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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has opened registration for the inaugural Smithsonian African American Film Festival, the first of its kind in the Smithsonian’s 172-year history. Organized by the museum’s Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA), the film festival is a biennial four-day cinematic experience focused on celebrating African American visual culture and film.
The festival will be a four-day event Oct. 24–27. Details on featured films, updates on events and how to purchase tickets can be found at https://aafilmfest.si.edu a recently launched website for the film festival.
The festival will feature a wide range of film screenings from the museum’s storied collection, a juried film competition and national premieres. In addition, the festival will allow the public to attend masterclasses on filmmaking, editing and storytelling taught by preeminent African American filmmakers and screenwriters to dive deeper into the art of film. Each day will include an Exchange, a directed conversation addressing a pressing film-industry issue. Exchange topics include “Power of Place,” “The Great Migration: Home Movie Digitization Project,” “Code Switch” and “Media as a Tool of Social Action.” Throughout the festival there will also be various moderated discussions with festival filmmakers and film scholars.
The Smithsonian African American Film Festival will culminate in a “Night at the Museum,” a celebration event and award ceremony honoring two African American filmmakers: Madeline Anderson and Charles Burnett. Pioneering filmmaker and television producer Anderson is credited as the first black woman to produce and direct a televised documentary film, the first black woman to produce and direct a syndicated TV series, the first black employee at New York-based public television station WNET and one of the first black women to join the film editors’ union. Burnett is a writer-director whose work has also received extensive honors. Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Burnett’s work has been praised for its portrayal of the African American experience. Anderson’s I Am Somebody and Burnett’s Killer of Sheep will be screened during the festival.
For tickets and more information on the films, activities and public events, visit the website https://aafilmfest.si.edu. Festival screenings and activities will take place at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Freer|Sackler) and the National Gallery of Art. The public can get updates and join the conversation during the festival by following #AAFilmFest on social media. Media can sign up for updates via this link.
About the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts
The Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) showcases the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s dynamic image collection through changing exhibitions of still and moving images, publications and public programs. The CAAMA resource center and digital archive foster and support scholarship on the role, meaning and influence of images by and about African Americans and other people of African descent.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened Sept. 24, 2016, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
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