The eighth annual Black Film Festival, presented by the African American Museum of the East End, starts Thursday night with three days of screenings and discussions to follow.
The "Central Park Five," a documentary about the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping "the Central Park jogger," a white woman in Central Park in 1989, will kick off the festival Thursday night at the Southampton Cultural Center at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns and Sarah Burns, the film chronicles the case from the perspective of the five teenagers for the first time.
After the screening, there will be discussion with panelists Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, Dr. Anael Alston, former NYS Principal of the Year and award winning educator, the Rev. Kirk Lyons, Sr., founder and Senior Servant Leader of BROTHERS KEEPERS, Kyle Braunskill, director of Safe Harbor (Prison) Mentoring, and Audrey Gaines, a local licensed clinical social worker. Admission is free.
On Friday, a live jazz show will be held at the Southampton Cultural Center with Charles Certain of "Certain Moves." Sheree Elder, along with guest poets, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $20 per person to help fund the annual Black Film Festival.
• "Beat the Drum," a 2003 film about a young boy orphaned after a mysterious illness strikes his village in KwaZulu-Natal, will be shown at 11 a.m. Director David Hickson; writer David McBrayer.
• "Beast of the Southern Wild," a 2012 film about a 6-year-old in the Bayou which earned four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, will be shown from 1:15 to 2:50 p.m. Director Benh Zeitlin; Producer Josh Penn.
• "Tug O War," a short film by KareemaBee, the 2013 scholarship recipient for the 20/20/20 film program at Stony Brook Southampton in association with Killer Films (Christine Vachon), will be shown from 3 to 3:10 p.m.
• “Roots” season 1, part 2 (1977), an Emmy award winning dramatization of author Alex Haley's 1976 novel, “Roots: The Saga of an American Family," will be shown from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. This episode was directed by John Erman and features Tina Andrews as Aurelia, Kunta Kinte’s girlfriend. A Q&A follows with director Erman and Andrews.
• "I am Slave," a 2010 film about a 12-year-old girl sold into slavery, will be shown at 4:15 p.m. Director Gabriel Range; Screenwriter Jeremy Brock
On Sunday, the festival wraps up back at the Southampton Cultural Center at 2 p.m., when Academy Award winning producer/director Nigel Nobel presents the world premiere of "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," a documentary about the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner at one of America’s oldest maximum security prisons.
Then, "Voices of Sarafina!," a 1998 documentary film made with members of the young South African cast and based on the 1987 Lincoln Center Theater/Broadway musical “Sarafina!” will follow.
Funding was made possible in part by Suffolk County Community Development, Stony Brook Southampton and the Town of Southampton.