2018 Winners

WHAT DEATH LEAVES BEHIND

USA 86 MINS

BEST FEATURE

After a kidney transplant, Jake Warren experiences a constant plague of nightmares he believes to be visions of his donor’s violent murder. This non-linear psychological thriller follows him down a dark path of vengeance and unbearable truth.

Director: Scott Hamilton

Writers: Rachel Ofori, Chad Morton, Scott Hamilton, Nico Giampietro

Producers: Rachel Ofori, Scott Hamilton

Cast: Christopher Mann, Vincent Young, Erin O’Brien


TWO WOLVES
Feature 2nd Place


USA 96 MINS

At odds with both the Agency and his father, special agent Artemis puts his life on the line to save his son – only to find he may need to save himself first.

Director, Writer and Producer: Mykel Shannon Jenkins

Cast: Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Ernest Thomas, Stephania Spampinato

IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE
Feature 3rd Place


USA 65 MINS

Brian Edwards has a lot of demons. Unable to control his addiction and his attraction to a much younger man, his career, home life, and reputation are ripped apart as he surrenders to destructive urges. The consequences of his decisions prove devastating to everyone involved.

Director, Writer and Producer: Eric Ayala

Cast: Lyndrez Leslie, Shimri Taemar, Maalik Evans, TL Leigh, Herbert Bowens, Jr., Alissah Brooks, Robert Parker


A MAN AND HIS TRUMPET: THE LEROY JONES STORY

USA 85 MINS

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

In a world full of brilliant performers, Leroy Jones is a musician’s musician. Follow Jones’ life journey as he came up playing on the streets of the Saint Bernard Projects and 7th Ward in New Orleans, established himself as one of NOLA’s most sought after trumpeters, founded both the legendary Fairview Baptist Brass Band and Hurricane Brass Band, and worked for the past 20 years with Harry Connick Jr.

Director and Writer: Cameron Washington,/p>

Producers: Ramfis Myrthil, Cameron Washington

Cast: Leroy Jones, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Herlin Riley


PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR: BEYOND THE MASK

Documentary Feature 2nd Place

USA 119 MINS

The man abolitionist Frederick Douglass once called “the most promising young colored man in America”, Paul Laurence Dunbar was a nationally prolific author of essays critical of Jim Crow laws, lynching, and what was commonly called “The Negro Problem.” Born to former slaves in Dayton, Ohio, Dunbar’s life mirrors the African-American experience at the turn of the 19th century.

Director and Writer: Frederick Lewis

Producers: Joseph Slade, Frederick Lewis

Cast: Barry Scott as Narrator

THE POSSIBILITY OF HER
Documentary Feature 3rd Place


USA 86 MINS

The Possibility of Her is a feature-length documentary highlighting 12 women of color engaged in non-traditional careers or passions. The film delves into each woman’s personal and professional life including their beginnings, challenges, and opinions on gender norms while addressing myths and misconceptions about women in their respective fields.

Director, Writer and Producer: William Feagins Jr.

Afua Richardson, DJ Aquaria, Ayo Abdullah, Damita Howard, Stacy Epps


SANKOFA SOLVING X

USA 12 MINS

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Sankofa Solving X is about a program that seeks to teach young African American students about their African roots and heritage through DNA testing. Who are they? Where do they come from? This is their story.

Director: Chris Kennedy


JESSE LOTT: ART OF ACTIVISM

Documentary Short 2nd Place

USA 29 MINS

This 29-minute documentary focuses on internationally recognized Houston artist, Jesse Lott. Shot by 28 at-risk-teens taught by the director/editor, the film highlights Jesse Lott’s art, activism and his mentors. Lott is one of the co-founders of Project Row Houses and highlighted in the National Museum of African American History in Culture.

Director, Writer and Producer: Frederick Lewis

A FISHING STORY
Documentary Short 3rd Place

USA 9 MINS

A Fishing Story is a short documentary discussing the fishing practices of the Guna people, a Panamanian indigenous group inhabiting over 300 Caribbean islands. This film was created in conjunction with the director’s independent research project for her final month of studying abroad. The film explores issues related to sustainability and conservation.

Director, Writer and Producer: Antonia Brown

Cast: Ensemble Interviews


F.A.M.

USA 30 MINS

BEST SHORT

Inspired by a true story, F.A.M. is a half-hour drama about a black blended family trying to live a normal live in the alll-white suburb of Roswell, GA. The story covers the life of Trey, who is balancing his relationsihp with three women: Traci (his ex and mother of his child), Dara (his new wife), and Olivia – his 15-year-old daughter who is struggling with her sexuality. Trey navigates the challenges of having a daughter coming out in a subculture of homophobia and co-parenting with a woman hell-bent on destroying his marriage.

Director: Kyle Romanek

Writer: Anthony Williams

Producer: Mallory Cunningham


JUNIOR
Short 2nd Place


USA 13 MINS
A young black boy wakes up to a noise in the middle of the night. It is an attempted robbery at their middle class comfortable home that gets thwarted by his father who has a gun. The police arrive and their investigation causes tension. On a fishing trip the boy and his father talk about guns. That night their car is pulled over by hostile police who think the dad is a criminal.

Director: Tarik Jackson

Producers: Jacquin Deleon and Salim Lemelle

Writers: Tarik Jackson and Salim Lemelle

Cast: Bobby “Yay Yay” Jones, Mara Hall, Tykee Dawkins

GRACE
Short 3rd Place


USA 16 MINS
Grace’s younger sister Angela has made it clear that she has a family of her own and can no longer care for their father. On this particular day, we go on a journey with Grace as she struggles between taking care of her father who suffers from early signs of dementia or missing out on a job opportunity that could rekindle her love: teaching.

Director, Writer and Producer: Eboni Adams


BAWO WAM

USA 5 MINS

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

South African musician Bongeziwe Mabandla shares the official music video for his latest single “Bawo Wam”. Shot in black and white, and featuring stunning double exposed footage, the visuals amplify the song’s powerful Xhosa message.

Director, Writer and Producer: Rick Joaquim

Music: Bongeziwe Mabandla


LOVE ALWAYS WINS

Music Video 2nd Place

USA 5 MINS

The purpose of this video, Love Always Wins, is to illuminate a dark chapter of American history. The lyrics and images within present the audience with a brief historical summary of the injustice, discrimination, and inequality faced by the African-American population.

Director: Jacob Dunlap

AIN’T TOO MUCH TO ASK
Music Video 3rd Place