CRU (2014)

Director: Alton Glass

Film length: 85 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 4:50

Nearly twenty years after a tragedy, the reunion of four high school friends opens old wounds, exposes long-hidden secrets and paves the road to forgiveness and redemption.

A tight knit group of young high school athletes have a terrible crash after winning the state championship — a catastrophe that will shape all their lives. But as adults, some 15 years later, they come together again for a reunion that will open olds wounds, expose long-hidden secrets — and pave the road to forgiveness and redemption.

Little White Lie (2014)

Directors: Lacey Schwartz and James Adolphus

Film length: 65 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 3:30

Daring to ask questions about her true identity, around which her parents had kept a careful silence throughout her entire childhood, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz gently but firmly pulls back the curtain on matters of race and family secrets in her deeply personal and riveting documentary. Schwartz raises larger questions for us all: What factors—race, religion, family, upbringing—make us who we are? And what happens when we are forced to redefine ourselves?

Muted (2014)

Director: Rachel Goldberg

Film Length: 18 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 3:00

The Gladwells struggle to get the support of media and law enforcement when their teenage daughter disappears.

When her teenage daughter disappears, Lena Gladwell, a divorced African-American mother of two, is stunned by the inaction of local police.She and her older daughter Cara rally friends and family, flier the neighborhood and reach out to the media, all to no avail. They quickly learn the painful lesson that all missing children are not created equal.

Transcending Surgeon (2014)

Director: Sam Hampton

Film Length: 53 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 12:30

Transcending Surgeon is a one hour documentary film about top trauma surgeon Dr. Edward Cornwell III and the challenges and impact of his career. This documentary explores Dr. Cornwell’s family upbringing,mentors, education and other guiding forces which led to his successful career. It does so in the context of African American pioneers in medicine, and that many of his patients represent the realities of another side of urban African American life, communities beset by poverty, inadequate education and violence.

Why Do You Have Black Dolls? (2012)

Director:

Film Length: 25 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 1:30

A documentary that explores the history, beauty, and pride that is the black doll. Through its characters it reveals that the black doll is more than a plaything; it is a cultural artifact that represents the history of the people it depicts.

Planned Parenthood: A Vital Service (2011)

Film Length: 22 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th. 12:00

A documentary that allows voices to be heard that are more representative of Planned Parenthood’s true role in empowering the modern aspirational African-American experience; from Congresswoman Gwen Moore, to the Reverend Timothy McDonald, to the patients, health care providers, and front-line community organizers who every day see how Planned Parenthood works in the African-American community, and how Planned Parenthood works to ensure that everyone has access to America’s promise.

Breakfast

Director: Alaina Lewis

Film Length: 13 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 2:00

The Most Important Meal of the Day…

I am From

Director: Aleshia Mueller

Film length: 25 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 2:25

A short documentary film that highlights a trans formative process that validates and empowers women of color at Carleton College using elements of Native American spirituality and ceremony.

Momma’s Own

Momma’s Own 2103

Director: Harrell D. Williams Sr.

Film length:24 minutes

Screening: Saturday, October 11th, 11:30

A mother risks all to save her daughter from a bad situation.

Twin Cities Black Film Festival offers romance, suspense and reality (Star Tibune)

Twin Cities Black Film Festival offers romance, suspense and reality
Kristin Tillotson, Star Tribune

The film “In Search of the Black Knight” is a lighthearted look at a red-hot topic among black professional women — a perceived shortage of suitable black men. The documentary sets the tone Thursday for the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.

While this year’s fest runs the gamut from a Civil War-era drama to present-day violence in Chicago, a strong focus on relationships runs throughout, said organizer Natalie Morrow.

“Love, romance, infidelity, we’ve got it all,” said Morrow, a Minneapolis event planner who started the festival 11 years ago because “I wanted a real showcase for African-Americans in film.”

The 28 films, a mix of shorts and feature-length dramas and documentaries, are being screened at Showplace Icon Theatre at St. Louis Park’s West End complex through Sunday.

The lineup includes five films shown at the Sundance Film Festival. “The Retrieval” (3:35 p.m. Sunday), about a Southern teenage boy who falls in with bounty hunters tracking runaway slaves during the Civil War, has won several awards on the fest circuit. “Middle of Nowhere” (9:45 p.m. Sunday), about a woman who gives up med school after her husband goes to prison, features up-and-coming Hollywood actor David Oyewolo and won a directing award at Sundance in 2012.

“The Suspect,” one of the newest dramas to be shown, stars Sterling K. Brown (“Army Wives,” “Person of Interest”) and prime-time TV veteran Mekhi Phifer (“ER,” “White Collar”) as social scientists who conduct a racial-dynamics experiment in a small town by posing as bank robbers. Brown will be at the screening (7:30 p.m. Saturday).

The fest gets some local flavor from a short doc called “Firsts: Minnesota’s African-American Groundbreakers” (11:30 a.m. Saturday), which precedes a program of shorts made by Minnesota directors, most of whom will attend.

Not all of the filmmakers in the lineup are black.
“This is a multicultural festival,” Morrow said. “We have a diverse group of filmmakers, but the films are about the African-American and African experiences.”

Two moving selections shot in Africa are the half-hour doc “Small, Small Thing” (2:05 p.m. Saturday), the powerful story of a Liberian girl who was raped at age 5 and died from her injuries several years later, and “30%” (4 p.m. Saturday), a look at women’s efforts to influence politics in Sierra Leone.
The festival has a strong social element as well, with parties Thursday, Friday and Sunday at the theater’s lounge and a Saturday-night fashion show to be held at Faces Mears Park in St. Paul themed around Kerry Washington’s hit TV show “Scandal.”