Local films abound at 18th Black Harvest, Aug. 3-30

Scene from “The Curators of Dixon School”

Eight shorts by area filmmakers will screen as the Made in Chicago program Aug. 4 and 9, during the Gene Siskel Film Center’s 18th annual Black Harvest Film Festival, Aug. 3-30, showcasing the work of independent African American filmmakers throughout the U.S. and the world.

“As always, Chicago area filmmakers are especially front and center in our festival, and filmmaker appearances abound,” says Barbara Scharres, the Siskel’s director of programming.

A Black Harvest Feast is the opening night’s presentation Friday, Aug. 3 emcee’d by NBC5’s LeeAnn Trotter.  It includes the 2012 Deloris Jordan Excellent in Community Leadership Award to Quintin Primo III, chairman and CEO, Capri Capital Advisors, LLC and his wife, Diane Primo, who support many community causes that have impacted thousands of lives.

Eleven films in the festival are from local directors. Among them are three features: The Curators of Dixon School, a feature-length documentary by Pamela Sherrod Anderson about the efforts of South Side principals to change their schools’ atmosphere by adorning the walls with art; William L. Cochran’s street crime drama Englewood (The Growing Pains in Chicago) and Sidney Mansa Winters’s post-Iraq War thriller Father’s Day.

Scene from “Father’s Day”Shorts screening as a Made in Chicago program Aug. 4 and 9 include This Ain’t Yo Movie by Derek Dow, A Blind Eye and Chicago Blues by Vaun Monroe; One Shot by Eric Walker; The Package by Natasha Parker; The Testament of Karma by Allesandra Pinkston; Redial by Dion Strowhorn Sr. and Ishmael by Corey Harvey.

Many filmmakers will be present at the screening of their work.

On Saturday, Aug. 23, Black Harvest festival consultant Sergio Mims heads a panel on “Action! The Real Deal about Filmmaking: Money, Casting, Production, and Distribution.”  

The filmmaker panelists include directors William L. Cochran (Englewood); Natasha Parker (The Lost One, The Package); Kristi Angel Williams (The Christmas Tree) and Ken Wyatt (colored confederates).

For a complete schedule click here.

“People of Color,” a joint exhibition by School of the Art Institute of Chicago graduates Charles Anthony Lewis, Jr., and Christina Long, runs through Sept. 23 in the Siskel Gallery/Café.  At 164 N. State St.