African American NewsFilm

Full Program for the 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival

Featuring a John Singleton Retrospective with Justice Singleton in person; Cord Jefferson’s satirical comedy AMERICAN FICTIONBLACK BARBIE: THE DOCUMENTARYMAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORY; and more

CHICAGO, /PRNewswire/ — The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center is pleased to announce the complete festival program and schedule for its 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival. This highly anticipated event will take place in person at the Gene Siskel Film Center from Friday, November 3, through Thursday, November 16. The 29th Black Harvest Film Festival proudly showcases 20 feature films, 10 short film programs, special presentations and engaging discussions, in addition to a heartfelt tribute to the visionary director John Singleton. The festival will facilitate Q&A sessions, celebrations and special events, with star appearances and special guests including directors, cast members and a vibrant community of Black filmmakers and enthusiasts.

The 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates “Revolutionary Visions,” the history, politics and art honoring the remarkable legacy of revolutionary struggle across the Diaspora and the Black experience worldwide.

In recognition of the significant contributions of the late Sergio Mims (Sunrise and Sunset 1955-2022), cofounder of the Black Harvest Film Festival, this year’s festival pays homage to his legacy as a visionary and film pioneer. Twenty-nine years after he first envisioned Black Harvest, his unwavering dedication to Black uplift and the Black cinema community has left an indelible mark. The festival stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Black visionaries and the timeless wellspring of Black creativity that resonates across generations.

“It brings me immense joy and honor to serve as lead curator for the 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival, a stunning celebration of ‘Revolutionary Visions.’ Together, we bear witness, testifying on each other’s behalf, seeing one another, recognizing that our shared history tethers our futures,” said Black Harvest Film Festival Lead Curator Jada-Amina Harvey.

Black Harvest Film Festival Highlights

  • Opening Night, November 3: NBC Chicago entertainment reporter LeeAnn Trotter will emcee the night, presiding over a showcase of select Black Harvest Film Festival short films and the announcement of the winners of The Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Black Harvest Film Festival Prize. This year marks the sixth year that a $1,000 prize will be awarded to a short film, and the third year a $2,500 prize will honor a feature film. The Black Harvest Film Festival jury, featuring the esteemed Maya S. CadeJustice Singleton and Paige Taul, will grace the occasion to announce the Sandor Prize winners. Following the program, attendees are cordially invited to a reception in the lobby.
  • John Singleton Retrospective: John Singleton’s cinematic legacy will be honored with a five-film retrospective. Filmmaker, scholar and poet Justice Singleton, son of the late John Singleton, will join for an engaging in-person discussion.
  • Chicago Premiere of MAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORYThe festival will conclude on November 16 with the Chicago premiere of MAXINE’S BABY: THE TYLER PERRY STORY, a tender and intimate portrait of the billionaire writer, actor, filmmaker, studio head and media mogul, with directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz in person.
  • Special Presentation of Cord Jefferson’s AMERICAN FICTION: A special presentation of Cord Jefferson’s satirical comedy AMERICAN FICTION, based on Percival Everett’s 2001 novel Erasure, starring Jeffrey WrightTracee Ellis RossIssa RaeAdam BrodyErika Alexander, and Leslie Uggams.
  • Chicago Premiere of BLACK BARBIE: THE DOCUMENTARYChicago premiere of Lagueria Davis’s documentary BLACK BARBIE: THE DOCUMENTARY, capturing the profound impact of Black Barbies on girls, followed by a virtual director Q&A.
  • Screening of SYMBOL OF THE UNCONQUEREDA special screening of Oscar Micheaux’s timeless 1920 silent film SYMBOL OF THE UNCONQUERED, accompanied by a live, improvised electronic music score performed by the talented trio of saxophonist Edward Wilkerson and guitarists Jeff Parker and Jonathan Woods.
  • Homegrown Stories: The Black Harvest Film Festival will proudly showcase several homegrown stories, including:
    • Two collections of locally made short films
    • NO COP ACADEMY: A DOCUMENTARY, Caullen Hudson’s chronicle of the city of Chicago’s plan to build a state-of-the-art “cop academy”
    • KINKY AND LOVING ITDavid Weathersby’s empowering documentary highlighting the transformative potential of reclamation, plus a post-screening kink vendor fair and reception

Tickets and Passes

Festival passes and individual member tickets for the Black Harvest Film Festival are available for purchase. Tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, October 13.

  • Tickets are $13, with Film Center members paying only $6.50 per ticket.
  • Students with a valid school ID pay $8.
  • SAIC students, staff and faculty pay $5 for regular film presentations.

Black Harvest Film Festival passes are $60 and can be redeemed for six regular film presentations (excluding Opening Night). Film Center members will pay only $30 for the six-film festival pass.

Opening Night tickets are $40 (general audience), $35 for students and $25 for Film Center members and SAIC staff, students and faculty.

Full Program

Find the full 29th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival program here.
Note that showtimes and guest appearances are subject to change.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *