Film Festival brings intersectional struggles to light
The Denton Black Film festival, branded DBFF on the sleek black and color-accented flyers, brochures and posters popping up all around Denton, was created in 2014 based on an idea from Harry Eady, the festival’s director. The festival is all about giving back to the community, both through exhibiting underrated independent art and by donating funds from the festival to the Denton African American Scholarship Foundation.
This year, the DBFF continued to expand beyond films to include a wider selection of art like poetry and music, the latter being steered by DBFF’s musical director Frederick “Nick” Nichelson.
Nichelson is the founder and bass player of jazz band Fingerprints, and since he first got involved as the musical director in the festival’s first year, he has seen the festival grow from a one-day local event to a five-day event featuring 64 films, drawing filmmakers from various parts of the country.
“Even though Denton has a very, very vibrant music community, especially with the university, we didn’t see a lot of collaboration among the community and the school,” Nichelson said. “It was almost like we were living in two different worlds. People from Denton seldom ever participate in things that are on campus and vice versa. The African American students and people in general, when we mentioned the festival, they’d look at us like we were talking a foreign language. [That] was the early response.”