kulture and DJ Kevin Flanagan.
A woman at the Denton Black Film Festival.What: Amateurs and pros alike take the mic in our Spoken Word event.
When: 7 p.m.Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 for the Open Mic.
Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
Admission: 
$15 in advance/$20 at the door. Buy at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332140143
Contest Entry Fee: Open mic is free (but must pay admission fee).

What: Professionals in the biz show off their poetry prowess — giving you the chance to hear from some of the greatest spoken voices in our community.

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 for the Poetry Slam.

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
Admission: 
$15 in advance/$20 at the door. Buy at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332140143.

Contest Entry Fee: Poetry slam is $25 (includes admission fee). Individuals interested in participating should email DBFFcommunications@gmail.com with your name, stage name, email address and phone number. A limited number of slots are allotted. 

Prizes: 1st Place Prize $500 and 2nd Place Prize $250. Limited spots available.

DBFF Comedy Show

Featuring Piper the Comedian

Photos of Piper the Comedian and Comedian Hot TopicWhat: Need a laugh? Come see Piper the Comedian and Comedian Hot Topic who will make you laugh, cry laughing and laugh some more! Piper the Comedian is a veteran in the comedy business who spent time with Bernie Mac honing his skills. He is a master story teller and frequent Improv performer! And Hot Topic’s quick wit, non-stop energy and highly intellectual approach, along with a conversational down-to-earth delivery is rapidly catching hold in the comedy world.

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

Where: Black Box Theater, 318 E. Hickory, Denton, TX.

Admission: $12 in advance/$15 at the door. Buy at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332136730.

About Piper the Comedian: When Piper the Comedian asks Won’t He do it, the comic’s signature inquiry invites an enthusiastic “If you let him!” from crowds who flock to his performances. For Piper, the mantra is not just a catch phrase ripped from the pulpit; it is the inspiration behind the charming gregarious style that keeps loyal fans coming
back. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Gerald Piper is a decorated Navy veteran who always respected the art of comedy. However, after sharing the stage with comic legend Bernie Mac, he realized making people laugh was his calling. Mac, who later became a personal friend, helped Piper hone his innate skills.The humorist with the smooth baritone voice always had sharp comedic timing. Piper (inspired by his mother’s spontaneous sense of humor) mastered the art of storytelling early in life, often entertaining co-workers and family members with lively narratives spun from common everyday experiences. His gift? Finding the punch line in the ordinary, the joke in the absurd, and the humor in the pain. It is a command of life few can claim; an artistic acuity that comes from an amusing perspective on relationships and the dynamic between family members, friends and encounters with strangers on the street.

About Hot Topic: Got a topic?  He’s got the jokes. Since bursting on the scene at an open mic event at the J-Spot in Inglewood California in 2011, Comedian Hot Topic is making his a household name across the nation and around the world. His quick wit, non-stop energy and highly intellectual approach, along with a conversational down-to-earth delivery is rapidly catching hold in the comedy world. When he takes the stage Hot Topic sets a comedy pace that keeps the laughter rolling.  His comedy philosophy is ” Why cry over anything when you can laugh at everything!” From Bossier City Louisiana to the heart of Germany, Comedian Hot Topic says the very things that the audience was thinking, with a clever spin that makes it all hilarious.  From haircuts to single parenthood and everything in between, if you’ve got a topic, he’s got a joke. He’s performed on lineups with such widely known talent as Sommore and Bruce Bruce of the Royal Comedy tour, Eddie Griffin, Pierre Edwards, and Joe Torry to name a few.  He has also been a featured performer on the multi-city “We Got Next” Comedy Series and the Bay Area Black Comedy Festival.  His resume also include the European Comedy Tour where he performed  two different times for our US troops on deployment. He’s performed on numerous cruise ships and several countries including Panama.  And the result is always the same:  non-stop, side-splitting laughter.  Comedian Hot Topic has a style uniquely his own.  He is versatile enough to entertain audiences in comedy clubs, military events, family reunions, corporate events or wherever laughter is needed. 

Women, Wine and Wisdom Panel

Women, Wine and Wisdom Panel

Two Women Talk at Filmmaker MixerTwo Women Talk at Filmmaker MixerWhat: Come join in our inclusive discussion on the role of the female creative in the film industry. Following our cocktail hour, Amy Adrion, Director of the film Half the Picture, will be joining our panel discussion with fellow female industry professionals on the evolving filmmaking landscape for female leadership.

When: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110332138177


PANELISTS

Amy Adrion is a director and writer whose work has screened at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals, been broadcast on PBS and MTV, and won numerous awards including a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Student Film Award and the Impact Award at the Sarasota Film Festival/Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival. HALF THE PICTURE, Amy’s debut feature, had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and celebrates the groundbreaking work of women film and TV directors. 

Leslie Fields-Cruz is executive director at Black Public Media and executive producer at AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. Leslie started at Black Public Media (BPM), but frustrated with the lack of content that spoke to the diversity of experiences of the African diaspora, Leslie curated the first season of BPM’s award winning series AfroPoP: The Ultimately Cultural Exchange. Now entering its 11th season AfroPoP is still the only national public television series focused solely on stories about the global Black experience. 

Justina Walford is a Japanese-American filmmaker and artistic director of Women Texas Film Festival. Critically acclaimed writer, producer, and performer of stage and screen, Walford was formerly the A.D. of Split.Id Stage Performances in Hollywood. During that time, she produced a dozen full-length productions and countless one-night shows, many of which were her original work. Justina left Los Angeles for New York City and began creating with husband John Wildman, including writing and producing the horror thriller, The LADIES OF THE HOUSE, shot in Dallas. A past board member for Sunday Assembly NYC, Asian Film Festival Dallas, and Women in Film Dallas, Walford is also an avid dog lover residing in Southern Dallas.

With moderator, Freda Frimpong, a multi-talented media professional with a background in acting, writing and producing. Under her company, KUUMBA Media, content distribution can be added to the list. Freda is a Ghanaian-American, based in New York City and Accra. Her goal is to find the bridge between media and technology that compliments the African educational and entertainment sectors. KUUMBA Media, a video-on-demand platform to catch up on the latest African cinema, is founded by Freda and is operated by her and a small Afro-centric team in Brooklyn, New York. 

Black Cinema Panel

Black Cinema

WhatJoin our screening with Philadelphia creative Mike Dennis and his film, Black Film Now, followed by a discussion on current and future developments of Black Cinema.

When: 1:30 – 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

Where: UNT on the Square, 109 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201, 

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110337708819

How to Independently Distribute Your Film

How to Independently Distribute Your Film

What: Learn how to effectively market your film to major VOD and cable companies with the expertise of top-ranked distribution company, Distribber. Utilize the opportunity to have personal 1-on-1 meetings with fellow representatives and create a successful distribution plan for your product.

When: 2-3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110337707352

Creative Resources Expo

Creatives Resources Expo

A multi-event fair to take your work as a creative to the next level

Creatives Talk at Festival Networking MixerWhat: The Denton Black Film Festival presents our 2nd Annual Creative Resource Expo. With the vision to create a supportive community of artist from the varied facets of filmmaking, we present an opportunity for YOU to network with various local organizations as well as top-ranked industries in the craft of filmmaking. In addition to the expo, we will also host panels with a diverse set of industry professionals, providing insight into intellectual property and how to effectively market your film as an independent filmmaker. Do not miss this chance to develop your network and sharpen your craft! 

When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Guests may come and go as their schedule allows. 

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the community. RSVP not required. 

MARKETING AS AN INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER

When: 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 


PANELISTS

Leslie Fields Cruze started at Black Public Media (BPM), then known as the National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. She was promoted to Director of Programming in 2005 and oversaw the distribution of funded programs to public television. Frustrated with the lack of content that spoke to the diversity of experiences of the African diaspora, Leslie curated the first season of BPM’s award winning series AfroPoP: The Ultimately Cultural Exchange. Now entering its 11th season AfroPoP is still the only national public television series focused solely on stories about the global Black experience. In fall 2014, Leslie became BPM’s third Executive Director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the Black experience. Leslie serves on the board of directors of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and New Era Creative Space (NECS), a local community arts center in Peekskill, NY.

Freda Frimpong is a multi-talented media professional with a background in acting, writing, producing and under her company, KUUMBA Media, content distribution can be added to the list. She holds an MBA from Bryant University and is currently pursuing Computer Science as her second masters at Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus. She calls the University of North Texas, UNT, home as a past alumnus. Freda is a Ghanaian-American, based in New York City and Accra. Her goal is to find the bridge between media and technology that compliments the African educational and entertainment sectors. KUUMBA Media, a video-on-demand platform to catch up on the latest African cinema, is founded by Freda and is operated by her and a small Afro-centric team in Brooklyn, New York. 
Neil Ames of Distribber. 

Moderator: Kisha Imani Cameron is the Chief Talent Development Officer of Ghetto Film School (GFS), an award winning non profit. Kisha created the Focus Features Africa First Short Film Program and has an extensive background in development having worked at New Line Cinema and Walden Media. Her producing credits include BAMBOOZLED and SOMETIMES IN APRIL.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PANEL

When: Noon – 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

Where: Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 


PANELISTS

Connie Powell Nichols, Professor of Law at Baylor University. Connie she teaches intellectual property courses and is the Director of the Baylor Law School Intellectual Property Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.  Professor Nichols earned her J.D. cum laude from Maurer School of Law at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2000 after receiving her B.A. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997.  After graduation, she entered private practice with the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn, LLP where she practiced for 4 years in the firm’s Intellectual Property group, representing fortune 500 companies and major advertising agencies. Prior to joining the faculty at Baylor University, she served as corporate counsel of Global Hyatt Corporation where she managed the company’s global intellectual property portfolio and provided support to the company on all intellectual property matters including, technology, global privacy, advertising and marketing, and e-commerce.  Professor Nichols research focuses on the impact of new technology on traditional concepts of Intellectual Property. She is a member of numerous service organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she serves as president of the local Waco Chapter, The Links, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America. She is an executive board member of the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Waco Civic Theater.

Jennifer Porst, Assistant Professor, Department of Media Arts at the University of North Texas: Jennifer specializes in Media Industry Studies and teaches classes on topics including Media Law and Regulation and Digital Distribution. Her current book project, Broadcasting Hollywood: Disruption, Convergence, and Hollywood’s Feature Films on Early Television, is forthcoming from Rutgers University Press.

Evan Stone, Content Protection Dept. at FUNimation Entertainment, a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Evan is an Entertainment Lawyer in the DFW area with a focus on intellectual property infringement litigation. Stone has litigated copyright/trademark cases in every federal district of Texas, as well as the District of Colorado and the Northern District of Illinois. Most of this litigation stems from his role as part-time “Piracy Counsel” for FUNimation Entertainment, which is now a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Stone’s private practice handles a more general variety of cases, including general civil litigation and some criminal defense. Stone earned his BA in Radio/TV/Film at the University of North Texas. While there he also studied/worked in software engineering and 3D modeling. Stone later went on to study law at Texas A&M School of Law (then known as Texas Wesleyan School of Law.)

Human Trafficking Panel

Human Trafficking Panel

A Social Justice Panel

What: In conjunction with the film, The Broken Rose, screenwriters Tyrone Dangerfield, and William Uschold, and community guest, Chong Kim, will lead a conversation on the prevailing injustice of human trafficking in the nation Saturday. 

When: 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. 

Where: Black Box Performing Arts Center, 318 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110337749530.


Chong Kim is a renown world speaker and activist. She has appeared on notable Talk and Media shows like: BBC, HuffpostLive, CNN, CNBC, Montel and much more. Chong is also a writer and a Film/TV Producer. Her film, ‘Eden’ was released in 2012 starring Beau Bridges (The Baker Boys & Battlestar Galactica) and Jamie Chung (Hangover 2 & The Gifted). Chong Kim also published her memoir, Broken Silence, is also available via Amazon through Kindle and paperback, Barnes and Noble via Nook only or you can access her online store here: https://squareup.com/store/brokensilenceck/. Currently, Ms. Kim is in works to launch a scripted TV series about Human Trafficking called, ‘Every40Seconds’ which is about a female survivor of Human Trafficking who works alongside the FBI to teach them how to think like a trafficker in order to rescue the victims in time. While Ms. Kim continues to educate the public about the harms of exploitation and child trafficking, she does enjoy her time writing poetry, singing and traveling. To learn more about Chong you can access her website at: www.iamchongkim.com.

 

 

Mental Health Panel

Mental Health Panel

A Social Justice Panel

What: Join in our community discussion of mental health in the Black community as we highlight Director James Curry’s film, Masterjam.

Where: 1 – 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. 

When: UNT on the Square, 109 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110337707685


PANELIST

James Curry is the Producer, Director, Writer, Editor and Narrator of Masterjam. Active in the industry for over 25 years, he was educated at Full Sail, AFI and VCFA and has worked as a producer, writer, director, editor on numerous projects in LA and Minneapolis ranging from trailers, commercials, music videos and broadcast for NBC, FOX and ABC. He is the recipient of multiple Telly awards including one for Outkast’s “Stankonia” epk. Directorial projects for clients included documentary work for Prince’s “Life O’ the Party”. His short film ‘Westbound” was selected for the 2016 New York Short Film Festival, the Twin Cities Black Film festival and the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival. He earned his MFA in Film from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

What a Producer Does

What a Producer Does

What: Led by Eugene Martin, filmmaker and chair of the Department of Media Arts at the University of North Texas. 

When: 11 a.m. – noon Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. 

Where: UNT on the Square, 109 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201.

Cost: Free and open to the community, but must RSVP at https://www.prekindle.com/festivalfeature/id/97934110337707080

Youth Focus Group

Young Filmmakers’ Focus Group

What: Representatives from the award-winning production non-profit, Ghetto Film School, will share their expertise with young and developing filmmakers. High school and college students are invited to this focus group to discuss all aspects of the creation process, including how to navigate the film industry. Ghetto Film School’s chief talent development officer and a participant in one of their programs will offer advice based on their experience as media makers and be available to offer feedback on short clips from films made by focus group participants.Led by Kisha Imani Cameron (Ghetto Film School Chief Talent Development Officer) and Brittany Fennell (Ghetto Film School participant).

When: 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. 

Where: UNT on the Square, 109 N Elm St, Denton, TX 76201. 

Cost: Free and open to the college/high school students, but must RSVP. Seating is limited. 


Kisha Imani Cameron is the Chief Talent Development Officer of Ghetto Film School (GFS), an award winning non profit. Kisha created the Focus Features Africa First Short Film Program and has an extensive background in development having worked at New Line Cinema and Walden Media. Her producing credits include BAMBOOZLED and SOMETIMES IN APRIL.

Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell is a writer/director who graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in English. She hails from Silver Spring, Maryland and holds an MFA from New York University in Film and Television with a concentration in writing and directing. In her films, she poses questions about identity, society, race, and culture. It is vital to her that under-represented people are shown in film, media, and television. Her award-winning short film Q.U.E.E.N. has screened at over a dozen of festivals including Cannes Short Film Corner and premiered on Magic Johnson’s channel ASPiRE. Additionally, she was a runner-up in the First Time Female Filmmakers Contest with Women and Hollywood. She was also named the 2017 Horizon Award Winner through Cassian Elwes, Christine Vachon and Lynette Howell – Taylor at the Sundance Film Festival. As well as a recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation grant and a directing fellow for Film Independent’s residency program Project Involve. Additionally, she is one of the winners for the #NewView Film Competition with Glamour and Girlgaze which champions the voices of female filmmakers. She is also one of the filmmakers in the Tisch Other Showcase that focuses on diverse artists whose voices are underrepresented in the television industry. She directed a branded short film entitled She’s Revolutionary on the #MeToo founder Tarana Burke for Levi’s and Girlgaze. B.Monét won the 2018 Best Graduate Feature Screenplay for her feature film Q.U.E.E.N. She is a recipient of the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation grant at Fusion Film Festival as well as a finalist in the Women in Film Mini Upfronts Program and a Sundance Women’s Financing Intensive Project Fellow for her first feature film Q.U.E.E.N. Most recently, she was selected as one of the winners for the Queen Collective in partnership with Queen Latifah, Tribeca and P&G.

VIP Opening Film Reception

VIP Opening Film Reception

What: VIP pass holders and sponsors join us for the opening film reception for “Imitation of Life”(1959), a 60 year old film which charts #37 by BBC as one of America’s greatest films.

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. 

Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 3220 Town Center Tr, Denton, TX 76201. 

Bias Workshop - By Invite Only

Bias Workshop - By Invite Only

Turning Unconscious Bias into Conscious Thought

What: This workshop provides participants with a clearer understanding of their possible unconscious (implicit) biases and the effects on their behavior when interacting with others; reacting to events; and responding to situations. Many times, these behaviors may be unfavorable because implicit biases normally lack complete, accurate, or fact-based information. However, these biases can have significant control over our view of others and our view of the world around us. These biases are derived from two primary sources: 1) The unique environments that each of us grew up in and, 2) Our continued experiences with external situations and events. In addition to developing a greater self-awareness, an interactive dialogue is facilitated between the participants to allow for a better understanding of differing backgrounds and perspectives. The course is designed for participants to self-examine, recognize, and self-choose to correct unfavorable behaviors towards others and adverse responses to situations and events. Our diverse list of clients Includes National Public Radio (NPR), Home Depot, City of Dallas, Mansfield Independent School District, Coppell Independent School District, Dallas Regional Chamber, Choctaw Nation, Collin College, Preston Trail Community Church, Chickasaw Nation, Dallas Independent School District, Americas Chambers of Commerce, The Texas Legends, and others.

When: 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. 

Cost: Free but by invitation only. 

Featuring: Phil Claybrooke. Phil has over 25 years of executive experience and is the co-founder and CEO of Metrics2Results, Inc. (M2R). M2R is a corporation committed to creating a better understanding of the affect that unconscious (implicit) bias can have on an individual’s and organization’s success; as well as an organization’s ability to attract and retain high-talent individuals www.Metrics2Results.com. 
Filmmakers Award Brunch

Fillmakers Award Brunch

By Invite Only

What: Please join us for a private Filmmaker Brunch where we can celebrate those in the film industry and announce the award winning selections for 2019 DBFF. Awards will be given for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best College Student films, Best Texas Short and Best Texas College Short. Runner-ups will also be recognized.

When: 9 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019.

Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton – Denton Convention Center, 3100 Town Center Trail, Denton, Texas, 76201

Kirk Whalum Reception

Kirk Whalum Reception

A Private Event

What: Private, VIP reception after the Kirk Whalum concert. For VIP pass holders and festival sponsors. 

When: 8 – 9 p.m. Jan. 27, 2019. 

Where: the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 N Interstate 35, Denton, TX 76201, on the University of North Texas campus. 

An Evening with Speech of Arrested Development

An Evening with Speech of Arrested Development

A Special Conversation

Speech of Arrested DevelopmentWhat: The UNT Black Student Union hosts the Denton Black Film Festival for an Evening with Speech of Arrested Development as he shares and discusses one of his latest projects, a powerful 3 part mini-docu series, exposing a 400 year White Supremacist marketing campaign that purposely perverted the Black diaspora’s image worldwide. 

When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 (Thursday). 

Where: Lyceum, University Union. 

Cost: Not open to the public. Free for UNT students. 

Featuring: Speech is an award winning artist, consistently pushing the artistic and social envelope. He, is the leader of the 2x Grammy Award winning hip-hop collective, Arrested Development. He and the group have been a ground-breaking force in Hip-hop culture since 91. Their debut album, “3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of…” (EMI), sold over 4 million albums, earned them two Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Rap Single (Tennessee), 2 MTV awards, (People Everyday), a Soul Train Music Award, and the coveted NAACP Image Award. Rolling Stone magazine named them Band of The Year (92), while VH-1 named them one of the greatest Hip-hop artists of all time! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even named the AD smash “Tennessee” one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Speech has continued to be a trailblazer with the group and as a solo artist sharing stages with Nelson Mandela, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Hilary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, he is the categorical definition of legendary.

Jan. 12 Best of Fests Screening

Film Screening: Steps

Still from the Movie StepsWhat: Film screening of Steps, last year’s opening night film for the Denton Black Film Festival. Steps is the dramatic story about the shortcomings of a man. Brian Coleman, whom after being robbed and shot fourteen years earlier, succumbs to a life of addiction and ultimately loses the love of his life and the gift of knowing his only child. It’s a story of Recovery, Redemption, Love and Forgiveness and the steps people must take in their lives to get to these places. The film was the Opening Night Invitational Selection at the 2018 Denton Black Film Festival. Starring: Rob Morgan (Mudbound) as Brian and included in the cast is Pauletta Washington (Yes-Actress and Denzel’s wife) as Dr. Olivia. Executive Producers: Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Baumgartner, Eddie B. Harris, Greg Ferguson, Michael Parris.

Watch the trailer at https://vimeo.com/135329358. 

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.  

Where: Studio Movie Grill 35/NW Hwy 1 in Dallas. 

Cost: $10 for a ticket to an individual screening, and $50 for a pass pPass holders receive one admission each to any screening with no reservation required). Buy at https://www.bestoffests.org/. Students, use discount code “STUDENT19” at checkout to receive free admission. You must present a valid student ID at the theater for admittance.

About Best of Fests: 22 North Texas film festivals have teamed up to give audiences a taste of what their festival has to offer. Each festival will screen a short of feature length film. Entire event runs Jan. 10-13.

Jan. 20 Special Screening of Selma

Film Screening: Selma

What: In conjunction with the City of Dallas’ Martin Luther King, Jr. week, join DBFF and the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance for a special screening of Selma. The film is based on the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery led by Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders. Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a campaign to secure equal voting rights for African Americans in the face of violent opposition. The march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the Civil Rights Movement.

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.

Where: Oak Cliff’s legendary TexasTheatre, 231 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, Texas, 75208. 

Cost: Free, but must RSVP online

Photo Credit: Warren K. Leffler, Library of Congress

Film Run Time: 128 minutes.

Jan. 24 Half the Picture

Film Screening: Half the Picture

What: Screening of Half the Picture and discussion with director Amy Adrion.

When: 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24.

Where: Texas Woman’s University, in room 203 the Classroom and Faculty Office Building (CFO) room 203 (campus map: https://twu.edu/maps/denton-parking-map/)

Cost: Free and open to the public.