The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) announced 15 films selected from 800 entries submitted from across the globe for the BHERC 23rd “Reel Black Men” Online Film Festival on BHERC TV August 1 10:00 AM PST, through August 8, at 5:00 PM with a Q and A ZOOM session with the filmmakers at 6:00 PM on Sunday August 8.
“I am excited about the selections for the 2020 festival. They are truly exceptional. They are great stories that include drama, horror, romance comedy, documentary and even sci-fi,” elated John Forbes, executive director of BHERC. “The content is diverse and tells both historical and contemporary, fictional and non-fictional stories. Compelling in many cases including the issue of the COVID – 19 pandemic.”
The Reel Black Men film festival makes its online debut with 15 short films from emerging Black filmmakers. BHERC takes pride in featuring these selected shorts created by Black male filmmakers. This screening and dialog is an opportunity for emerging African American male directors to showcase their skills – directorial skills in particular– talent and vision through film screenings, while giving the audience a chance to view and discuss the artistry, passion and sacrifice involved in the independent filmmaking process.
The 2020 class of Reel Black Men Film filmmakers include
• “11-95″ Paul Lindsey, Director – 11-95, is the Police Code for a Routine Traffic Stop. The film follows Marvin who gets pulled over by a Police Officer as we witness the happenings during the encounter.
• “Beyond Galilee” T. D. Antoine, Director – In August of 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was invited to Shreveport, Louisiana to deliver a speech at the Galilee Baptist Church as part of a voter registration workshop. ‘Beyond Galilee’ explores how King’s prophetic words unfolded in the years that followed by highlighting the key events of the city’s Civil Rights movement.
•”Black Boys Don’t Cry” Victor Gabriel, Director – Javion is a dutiful and loving black father, protector, and provider of the family. However, he is haunted by a secret that he continues to bury in silence.
•”Bobby James Crimson” Directors – A young, gifted athlete who practices ballet in secret must confront his dad the night he receives a scholarship from Juilliard.
•”Catch A Girl” LeRon E. Lee, Director – With his elementary understanding of courtship, 11-year old Darius meets with friends that conspire to play a popular “predator vs. prey” childhood game, targeted to take advantage of girls
•”Invisibility Glasses” Geofrey King, Director – Village hustler and playboy finds a pair of sunglasses that drops from the sky making him invisible. He has fun playing practical jokes on the town local crooks
•”Percy & Caesar: A Slave Love Narrative” Jamil Akim OQuinn, Directors – Caesar, is a Mandingo field hand in the process of being groomed for a bareknuckle boxing match.
• “Remember Tomorrow” Hozael Morgan, Director – After a mid-season concussion, a prized running back convinces his agent to negotiate his rookie contract hiding his injury to play no matter the cost.
• “Say Can You See” William Leigh Director – Explores the unsettling visual conscious and unconscious thoughts of a black man wanting to be seen by the world without judgment.
• “The Chocolate Shop” Ian Walker, Director – Sarah, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s, wanders into a chocolate shop. Having eaten the chocolate, Sarah recalls who she is and discovers a shocking memory that leads to a bittersweet experience
• “The Knight and the Princess” DáSean Clark, Hannah Yu, Fallon Wallace, Directors – The story begins as a classic fairytale. The Knight travels through the land on his noble steed in search of a tower rumored to be holding a beautiful princess prisoner.
• “The Last Ride” Reilly Dowd, Director – Clayton drives Uber to earn cash to keep him afloat. On a stormy night involving rowdy passengers and an aggressive police officer, tension builds, and Clayton contemplates finding the courage to stand up for himself.
• “Theo’s Trade” Stephen Lentini, Albert Lawrence, Director – A disheartened news reporter escapes his city’s racial-fueled conflicts by performing historical re-enactments at a small-town museum. When an ambitious colleague tempts him to return to broadcasting, he’s compelled to consider what his responsibility to his community demands.
• “Vessel” Devon Thomas, Director – White-owned movie distribution companies refuse to accept Benjamin based on race, prejudging his ability to deliver. At the same time Extraterrestrial beings deemed ‘black bodies’ ideal for their survival, with Benjamin being one of interest. Both secrets are revealed; lack of opportunity in the industry and a hidden war between good and evil extraterrestrial beings.
• “White Strings”, Alejandro G. Charles, Director – When a dog walker and a thief team up to rob houses, their plan immediately goes wrong when one of the houses contains something more than they can handle.
The BHERC Reel Black Men Film Festival continues to bring to the public outstanding shorts created by male emerging filmmakers of African American descent. This 23rd year adds an opportunity for participants to screen the films online at BHERC TV. A new streaming service launched in February 2020 that provides short film content — from comedy to drama, narratives to docudrama — produced and directed by Black Filmmakers. BHERC TV is a leading worldwide provider of narrative and documentary short films about the African American experience as well as content from across the diaspora and diverse populations.
Screenings take place at www.BHERC TV August 1 10:00 AM PST to August 8 5:00 PM with a Q and A session with the filmmakers on ZOOM at 6:00 PM on Sunday August 8. Log on to www.bherc.TV to register. Admission to the festival is $10.00. For general and festival information, please call 310-284-3170, email John Forbes at John@bherc.org or visit the website www.BHERC.org. For more information about BHERC TV log on to www.bherctv.com.