The Rehoboth Beach Film Society in partnership with The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice are proud to present the inaugural Rehoboth Beach African-American Film Festival. T The mission of this event is “to deepen awareness of African-American cultures and experiences, and to explore community differences and commonalties through the art of film.”
Four films will be presented over President’s Day weekend.

This year’s selection of films will cover a diverse range of topics, including police violence against black youth, the artistic legacy of black photographers, and the shifting definition of success in the lives of a group of urban thirty-somethings, to convey the complexity and vibrancy of the black experience in contemporary America. 

 

FRUITVALE STATION

Friday, February 16 at 7:00 pm

Admission: $10 per person. Reservations can be purchased online here or by calling the office, 302-645-9095. Available tickets will be available at the door. Please note: tickets are not refundable.

Location: Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2, Dartmouth Plaza, Lewes map 

Opening the festival will be Fruitvale Station, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The film follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), whom he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter.

Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day. Oscar's life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area - and the entire nation - to its very core.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls Fruitvale Station, “a gut punch of a movie. By standing in solidarity with Oscar, it becomes an unstoppable cinematic force.” [2013, US, Runtime: 84 minutes, Rated: R].

 

THROUGH A LENS DARKLY

Saturday, February 17 at 4:30 pm

Admission: $10 per person. Reservations can be purchased online here or by calling the office, 302-645-9095. Available tickets will be available at the door. Please note: tickets are not refundable.

Location: Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2, Dartmouth Plaza, Lewes map 

The first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history to discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. From slavery to the present, these extraordinary images unveil a world confronting the difficult edges of citizenship and what it means to be human.

Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book Reflections in Black and featuring works by Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a community of storytellers who collectively transform singular experiences into a journey of discovery – and a call to action. “A fascinating, visually stunning, emotionally devastating documentary,” writes Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post. [2014, US, Runtime: 92 minutes, Not Rated].

 

BIG WORDS

Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 pm

Admission: $10 per person. Reservations can be purchased online here or by calling the office, 302-645-9095. Available tickets will be available at the door. Please note: tickets are not refundable.

Location: Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2, Dartmouth Plaza, Lewes map 

Written and directed by Neil Drumming and set in Brooklyn on the eve of President Obama’s history-making election, three former members of a once promising hip-hop crew cross paths again to discover that some things never change. Former frontman John, once known as Big Words, is now a working class guy who raps only to himself. James is a publicist living with his boyfriend, far removed from the days when he rhymed about getting girls. While DJ Malik still spins records with a longing for the glory days. Together again, the friends reckon with dreams deferred and dreams yet to come. Eric Kohn of Indiewire.com writes, “Drumming explores the disconnect between public and personal triumphs with a witty eloquence that stands in contrast to…mainstream American movies in general.” [2013, US, Runtime: 93 minutes, Not Rated].

 

3 ½ MINUTES, 10 BULLETS

Sunday, February 18 at 2 pm

Admission: $10 per person. Reservations can be purchased online here or by calling the office, 302-645-9095. Available tickets will be available at the door. Please note: tickets are not refundable.

Location: Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2, Dartmouth Plaza, Lewes map 

Closing the festival will be the powerful documentary 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets. On Black Friday 2012, four African-American teenagers stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. One of them, Jordan Davis, argued with Michael Dunn, a white man parked beside them, over the volume of music playing in their car. The altercation turned to tragedy when Dunn fired 10 bullets at the unarmed boys, killing Davis almost instantly. The seamlessly constructed, riveting documentary film 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense laws by weaving Dunn's trial with a chorus of citizen and pundit opinions, and with Jordan Davis' parents' wrenching experiences in and out of the courtroom. Dennis Harvey of Variety.com calls it, “tight and accomplished on all levels.” [2015, US, Runtime: 98 minutes, Not Rated].