This second of two shorts programs features recent works by African American directors and animators who are expanding the perception of Black Cinema, exploring new themes and forms of storytelling and leading a generation of diverse voices in independent cinema.
“Old Beef,” 4 min. Dir. Kevin Herod. An ex-con gets scared straight when he gets a threatening message from his former cell mate who is ready to settle some old scores.
“The Hands,” 12 min. Dir. Charise M. Studesville. A woman sits at her dying father's beside and reflects on his hands,
and the lifetime and memories they hold for her.
“Swords,” 4 min. Animated by Lamont Wayne. A war has reached a young man's village, and he must save a girl from the invaders.
"This Weekend Update: Black History Month,” 5 min. Dir. Victor Dean. This week's episode from Paul Mooney, Jr.'s weekly web news show!
“What Things May Come,” 25 min. Dir. Sequoia Houston. A woman starts a new chapter in her life after a shocking revelation
and confronts her own choices as she moves forward.
“Jamaica House,” 5 min. Dir. Al Gragg. A sneak peek at the upcoming documentary on the rise and fall of Los Angeles' first Hip Hop club, Jamaica House.
Special Screening of One of This Year's Oscar-Nominated Documentary Short Films! "The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement," 2011, 25 min. USA. Dirs. Gail Dolgin, Robin Fryday. Mr. James Armstrong is a barber, a “foot soldier” and a dreamer whose barbershop in Birmingham, Alabama has been a hub for haircuts and civil rights since 1955. “The dream” of a promised land, where dignity and the right to vote belongs to everyone is documented in photos, headlines and clippings that cram every inch of wall space (and between the mirrors). 85-years-young, jauntily wearing a bowtie and suspenders, Mr. Armstrong will cut your hair while recounting his experiences as a “foot soldier”, citing the pictures on his wall as he does. In March 1965, civil rights activists began a march from Selma to Montgomery calling for voting rights. Mr. Armstrong, an Army Veteran, was the proud bearer of the American flag in that march, and it’s said that even as state troopers tear-gassed the crowd and beat marchers with billy clubs, he held the flag high. On the annual commemoration of Bloody Sunday he carries that flag. He used his barber chair to educate: “If you want a voice, you have to vote; you can’t complain about nothing if you don’t vote.” Despite threats to his life and home, his two sons were the first to integrate an all white elementary school. “Dying isn’t the worst thing a man can do. The worst thing a man can do is nothing.” No one can accuse Mr. Armstrong of doing nothing; and on the eve of the election of the first African-American president, The Barber of Birmingham sees his unimaginable dream come true.