The 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival Opens Friday

The 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival is right around the corner. Presented from November 3 through 16, this year’s Black Harvest boasts 20+ feature films, 10 shorts programs, filmmaker Q&As, special events, and more.

Enjoy these festival highlights and add them to your calendar…

Opening Night, November 3: Join the Gene Siskel Film Center and Chicago’s beloved entertainment reporter and friend of Black Harvest, NBC Chicago’s LeeAnn Trotter. Trotter will be our emcee for the night, guiding us through an exciting selection of short films from the Black Harvest Film Festival and the announcement of the winners of The Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Black Harvest Film Festival Prize. After this engaging program, we’d love for you to join us in the lobby, where we can mingle and celebrate this evening of Black cinema and Black culture in the spirit of Black Harvest!

John Singleton Retrospective: Celebrating John Singleton’s cinematic legacy, we’re honored to have Justice Singleton, filmmaker, scholar, and poet, and son of the late director, join us for a dialogue with Black Harvest Festival Coordinator Nick Leffel.

Chicago Premiere of MAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORY: The festival will culminate on November 16 with the highly anticipated Chicago premiere of MAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORY. This exceptional film offers a tender and intimate portrait of the billionaire writer, actor, filmmaker, studio head, and media mogul Tyler Perry. Directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz will be present for this event.

A special presentation of Cord Jefferson’s satirical comedy AMERICAN FICTION: Adapted from Percival Everett’s acclaimed 2001 novel “Erasure,” AMERICAN FICTION, boasts an impressive ensemble cast featuring Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Adam Brody, Erika Alexander, and Leslie Uggams.

Chicago Premiere of BLACK BARBIE: THE DOCUMENTARY: Witness the highly anticipated Chicago Premiere of BLACK BARBIE: THE DOCUMENTARY, a film by Lagueria Davis that illuminates the profound influence of Black Barbies on young girls. After the screening, be part of a virtual director Q&A session to explore the film’s cultural insights and celebration of Black Girl Magic.

Screening of SYMBOL OF THE UNCONQUERED: Oscar Micheaux’s timeless 1920 silent film will be accompanied by a live, improvised, and electronic music score, performed by a remarkable trio of saxophonist Edward Wilkerson, and guitarists Jeff Parker and Jonathan Woods.

The Black Harvest Film Festival will proudly showcase several Chicago stories. Here are some highlights to mark on your calendar…

Two collections of homegrown short films

NO COP ACADEMY: A DOCUMENTARY, Caullen Hudson chronicles a Chicago youth-led resistance against plans for a lavish ‘cop academy’ to be built in their community. Amidst educational disinvestment and pressing public issues, they stand as a beacon of resilience.

KINKY AND LOVING IT, David Weathersby’s empowering documentary illuminates the transformative power of joy, reclamation and pleasure within the Black kink community. Followed by a reception and Kink Fair with Black vendors, business owners, and more!

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