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March 23-26, 2023

Are you a movie buff or simply enjoy a good film? Check out this year's Annapolis Film Festival! 

Each year there are films featured in an “African-American Showcase” that premiere at venues in the immediate area such as Asbury United Methodist church. 

This year’s African-American films are listed below.

Opening Night Film – Chavalier

Inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner who rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette and her court. 

The Black Experience Showcase – Invisible Beauty

“Black is beautiful” – Bethann Hardison already knew this well before the fashion industry acknowledged it. Working with some of the top designers of the era, including Calvin Klein, and Oscar de la Renta, she became one of the first Black models to achieve international success. As a runway model she was part of the American team that participated in the historic fashion faceoff against French designers at the Palace of Versailles in 1973 where the American designers presented a new, diverse style that celebrated African American models and impressed the French audience. After winning the “Battle of Versailles,” Bethann was emboldened to win the War on a racist industry that systematically excluded models of color. She founded the Bethann Management Agency and represented a diverse roster of supermodels. She mentored Naomi Campbell and others. With her model friend Iman, she co-founded the Black Girls Coalition to promote the visibility and advancement of Black models. In 2013, she co-founded the Diversity Coalition, which held fashion brands and designers accountable for their lack of diversity and provided support and resources to models from underrepresented communities.

Butterfly In The Sky

A nostalgic journey into the world of the beloved children’s television show Reading Rainbow that ran for 26 years on PBS, Butterfly in the Sky tells the inspiring story of a handful of broadcasters, educators, and filmmakers who believed television could inspire a lifelong love of reading. It also tells the origin story of how LeVar Burton (known for playing the role of “Kunta Kinte” in the TV mini-series Roots) became the show’s iconic host.

Little Richard: I Am Everything

From the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll to the whitewashed canon of American pop music, this explosive documentary reveals the true innovator—the originator—Richard Penniman. Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard’s complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon’s life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions, careening between God, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Little Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression. The world tried to put him in a box, but Little Richard was unabashedly everything.

Move When the Spirit Says Move: The Legacy of Dorothy Foreman Cotton

A bold, highly effective civil rights movement leader, Dorothy Foreman Cotton inspired generations of activists through powerful freedom songs and eye-opening life lessons through her Citizenship Schools. Charismatic, courageous, and the only woman on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's executive staff, Dorothy motivated waves of young people to stand up against pervasive injustice and racism. Move When the Spirit Says Move illuminates Dorothy’s incredible work, her legacy, and her lasting influence across generations.

The Right to Read

When a child can’t read, their chances of incarceration, homelessness, and unemployment increase. That's why Oakland-based NAACP activist Kareem Weaver believes literacy is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time. “What good is winning the right to vote if we can’t even read the ballot?” The Right to Read shares the stories of those who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of life-long success: the ability to read.