What: Denton Black Film Festival (virtual)
When: January 27- February 6, 2022
Tickets + more info: dentonbff.com
The Denton Black Film Festival planned its most robust lineup yet for 2022: a technology expo, musical performances spanning from jazz to gospel, art exhibitions and of course, standout short films.
Denton Black Film Festival's eighth year, however, turned out to be the second that had to go virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the recent surge in cases due to the omicron variant of the virus.
Harry Eaddy, founder of the Denton Black Film Festival, is still as passionate and hopeful now about the festival's impact as he was before omicron. The festival will go on.
Eaddy sees the social and political fires of the last several years having "awakened a sleeping giant" among Black creatives and artists in a profound way.
"A lot of creatives of color were just kind of going along before; 'going along to get along,'" Eaddy said. "And then suddenly, you had a changing political climate. People who were beginning to feel like... 'America may not be for you.' And so it caused a lot of them to go 'Wait, wait, man, what's going on? What are you talking about?' People started to think about their experiences in America, or at work."
Last year, the festival had about 9,000 virtual attendees. Eaddy thinks close to the same number will attend this year, as word spreads that Denton Black Film Festival is more than just a regional festival; it's an event showcasing works with national implication
"Given the climate that we've had over the last three to four years, it's kind of polarized the country," Eaddy continued. "I think this festival will be one thing that we can point people to that is fresh and good, but that also leaves people to think, 'Okay, there's still more work to be done.'"
So even with the virus throwing a wrench in plans (what else is new?), Denton Black Film Festival took the disheartening turn as an opportunity to exemplify a timeless show business asset in action: improvisation.
Not to mention the helpfulness of post-pandemic binge-watch culture. For viewers tuning in to stream the Denton Black Film Festival, the 65 short films featured this year should be a breeze.
Here's how the acclaimed film festival will pan out.
How will the festival work?
Denton Black Film Festival will still feature more than 100 films this year, all available to VIP ticket holders. Festival planners have adjusted the schedule to start showing films at 12:00 am Central on Thursday, January 27th.
Films will be streaming virtually for ticket holders to view at their leisure until 11:59 p.m. Central, Sunday, February 6th.
Virtual offerings will include special screenings with Q&As from the filmmakers, and panel discussions in social justice, technology, and the film industry.
Here are 5 highlights to look for:
- Little Satchmo
To the world, Louis Armstrong is iconic as a symbol of musical genius, unparalleled success, and unassailable character. To Sharon, the child Armstrong hid from the world, he was simply Dad. Sharon Preston Folta was a daughter sworn to a life of secrecy until now. See this documentary film and join a live stream Q&A with Sharon on January 27.
- The Significance of Sidney
What Jackie Robinson meant to the world of sports, Sidney Poitier meant to the world of film. Film historian Charles Woods examines the actor's true legacy in this video essay. On January 28th, watch “The Significance of Sidney” and join a live stream conversation with host Bart Weiss and guests Charles Wood and Mike D.
- 'Take A Breath' photo exhibit
Social justice up close. Beatrice McBride's exhibit documents the tumultuous weeks between the fatal police killing of Daunte Wright & the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death. This exhibit includes an interview with Michelle Gross, founder of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).
A documentary feature film investigating the historical, cultural, and societal norms around women and money. Why do women often take a backseat to their finances? See why it's so important for women today to take control of their financial futures.
- TEC talk: Women In Tech
FinTech, NF Ts, cryptocurrency. While the goal of these technologies is to improve our quality of life, one discussion that has been at the forefront is workers that technology has often displaced. Employment gaps, workplace culture issues, unequal pay, and leadership position gaps are common issues that women in tech have had to navigate. On January 28, join panelists for this tech expo as they discuss these issued, and the role of women in tech.
- The Woodstock of House
"The Woodstock of House" details the triumph of disco music (attacked by mainstream America in the 1970s for being too black, too Latin, and too gay) and its mutation, development, and re-birth as House Music. This documentary dives into the untold story of the international genre of house music.
- No Time To Waste: The Urgent Mission of Betty Reed Soskin
"No Time to Waste" celebrates legendary 98-year-old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin's inspiring life, work and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America's story. This film follows her journey from a kitchen stool in a national park theater to efforts that have changed the way the National Park Service conveys African American history to audiences across the U.S.
- The Sleeping Negro
The feature film debut from Skinner Myers, which premiered at Slamdance FF and internationally premiered at the Champs-Elysees FF in Paris, France. It won the FIPRESCI award at IFF Mannheim Heidelberg and the Visionary Award at Cinequest. This narrative film tells the story of a young Black man who must resolve the personal meaning of his blackness when faced with a demand of corporate greed.
This "screendance" is an international beauty directed by Louise Coetzer. "Lacuna" traces the unfilled spaces of the brutalist architecture enveloping the dancer. It is a cinematic study of light and shade, seen and unseen.
- The Heaviest Crown
This short documentary directed by Kharah Bell follows black women and the pressure they face when it comes to their hair. You'll be in awe when you watch and learn about this singular experience as it unfolds on screen.
(description details courtesy of Denton Black Film Festival)
How Do I Get a Ticket?
Tickets are being offered as 2022 Virtual Experience Passes. The two options are as follows:
VIP VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE PASS
- Access to ALL VIRTUAL experiences. Exceptions: Films with geographic restrictions and audience caps. Suggestion: Pre-Order Early to avoid any audience caps.
- Special Pre-Festival Virtual meeting to share festival happenings, provide personal scheduling help, and answer any questions.
- Special Invitation to the Virtual Film Awards Celebration
- Invitations to DBFF events throughout the year
- 10% Discount on Passes for 2023 DBFF (May be added to already discounted pricing)
- Eventive Help Desk
FIVE BLOCK VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE PASS
- Five (5) Individual film virtual film screening blocks and all ticketed events of your choice. Exceptions: Films with geographic restrictions and audience capacity.
- Free screenings, panels, talks, etc. as listed in the festival schedule.
- Eventive Help Desk
Read more information and grab a pass online now at dentonbff.com.
Remember when Denton Black Film Festival partnered with Panavision last year? Their partnership is still going strong!