African American Film Festival

February 17, 18 & 19, 2023

Welcome to the African American Film Festival hosted by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society and in partnership with the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice.

The Festival strives to deepen awareness of African-American culture and experiences while exploring community differences and commonalities through the art of film.

With much thanks to patron donations, the Society is offering students (with ID) the opportunity to attend the Festival for FREE! To participate, you must indicate in your email message which Films (by title) that you wish to attend for FREE.  Click here to claim your FREE tickets. You will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to retrieve your tickets.

DOCUMENTARIES

Friday, February 17

7 pm – Streetlight Harmonies

Saturday, February 18

2:30 pm – A Most Beautiful Thing

7 pm – Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

SHORTS

Sunday, February 19, 2 pm

  • A Vanishing Legacy: Black Captains of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Black Swimmers Overcome Racism and Fear, Reclaiming A Tradition
  • Black Jockeys and the Kentucky Derby: A History of Race and Racism
  • Streets Knights (Black Chess in Washington Square Park)
  • A Concerto is a Conversation
  • Mr. Tindley

A post panel discussion of Mr. Tindley will be held with Singer/Songwriter Brian Russo

Tickets:   $10 per film       $5 per film- Student rate     

Members receive priority seating

Thank you to Festival Premiere Sponsor

Archives of AAFF programs:

2020

2019

2018

 

 

 

Street Light Harmonies

View Screenings

Streetlight Harmonies is an entertaining documentary and journey through the bands, songs, and harmonies of doo-wop. The film uncovers a definitive period of music and the artists that defined it. Millions know the music but few know the artists and their history that laid the foundation for rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and built a bridge to the civil right movement. No other genre of music can conjure up the innocence of a nation, or the pangs of love quite like the timeless sounds of Doo-Wop. The film features interviews from artists Brian Wilson, Lance Bass, The Drifters and more. [2017, US, 83 minutes, Rated: G]

Alysha Prasad of A Room with A View, exclaims,” This documentary is truly a joy to watch from start to finish.” Nick Rocco Scalia of Film Threat remarks “It engenders great respect for the artists, and a desire not only to seek out and revisit the songs it features but also to go beyond the film's selections and uncover the rest of what doo-wop had to offer.”

An after film discussion will be held with Lois Powell of the pop music group Chantels.

Location: Cinema Art Theater (CAT) in Lewes   

Admission

  • $10.00 RBFS Members
  • $10.00 General
  • $5.00 Student - With Student ID

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


A Most Beautiful Thing

View Screenings

A Most Beautiful Thing is an amazing documentary based on the memoir by Arshay Cooper and narrated by Rapper/Actor Common that chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country. The team is made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago, all coming together to row in the same boat. A Most Beautiful Thing is the winner of a 2021 Gracie Award, nominated by the NAACP for an Image Award, nominated by the Critics’ Choice Association (Best Sports Documentary), nominated by the International Press Academy (Best Documentary), and named one of the best films of 2020 by Esquire.

The film explores not only the safety these men found on the water (where, as the captain reflected, “we were in a place where we could not hear the sound of sirens”), but the trauma of violence and cyclical poverty. It examines how these young men were able to support each other in reimagining a different future for themselves, and how rowing and the water provided the backdrop for that opportunity. These young men came together, after 20 years out of the boat, to race this past summer, not only to celebrate the team’s founding, but the fact that they are still alive. This is their story. [2020, USA, 95 min, Rated: Not Rated]

Kevin Crust of the Los Angeles Times writes, “An evocative hip-hop score, poetic narration by Common and crisp graphics appropriately underline the timeliness of the film.” Frank Sheck of Hollywood Reporter writes, “Powerfully demonstrates the healing potential of sports and the ways it can help bridge societal divides.

Location: Cinema Art Theater (CAT) in Lewes   

Admission

  • $10.00 RBFS Members
  • $10.00 General
  • $5.00 Student - With Student ID

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

View Screenings

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America is a galvanizing documentary interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, ACLU deputy legal director Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America. The film also explores the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it. [2021, USA, 117 min, Rated: PG-13]

Location: Cinema Art Theater (CAT) in Lewes   

Admission

  • $10.00 RBFS Members
  • $10.00 General
  • $5.00 Student - With Student ID

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


Six Short Films

View Screenings

A VANISHING LEGACY: BLACK CAPTAINS OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

A compelling news story from WUSA9 (Washington DC) about an African-American head boat captain and black woman oyster farmer who fight to preserve a minority presence in aquaculture on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. [2021, US, 4.15 minutes, Rated: Not Rated]

 

BLACK SWIMMERS OVERCOME RACISM AND FEAR, RECLAIMING A TRADITION

A fascinating documentary short about a new movement across the country that is reintroducing Black Americans to swimming. Studies have shown after decades of segregation, discrimination and lack of access have led to an alarming disparity: Black children today drown in swimming pools at a rate far higher than that of white children. The film tells a story of liberation and a reconnection to a rich history of swimming, through the voices of people seeking to change the pervasive myth that Black people don’t swim. Now new programs are working to overcome barriers and get everybody into the pool. This video was produced in collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism. [2021, US, 8 minutes, Rated: Not Rated]

 

BLACK JOCKEYS AND THE KENTUCKY DERBY: A HISTORY OF RACE AND RACISM

In this intriquing short news story from WAVE News (Louisville, Kentucky), it teaches us about the history of African American riders that once dominated the sport of horse racing and how learning about this part of history may light a spark in generations to come. The story carries us through the years with interesting footage of actual races and takes us through Kentucky Derby Museum with amazing photos and memorabilia. [2020, US, 4 minutes, Rated: Not Rated].

The Black Jockeys Traveling Exhibit from the Kentucky Derby Museum will be video streaming in the CAT lobby.

 

STREET KNIGHTS (Black Chess in Washington Square Park)

Street KNights is an enlightening documentary short, directed and edited by Matt Baron of Baron Films, that dives into the world of street chess hustlers in Washington Square Park. [2018, US, 15 minutes, Rated: Not Rated].

 

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

Kris Bowers is one of Hollywood’s rising young composers. At 29, he scored the Oscar-winning film “Green Book” (2018), and in 2020 he premiered a new violin concerto, “For a Younger Self,” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For all that success, though, he says that as a Black composer, “I’ve been wondering whether or not I’m supposed to be in the spaces that I’m in.” In Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers's documentary short, A Concerto Is a Conversation, Bowers traces the process of breaking into new spaces through generations of sacrifice that came before him, focusing on the story of his grandfather Horace Bowers. As a young man, he left his home in the Jim Crow South, eventually ending up in Los Angeles. Encountering discrimination at every turn, he and his wife, Alice, nevertheless made a life as business owners. Today, their legacy lives on through their family and community in South Los Angeles, where a stretch of Central Avenue was recently designated Bowers Retail Square — in case any question remained about whether it’s a place they belong. [2021, US, 13 minutes, Rated: Not Rated]

 

Mr. Tindley

An inspirational musical documentary by musician Brian Russo which features news footage dedicated to the incredible life and legend of Charles Tindley, known as the “Grandfather of Gospel” and “Prince of Preachers.” Mr. Tindley was born nearly 200 years ago in the quaint town of Berlin, Maryland where slavery was commonly practiced and he faced impossible odds. Preaching was not his sole passion; he was also a lyricist and dedicated much of his tome to composing powerful gospel music. [2022, US, 6 minutes, Rated: Not Rated].

A post film discussion will be led by Brian Russo, Singer/Songwriter.

 

 

 

Location: Cinema Art Theater (CAT) in Lewes   

Admission

  • $10.00 RBFS Members
  • $10.00 General
  • $5.00 Student - With Student ID

Click on the desired screening times for tickets


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Located on Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean coast in a vibrant resort town, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society promotes cinematic arts and provides education and cultural enrichment.