National Black Film Festival emerges in Houston amid black TV, film revival

By Ciara Rouege

Influencers of the black film and television industries are embarking on the golden road to long-awaited recognition, and “Moonlight’s” three major 2017 Oscar wins aren’t the only bricks on the path.

The commercial success of projects like “Blackish,” “Luke Cage,” “Atlanta,” “Insecure,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and several others reflect the American audience’s revived interest in black narratives. It’s also the “Golden Age of Black Television,” but this time around African-Americans are shaping the narrative.

The National Black Film Festival, which takes place April 5 – 9 at the Marriott Marquis Houston, comes to shine a light on the diverse contributions of the African-American cinema community while acting as a light for black aspiring filmmakers.

It’s the festival’s first year, but the appeal is built on generations of passionate African-American film producers, writers, directors, actors, cinematographers — and even ‘the mic guy’ — working toward storytelling greatness.

Professionals and amateurs within the television, digital and film industries will participate in several workshops and panel discussions focused on elements such as acting, screenwriting and even marketing. The panels and workshops are led by an impressive lineup of influencers including Lee Daniels Entertainment writer Nina Gloster, actor Yohance Myles and millennial marketing genius Everette Taylor.

In between sessions, festival goers have the option of delighting in dozens of independent film showings — “Behind Closed Doors,” “Candy,” “Ball is Life,” “A Cut Above” and “The Closet” just to name a few. The submissions range from shorts to feature films to documentaries, all selected with the purpose of giving filmmakers a place to groom their creative mindset and perfect their skills, organizers said.

But it isn’t all work and sitting in dark rooms, there will also be plenty of opportunities to make a connection. The festival opens with a meet-and-greet at The Flat and closes with a breakout session at Axelrad Beer Garden.

To take in the full breadth of this experience and all its perks, the Golden Pass is selling for $175.

If your pockets are a bit tight, show admission is only $10 a feature. Plus, there are tickets available for the individual workshops at prices ranging from $35 to $45.

Click here for the full schedule and registration.

This article was originally published on

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