2015 African American Film Festival


2015 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

Saturday, April 11 – Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) celebrates its 12th year this year, continuing the tradition of presenting positive, provocative and penetrating independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers.


Established in 2003, the annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (LHAAFF) hosts nine days of film, workshops, filmmaker events, and community celebrations centered around African American independent film. The Seattle, Washington based festival is renowned for presenting positive, provocative and penetrating independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers. Films are selected by a jury panel and include contemporary and vintage offerings, representing local, national and international filmmakers. The festival features panel discussions, and audience ‘talk-backs’ with filmmakers, industry professionals and community leaders to provide a critical lens for featured films. The festival includes a host of evening programs, as well as matinee screenings during the week for middle and high school youth.

The Story of LHAAFF

Beginning as a weekend series, LHAAFF has continued to grow and expand over the past decade to its current form. The LHAAFF is a founding member of AFFRM, the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (www.affrm.com). AFFRM is a grassroots network of Black Film Festivals that empowers Black independent filmmakers with simultaneous theatrical distribution in their respective multiple markets. Anchored by the passion and prowess of founding film festivals like LHAAFF, AFFRM has released 8 films since 2010.


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Opening Night- Saturday 4/11/15  


August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand     6:00 pm

Director: Sam Pollard  2014 • USA • 84 minutes • Documentary

Film and theater luminaries including Viola Davis, Charles S. Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Phylicia Rashad share their stories of the career and life -changing experience of bringing August Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. Wilson’s sister Freda Ellis, his widow and costume designer Constanza Romero, as well as friends, colleagues, and scholars trace Wilson’s influences, creative evolution, triumphs, struggles and quest for cultural determinism before his untimely death from liver cancer. In partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre. Special appearance by Seattle August Wilson Monologue winners Josiah Townsend, and Zenobia Taylor. Opening Reception to follow.


Sunday, 4/12/15  


Horeta: The Journey Beyond Culture     12:30 pm

Director: Amen Gibreab  2015 • USA • 80 minutes • Documentary

A multi cultural group of students from the University of Washington are lead on a cultural journey deep into Ethiopia.  They return with much more than just souvenirs. Filmmaker in attendance.


Kindred a-couple-friends

Kindred The Family Soul- A Couple of Friends 3:00 pm

Director Jamall Hill  2015 • USA • 22 minutes • Musical Short

Kindred the Family Soul upended the conventional route of a releasing a new video for each song on their fifth, and latest, album A Couple Friends. Instead, Aja and Fatin Dantzler worked on a short film that would best capture the spirit of their message on the album.

5 - SRT performing in Cafe Society in 1940. Photo by Charles Peterson.

The Godmother of Rock and Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe     3:00 pm

Director Mick Csaky  2014 • 59 minutes • Documentary

During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe played a key role in the creation of Rock & Roll, inspiring some of its greatest stars including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. She may not be a household name today but this flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was one of the most influential singer-musicians of the 20th Century.

116_116__HPH0362-EditAn American Ascent   6:30 pm

Director Andrew Adkins, George Potter 2015 • USA • 58 minutes • Documentary

An American Ascent is a feature documentary about the first African American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali. In June 2013, nine African Americans set out to build a legacy and become role models for inner city kids and people of color all over American to encourage them to get outside. They did so by taking on the grueling 20,320 foot peak of the continent’s biggest mountain.


Monday, 4/13/15


Birth of A Nation (shown offsite at event partner NAAM) 7 pm

100 Years after Birth of a Nation: A History of Race Messaging • Lecture and Screening with Charles Mudede and Zola Mumford, MLIS.

2015 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the release of D.W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation, long considered the blueprint for negative depiction of Blacks in American media. Charles Mudede (columnist, The Stranger, Professor, PLU) and LHAAFF curator Zola Mumford, MLIS, discuss the lasting negative impacts of this film and pioneering Black filmmaker Oscar Michaeux’s brilliant resistance film, Within Our Gates. Presented by Northwest African American Museum, Northwest Film Forum, and Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.


Tuesday, 4/14/15 

School Films for Youth     10:30 am

Orisha’s Journey  10:30am

Director Abdul Ndadi 2014 • USA •  5:30 minutes • Short Film

Orisha’s Journey: Rooted in African myth, ‘Orisha’s Journey’ is about a little girl and the power of imagination. Orisha, who doesn’t believe in fables finds herself in one after meeting a lost spirit.


kasita micro

Kasita  10:30 am

Director Gabri Christa 2014 • Netherlands Antilles • 22 minutes • Short Film

Ten year old Luna finds a dog, but her grandmother forbids her to keep it, so Luna decides to take matters into her own hands. Together with her cousin Sol, Luna skips school and sets out on a journey to give the dog shelter in the small abandoned slave huts on the other end of the island. However, things don’t quite go as planned….

Home Delivery     10:30 am

Director Tom Brandau 2014 • USA • 15 minutes • Short Film

Baltimore, 17974. Two newspaper boys; one white, one African American; find their own ways to deal with the racial divides between their adjacent neighborhoods.


speechlessSpeechless    6:30 pm

Director Corey Hendrix 2014 • USA • 3 minutes • Narrative

A man struggles to find the right way to approach a woman, and his task is made easier by an unexpected connection.


Positively Beautiful     6:30 pm

Director Diveena Cooppan 2015 • South Africa; USA • 63 minutes • Documentary

In South Africa, five strangers living with HIV form and unlikely friendship that gives each a newfound strength, transforming them from ordinary citizens into extraordinary activists in the struggle against stigma, fear, and ultimately death at the hands of the disease. At the height of the epidemic, the group forms a network for people living with HIV. Screened in community partnership with  Fred Hutchinson Vaccine Trials Unit- Seattle ** BABES Network ** CFAR ** Center for Multicultural Health ** Neighborhood House- Project HANDLE ** DefeatHIV ** Filmmaker in attendance.


Wednesday, 4/15/15

Senior Citizen Film Screening      3:00 pm

Hu.mans   3:00 pm

Director Chidi Nobi 2014 • USA • 9 minutes • Documentary

Kenny Rivera is an aspiring MMA fighter who has been through his share of knocks in life and lets nothing get in the way of his rise to the top. Hu.mans is a documentary short that examines the stories behind the faces of the strangers we pass by every day.


On-Father-and-Sons-and-LoveOn Fathers and Sons and Love   3:00 pm

Director Camille DeBose 2014 • USA • 55 minutes • Documentary

An intergenerational exploration of love and what it means to be a man, this documentary film considers the work of the Harvard Grant study on human development and takes a close look at the role of love in the lives of four generations of men in one family. World Premiere.


Dave the potter2Dave the Potter: The Spirit Captured in Clay    6:30 pm

Director George Wingard 2013 • USA • 49 minutes • Documentary

With the discovery of “superior clay” in 1809 by Dr. Abner Landrum, the town of Edgefield, South Carolina would soon become known for the production of stoneware pottery. This documentary tells the story of the potter Dave, who created beautiful pottery as a literate slave during the turbulent 1800s. Producing thousands of pots in his lifetime, Dave also inscribed words, verses, and inscriptions in his works, many of which still exist today. Filmmaker will be in attendance.

Director Teddy Goitom 2014 •  Sweden; South Africa • 20 minutes • Documentary

Twenty years after liberation, ‘Afripedia, South Africa’ portrays a diverse new generation that is helping redefine the legacy of the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation. Starting out in in Cape Town we meet up with the video game label 2BOP and the inventor of the new limpop music genre, GAZELLE. Continuing on to Johannesburg we join heavy metal band REE-BURTH for a block party and take a tour around Soweto with the local style setters SMARTEEZ and their colorful street savvy fashion.


Kenya_Cyrus_Copyright_StocktownFilmsAFRIPEDIA: KENYA   6:30

Director: Teddy Goitom 2014 • Sweden; Kenya • 20 minutes • Documentary

Through the stories of its key talents, ‘Afripedia, Kenya’ takes an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars. Meet 3D-artist ANDREW KAGGIA, creator of the 3D-animated political short film, taking you to his futuristic vision of Nairobi and proving that disability is never inability. Afro-futuristic pop band and DIY-enthusiasts JUST A BAND redefine music videos and visual artist CYRUS turns found garbage into highly sought after artworks with his remarkable collection “Boobs” .


Thursday, 4/16/15

Middle School Film Shorts    10:30 am

AGTLRA Geek’s Guide To Love and Romance  10:30 am

Director Nickolas Gavin 2014 • USA • 13 minutes • Children/Youth

A short film adaptation of the Boyz, Girlz, and Sparkz teen comedy series, A Geek’s Guide to Love and Romance focuses on a grown up Alex Poindexter revisiting his teenage trials hopelessly trying to win the attention of his crush Trini Darling, at the fictitious Ralph Ellison High School.


AMorePerfectUnion_Still4A More Perfect Union     10:30 am

Director StoryCorps 2015 • USA •3 minutes • Animation

A short animation piece, part of the Story Corps project. Theresa Burroughs recalls her persistence to claim her right to vote during the Jim Crow era in the rural South.


G.I.R.L.1G.I.R.L.    10:30 am

Director Vanessa Baden 2014 • USA 20 minutes • Short Film

A young girl harbors an incredible gift that goes virtually unnoticed in a society that teaches her “it’s all about the boys”.



dodoosrevengeDoo Doo’s Revenge    10:30 am

Director Sev DeMyers 2014 • USA • 20 minutes • Short Film

A tough day in the life of Dudley Q. Washington. Known as ‘Doo Doo’ to his classmates and neighborhood friends, Dudley is dealing with a negligent mom, her abusive boyfriend, and a rough day at school that tests every ounce of his 10 year old patience. World Premiere.


After School Film Shorts     3:00 pm

AMorePerfectUnion_TitleCardA More Perfect Union   3:00 pm

Director StoryCorps 2015 • USA • 3 minutes • Animation

A short animation piece, part of the Story Corps project. Theresa Burroughs recalls her persistence to claim her right to vote during the Jim Crow era in the rural South.


BeFree1Be Free    3:00 pm

Director Jalen Coleman 2014 • USA • 6 minutes • Short Film

Two African American teenagers, Marcus and Joseph, have a run-in with an off duty police officer and one of the boys is shot and killed. Now Joseph has to face Marcus’ mother who wants to know what really happened that night her son’s life was taken. World Premiere.


Sketch 1Sketch   3:00 pm

Director Stephen T. Barton 2014 • USA • 21 minutes • Short Film

A 12 year old boy on the Autistic spectrum uses his extraordinary talents to survive on his own in an impoverished & dangerous neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.


righteousRighteous    3:00 pm

Director Cory Bowles 2014 • Canada • 11 minutes • Narrative

After an argument with his sister about her choice of boyfriend, a young black man spends the day blowing off steam by striking a psychological blow to a white male after believing her has been racially profiled and followed. The young man’s simple anti racist gag becomes much more after he discovers that the target of his retaliation is closer to home than he could have ever expected.

Son_Shine_8-1Son Shine    3:00 pm

Director Katrelle N. Kindred 2013 • USA • 20 minutes • Short Film

In the wake of the verdict after the Rodney King beating, twelve year old Hakeem Brown begins to slip. An honor roll student and obedient son, he is deeply troubled buy the changing political climate in his South Los Angeles neighborhood. Hakeem has to make the decision to be a part of the solution or to become part of the problem. World Premiere.


Ladies Night:  6:30 pm

learning this skinLearning This Skin  6:30 pm

Director Tyler Rabinowitz 2014 • USA • 20 minutes • Experimental

A thoughtful and graphic visualization of a woman’s struggle to find comfort and beauty in the skin she has been taught to fear.


Steps-in-search-of-940x620Steps of Faith    6:30 pm

Director M. Legend Brown 2014 • USA • 96 minutes • Narrative

What would you do if you told the world you heard God’s voice and no one believed you? Steps of Faith, is a light hearted dramedy about Faith Houston, an accountant, who is directed by God to move to a small town to work on a Hippotherapy farm helping children. after her family’s rejection of her choice to follow her heart, Faith goes from shoveling manure to falling in love, and finding the strength to believe in herself to do God’s work.



Ladies Late Night @LHAAFF: Last Night   8:00 pm

Director Harold Jackson III 2014 • USA • 93 minutes • Narrative

Sky’s last night in D.C. before a long planned move to North Carolina to settle down with her boyfriend is sidetracked by a chance meeting with an attractive stranger. Filmmaker in attendance.


Friday, 4/17/15

Blame2Blame   3:30pm

Director Kellee Terrell • USA • 15 minutes • Short Film

Haunted by the death of a teenage rape victim, a working class African-American father must decide whether to turn his only son into the police or destroy the only evidence of the assault.


The Summoning (formerly known as Haunted) 3:30 pm

Director Charles Murray 2015 • USA • 82 minutes • Narrative

Angela is a young remarried widow who is failing to reproduce the passion she had with her late husband NBA star “TJ” Johnson.  Given an artifact alleged to bring back the dead for one night, she invokes the mysterious medallion in a moment of weakness.  Angela is not only shocked that the spell works, but that TJ spirit is gradually becoming “solid”, and he’s not the same loving man that she remembers.


UC1Unwelcomed Conversation   6:30 pm

Director Tyrone Staples 2012 • USA • 5 minutes • Narrative

Has anyone ever welcomed themselves into one of your conversations without knowing the context? A reflection on what we think we know about other people and their business.


Christmas-Wedding-Baby-posterChristmas Wedding Baby     6:30 pm

Director Kiara C. Jones 2014 • USA • 90 minutes • Narrative

Three sisters struggle to find happiness through the holiday season as the youngest sister & bride-to-be is traumatized when she discovers that her first love has been hired as the wedding photographer. Filmmaker in attendance.


jay-boogie_mvstillLate Night @LHAAFF: Gonna Sip That Sip, Hit That Dip: The Emerging Queer Hip-Hop Movement

8:30 pm

Director Chasson Gracie, Willyum Beck 2014 • USA • 13 minutes • LGBTQ Films

A short documentary about the emerging queer hip-hop scene which is now becoming mainstream. In addition to documenting the scene, the film challenges assumptions around why  the queer hip-hop movement is progressing and its relation to the broader hip-hop movement.

lords of BSV 2Late Night @ LHAAFF: Lords of BSV     8:30 pm

Director Maria Soccor 2015 • USA • 78 minutes • Documentary

The young men of BSV live to die in Brooklyn. Coming from one of the most criminal and poverty stricken places in the US, a dance called Brukup has given them the discipline and foundation to succeed in other endeavors to forge a better way of life for themselves and their families. Lords of BSV is about The Bedstuy Veterans (BSV), from Bedford-Stuyvesant [BedStuy] Brooklyn, NY., who are the revivalists of Brukup, created by George “Bruck Up” Adams. Filmmaker in attendance; World Premiere.


Saturday, 4/18/15

Saturday Morning Shorts    1:00 pm

BlackLovePosterBlack Love   1:00 pm

Director Max Cole 2014 • USA • 8 min • Short Film

Inspired by the relationship between George Jackson and Angela Davis, a young couple is forced to make a difficult decision during the Black Power Movement.



ElCamino2El Camino   1:00 pm

Director Raquel Tresvant 2013 • USA • 8 minutes • Short Film

El Camino’ follows the path of the anonymous migrant in search of the New World. The journey leads to exploitation and raises questions of culpability and complicity in the host society and on the part of the immigrant who crosses the political line in the sand. This film explores the metaphor for the reality faced by migrants arriving in strange, new lands every day.


Rise Up1Rise Up!    1:00 pm

Director Marcellus Cox 2014 • USA • 14 minutes •Short Film

A young black man from the 21st century travels back in time to meet Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He then gives them a modern man’s perspective on social and cultural issues in their struggle for civil rights and racial equality.


AmericaFallsStills_146American Falls     1:00 pm

Director Be’ Garrett 2013 • USA • 25 minutes • Narrative Short

The year is 1965, the height of the Civil Rights Era. One night a stranger sporting ‘city clothes’ checks in, the first Black man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen at their family-run rural Idaho motel. Yoshiko, Toru’s precocious 13 year old daughter, takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of this man, especially after two detectives come knocking on their door in the middle of the night, and Toru must balance his role as a small business owner, a father, a husband, and a minority in America.

G.I.R.L.1G.I.R.L    1:00 pm

Director Vanessa Baden 2014 • USA 20 minutes • Short Film

A young girl harbors an incredible gift that goes virtually unnoticed in a society that teaches her “it’s all about the boys”.


The-Greater-the-WeightThe Greater The Weight   3:30 pm

Director Marlene Millar, Phillip Szporer 2008 • Canada •5 minutes • Experimental

An exploration of the body as an instrument in a symphony of rupture and flow. A reflection on when one stumbles, whether on accident or on purpose. Sometimes one can recover quickly, sometimes it’s not that easy.


nzinga-02Njinga, Queen of Angola    3:30 pm

Director Sergio Graciano 2013 • Angola; Portugal • 100 minutes • Narrative

Njinga, Queen of Angola: In the 17th century a warrior woman fights for the independence of Angola. After witnessing the murder of her son and watching her people being humiliated by Portuguese colonizers, Njinga will become a Queen and struggle for their liberation embodying the motto: those who stay fight to win.


In The Morning1In The Morning    6:00 pm

Director Nefertite Nguvu 2014 • USA • 75 minutes • Narrative

Set in Brooklyn, In The Morning is a searing journey through the lives of nine smart, fiercely articulate New Yorkers. Friends: Harper, Ravi, Fez, Bly and Amara gather to bid farewell to one of their own moving abroad, and debate the compromise and loss of their youthful ideals regarding marriage, fidelity, life and love. For everyone, life will be indelibly altered in the morning.


Maybe Dreams Can Come True1Late Night @LHAAFF: Maybe Dreams Can Come True    8:30 pm

Director Electra Weston 2014 • France; Germany; USA • 100 minutes • Narrative, Documentary

A film that rides the line between documentary and narrative, exploring the complex lives of expatriates. Chocolat is a young African American performer torn between nurturing her love relationship in the USA while maintaining a booming entertainment career in Europe. Chocolat uses a small video camera as a tool to explore and question her life through interviewing others. The camera captures a full palette of lifestyles, politics, movements and passions as Chocolat looks for answers to her deepest questions. Filmmaker in attendance.


Sunday, 4/19/15

GWCTDNEGuess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Naija Edition     2:00 pm

Director Fum Fum Ko 2014 • USA • 15 minutes • LGBTQ Short

A successful young woman challenges the mold her traditional Nigerian American mother has cast for her by bringing home an unexpected surprise.



Starlite2We Came To Sweat     2:00 pm

Director Kate Kunath, Sasha Wortzel 2015 • USA • 70 minutes • Documentary

Facing eviction, the oldest Black owned gay bar in Brooklyn relies on a passionate community in its fight for survival.


Closing Film, Sunday 4/19/15

Cincinnati Goddamn1Cincinnati Goddamn     6:00 pm

Director Paul Hill, April Martin 2015 • USA • 103 minutes • Documentary

This feature-length documentary is about police brutality, institutional racism, and the power of grassroots activism in Cincinnati, Ohio. The film focuses on the murders of Roger Owensby, Jr. and Timothy Thomas at the hands of Cincinnati Police. This poignant and powerful story of injustice is told through news reports, first-person accounts and cinema verité footage of the surviving families’ long-suffering battle for justice. Filmmaker in attendance; World Premiere. Closing Reception to follow.


Press Photos

august_wilson_the_ground_on_which_i_standThe-Greater-the-WeightNJINGA-1learning this skinChristmas Wedding Baby 1lords of BSV 1AMorePerfectUnion_TitleCardSketch 1dave_the_potterIn The Morning1An American Ascent3CGblack+men+w+signs3

[Films are as follows – August Wilson; The Greater The Weight; Njinga; Learning This Skin; Christmas Wedding Baby; Lords of BSV; A More Perfect Union; Sketch; Dave the Potter; In The Morning; An American Ascent; Cincinnati Goddamn.]


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