Chicago films screen at Black Harvest Festival

Seven films by Chicago filmmakers out of 25 features, documentaries and shorts will be screened at the 10th annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, Aug. 7-19, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

They are Mike Merrill (“Even Trade”), Ytasha L. Womack (“Love Shorts”), Eldridge Valentine and Elliot V. Porter (“Player in Training”), Steven Foley and Marie-Fran?oise Theodore (“Strange as Angels”) Kirby Ashley (“Blast On”), Greg Samata (“Island”), and Ayana Haaruun (“First We Pray”).

The filmmakers will participate in the Aug. 8 panel discussion, “How to Get a Movie Made,” MC’d by local filmmaker Sergio Mims. The 3 p.m. discussion is free and open to all.

New this year is the “Before the Movies” series from 7 to 8 p.m.: “Spoken Word,” Aug. 11; “Date on State,” a networking event, Aug. 13; “Hip Hop in the Movies,” panel discussion, Aug. 16; “Africa Night,” Aug. 18 and “Gospel Night, Aug. 19.

More than half the 25 films to be shown were directed by women, and films come from South Africa, Kenya, other African states, Great Britain and the U.S. Most directors will be present at the screening of their films.

On opening night Aug. 7, WVON’s Cliff Kelley MCs the tribute to Chicago artist, lecturer and curator Samuel Akainyah, recipient of Black Harvest’s second annual Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership. WGN’s Merri Dee is opening night honorary chair. A reception follows the tribute.

The Festival is sponsored by Target Stores, American Airlines and Chicago Public Radio.

The Film Center is located at 162 N. State St. See for the complete schedule. Purchase tickets, $9, at the Film Center box office or Ticketmaster. Free admission to several movies.