BFMM exists to share & celebrate the dense, rich history of Black American Film from the beginning -1910 to the Present.After searching everywhere for films that were both intriguing and high-quality, Black Folks Make Movies, Inc. decided to try something new: provide people with a unique and powerful display of exemplary works people could actually appreciate via a series of film screenings at a variety of Cincinnati public libraries (St. Bernard, Clifton, and others) and the Minimicrocinema. The FADE2BLACK Film Festival was percolating in the background coming into existence in 2017. We started out with zero employees a collection of DVD's, and a lot of passion. Thru the process we've acquired additional folks sharing the same passion. And we learned, that’s all it takes to start something extraordinary.

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SANKOFA (Haile Gerima)

A self-absorbed Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Africa is spiritually transported back to a plantation in the West Indies where she experiences first-hand the physical and psychic horrors of chattel slavery, and eventually the redemptive power of community and rebellion as she becomes a member of a freedom-seeking Maroon colony.

Sponsored By: U.C., Department of Africana Studies and the Department of History.


Bamboozled is a 2000 satirical comedy-drama film written and directed by Spike Lee about a modern televised minstrel show featuring black actors donning blackface makeup and the resulting violent fallout from the show's success. It features an ensemble cast including Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith, Savion Glover, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport and Mos Def.

Sponsored By:  Xavier University Department of Arts and Sciences; U.C. Department of History

PARIAH (Dee Rees)

Winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival) Through her friendship with the openly gay Laura (Pernell Walker), Brooklyn teenager Alike (Adepero Oduye) comes to understand her own sexuality. Increasingly alarmed when their daughter begins to dress in men's clothing, Alike's parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) urge her to befriend Bina (Aasha Davis), a girl from their church. Six years before she directed the acclaimed 2017 Netflix film, Mudbound, Dee Rees made her name with this sensitive drama--winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival--in which Bina will instead toy with Alike's affections, and unwittingly push the young woman to decide between her family and being true to herself.

Sponsored By: Black Folks Make Movies  & Xavier University Arts & Science Department.

MIDNIGHT RAMBLE (Pam Thomas & Bestor Cram)

1994 PBS documentary on the early history of Black American film from 1910 to 1950. Known as race movies, these films, independent of Hollywood, where made primarily by, for and about the Black Community. MR is a tribute to a film genre that lasted for more than forty years, produced over 500 movies, and created a foundation for contemporary films from directors such as Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Tyler Perry, Ava DuVernay and others. The late James L. Avery, narrates this exploration of the early black film industry.

There is a mistaken assumption that race films began largely in reaction to D. W. Griffith's 1915 The Birth of a Nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Race movies actually began in 1910 in Chicago compliments of William Foster's, The Railroad Porter, in response to the Black Community's longing to see themselves reflected on the silver screen via the new medium of film. Wanting to see themselves through their own eyes, on their own terms thus counteracting the Hollywood stereotypes within American media.

Sponsored By: Black Folks Make Movies, Inc.



Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). She dreams of medical school, a family, and an escape from the generational poverty and street-corner life her friends seem to have accepted as their lot. But personal and sexual challenges confront Chantel on her way to fulfilling these dreams.

Fred Goodridge



In this early silent film from pioneering director Oscar Micheaux, kindly Sylvia Landry (Flo Clements) takes a fundraising trip to Boston in hopes of collecting $5,000 to keep a Southern school for impoverished black children open to the public. She then meets the warm hearted Dr. Vivian (William Smith), who falls in love with Sylvia and travels with her back to the South. There, Dr. Vivian learns about Sylvia's shocking, tragic past and realizes that racism has changed her life forever.


KILLER OF SHEEP (Charles Burnett)

Shot in 1977 on a $10,000 budget while its director, Charles Burnett, was in film school, this landmark urban drama sketches a vivid portrait of African-American life in the '70s. Depicting the Los Angeles ghetto of Watts through the eyes of a slaughterhouse worker (Henry G. Sanders), the movie's episodic vignettes and evocative soundtrack paint a picture of economic exclusion and muted hopes dusted with moments of transcendent joy.


BODY & SOUL (Micheaux)

Body and Soul. 1925. USA. Directed by Oscar Micheaux. With Paul Robeson, Mercedes Gilbert, Julia Theresa Russell. 93 min.

The legendary Paul Robeson—actor, singer, lawyer, and political activist—made a blistering screen debut in this silent masterpiece by the prolific independent black director Oscar Micheaux. Robeson excels in a dual role, playing both an escaped convict who presents himself as a firebrand minister, and the convict's upstanding brother. Courtesy George Eastman Museum. 35mm. Silent.



I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO envisions the film James Baldwin never got to make. A radical narrative about race in America, using the writer’s original words, as narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Alongside a flood of rich archival material, the film draws upon Baldwin’ notes of


INSIDE MAN (Spike Lee)

A 2006 American crime thriller film directed by Spike Lee, and written by Russell Gewirtz. It centers on an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street over a 24-hour period. The film stars Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier, the NYPD's hostage negotiator, Clive Owen as Dalton Russell, the mastermind who orchestrates the heist, and Jodie Foster as Madeleine White, a Manhattan power broker who becomes involved at the request of the bank's founder, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), to keep something in his safe deposit box protected from the robbers. Inside Man marks the fourth film collaboration between Washington and Lee.


13th (Ava DuVerney)

Award winning documentary by Ava DuVernay. DuVernay contends that slavery has been perpetuated in practices since the end of the American Civil War through such actions as criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing; suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynchings and Jim Crow; politicians declaring a war on drugs that weigh more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial complex, demonstrating how much money is being made by corporations from such incarcerations.


GET OUT (Jordan Peele)

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.