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Black Harvest Film Festival Opens August 5th

July 25, 2011 | By | 1 Comment

Throughout the month of August, the screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center will come alive with stories and images of the black experience on film and video. The new edition of the 17th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video will take place from August 5 through September 1. This vibrant showcase specializes in presenting new work by independent filmmakers from Chicago and around the world. As always, the festival features a bountiful array of personal appearances by filmmakers for audience discussion. There are special events and parties, too, see individual film listings for details, and check back for updates.

LeeAnn Trotter of NBC 5 Chicago

Tickets are sure to be in short supply for the festival’s opening night on August 5, when Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated actress and playwright Regina Taylor receives this year’s Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership. NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter MCs the program, A Black Harvest Feast, which includes Chicago filmmaker Evan Allen-Gessesse introducing his short film Eric’s Haircut.

Black Harvest continues the tradition of giving special prominence to Chicago talent. This year’s festival includes sixteen feature films and thirty shorts. 40% of the films were made in the Chicago area or involve artists or subjects particular to our region. Features with Chicago connections include: Infiltrating Hollywood: The Ride and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By The Door; Kiss and Tell; Black Romance in Film; Overcome; Phunny Business: A Black Comedy; Preacher; and Separated at Birth.

Among the festival’s special events are special advance screenings of Being Elmose: A Puppeteer’s Journey, an engaging profile of Kevin Clash, the African American Muppeteer who brings the beloved character Elmo to life; and Viva Riva! an action-packed neo-noir thriller from the Congo. For those working to get a film off the ground, on Sunday, August 14, the festival offers a panel discussion on “How to Get a Movie Made,” a free DIY workshop covering every aspect of production for the aspiring independent filmmaker.

Special Advance Screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Throughout the festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center gallery features the show Nan je m’ gade (Through my eyes), an exhibition of photographs shot by Haitian children with disposable cameras, curated by School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Jackie Furtado.

The Black Harvest Film Festival is supported by the Chicago Community Trust; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; American Airlines; and the Alphawood Foundation.


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  1. The Three Way Movie

    The Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video presents the Chicago premiere of “THE THREE WAY” August 13th, 2011 @ 8:30pm & August 18th, 2011 @ 8:15pm showing at the Gene Siskel Film Center at 164 North State Street.

    “THE THREE WAY” is a comedic look at the fallout a couple experiences when a secret comes out, with twists that keep audiences guessing to the very end.

    Come check out the the award-winning feature film comedy “San Diego Voice and Viewpoint” calls “spot-on” and “a roller coaster plot of alpha male/female breadwinner relationships.” “THE THREE WAY,” where lovers and friends are forced to reveal their secrets and confront their own lies, is sure to entertain Chicago audiences, as it has filmgoers across the country.

    Members of the cast and crew will be present at the screenings.

    Check out our website:

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