Visitors coming to Boston in June will have this incredibly interesting African American film festival waiting for you.

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The Roxbury International Film Festival

June 17–26, 2021

Photograph of woman wearing an elaborate and colorful winged costumeThe Roxbury International Film Festival (ROXFILM) is the largest festival in New England dedicated to celebrating films by, for, and about people of color. Over ten days, the festival screens narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, experimental films, and youth films, all of which present stories of people of color worldwide not often seen in mainstream media.

This year’s festival takes place virtually and in person. Don’t miss How It Feels to Be Free, an unprecedented look at the intersection of African American women artists, politics, and entertainment, streaming online opening night. And stop by the MFA on Saturday, June 19, for a free outdoor screening of Summer of Soul, a stunning documentary treasure from director Questlove featuring unearthed footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.


Festival passes are available and can be purchased here.

For more information on the film festival, visit www.roxfilmfest.com


Upcoming Events

Sly Stone playing a keyboard and singing at a very crowded concert

FILM

SUMMER OF SOUL

June 19, 2021
8:00 pm–10:00 pm

Free outdoor screening! Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (USA, 2021, 117 min.).

A young girl standing with arms outstretched with wisps of glowing light surrounding her

FILM

JINGLE JANGLE

June 24, 2021
8:00 pm–10:00 pm

Free outdoor screening! Directed by David E. Talbert (USA, 2020, 122 min.).

Film Rentals

ROXFILM is proud of the thoughtful selection of films in this year’s festival—and you can enjoy each one from the comfort of your own home. Most of the films are followed by Q and As with filmmakers, so be sure to log in to Zoom to catch insightful post-screening discussions.

Festival Pass

Film lovers can get the most bang for their buck with a festival pass and access all films for one low price. (Please note that the films are available to watch only on the specified dates.)

On Sale June 2


Already rented a film?

You can watch the film on the Video Content page.

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FILM RENTAL

HOW IT FEELS TO BE FREE

Opening night film; available to watch June 17–18

Photograph of a young woman and young man in a classroom

FILM RENTAL

MEMOIRS OF A BLACK GIRL

Available to watch June 17–18; preceded by short film ‘Afro’

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FILM RENTAL

BECOMING A QUEEN

Available to watch June 18–19

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FILM RENTAL

FRESH GUIDE TO FLORENCE WITH FAB 5 FREDDY

Available to watch June 18–19

Photograph of eight young woman standing in a line next to each other

FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: HOMAGE TO OUR LAND

Available to watch June 19–20

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FILM RENTAL

SHAINA

Available to watch June 19–20; preceded by short films ‘In Sync’ and ‘The Announcement’

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FILM RENTAL

THE SIX TRIPLE EIGHT

Available to watch June 20–21; preceded by short film ‘Lake Women’

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FILM RENTAL

JAMES HEMINGS: GHOST IN AMERICA’S KITCHEN

Available to watch June 20–21; preceded by short films ‘Boxed’ and ‘The Other Madisons’

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FILM RENTAL

THE SKIN YOU’RE IN

Available to watch June 20–21; preceded by short film ‘Ashes to Ashes’

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: NEXT GENERATION

Free family-friendly short films; available to watch June 21–22

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: LOCAL VOICES RISE

Available to watch June 21-22

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FILM RENTAL

LAST NIGHT IN ROZZIE

Available to watch June 21–22; preceded by short film ‘Lean In’

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

Available to watch June 22–23

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FILM RENTAL

REAL SOUL: A GOSPEL MUSIC STORY

Available to watch June 22–23; preceded by short film ‘Kuumba: From Black to Gold’

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FILM RENTAL

REZ METAL

Available to watch June 23–24

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: CLAIM IT!

Available to watch June 23–24

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: TURNING POINTS

Available to watch June 24–25

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: THE POWER OF THE OUTDOORS

Available to watch June 25–26

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: AGAINST ALL ODDS

Available to watch June 25–26

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FILM RENTAL

HORROR FILM SERIES: DON’T GO IN THE BASEMENT

Available to watch June 25–26

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FILM RENTAL

SHORT FILM SERIES: THIS IS WHO I AM

Available to watch June 26–27

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FILM RENTAL

THE BENGALI

Available to watch June 26–27; preceded by short films ‘But You’re Not Black’ and ‘Through the Eyes of Women’

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FILM RENTAL

EXECUTIVE ORDER

Available to watch June 26–27; preceded by short film ‘The Last Starship’

Shared Stories at ROXFILM

In partnership with ArtsEmerson, Shared Stories is a monthly film series in collaboration with the Boston Asian American Film Festival, Boston Latino International Film Festival, and the Roxbury International Film Festival seeks to build community, shared conversation, and experiences through cinema.

RENT THE FILMS AT ARTSEMERSON

A Reckoning in Boston

Available to view 5 pm on June 24 through 5 pm on June 26

What keeps the divide between white and Black, rich and poor, so glaringly wide in a prosperous and progressive city?

A Tale of Three Chinatowns

Available to view 8 pm on June 23 through 10 pm on June 27

This feature-length documentary examines Chinatown neighborhoods in three American cities and the forces altering each community and the challenges that go with them.

On Wed, May 26, 2021 at 2:12 PM Darren DeLuca <darren.deluca@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello–

If you would like a press pass to the 23rd Roxbury International Festival (RoxFilm) please respond back to this email and we will coordinate with the MFA.

This invitation is for review consideration only.

THIS EMAIL INVITATION IS NON-TRANSFERRABLE

Thank you!
Darren

On Wed, May 12, 2021 at 10:48 AM Darren DeLuca <darren.deluca@gmail.com> wrote:

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The 23rd Roxbury International Film Festival (RoxFilm)

Announces its Hybrid Festival Dates

Celebrating People of Color June 17 – 26, 2021

The filmmaker-focused festival continues its mark as being fiercely independent

and amplifying underrepresented voices.

Following its Sundance Film Festival Premiere, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) comes to Roxfilm’s June Festival for a Special Juneteenth Screening Event

Festival to Host Screenings Online with a Handful of Events In Person, Including Outdoor Screenings

All access passes available now here!

(Boston, MA – Wednesday, May 12, 2021) –The Roxbury International Film Festival (RoxFilm), New England’s largest film festival celebrating people of color from around the globe, kicks off its 23rd festival with How it Feels to Be Free, a documentary by Yoruba Richen on Thursday, June 17th at 5:30pm ET followed by Memoirs of a Black Girl, a feature film directed by local Thato Mwosa. Both film screenings take place in person at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and online.

RoxFilm is also thrilled to announce it will be hosting an outdoor screening of the documentary feature debut of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), on Saturday, June 19th as part of a Juneteenth celebration.

The 23rd festival will close with director Jamila Wignot’s resonant biography, AILEY, which grants artful access to the elusive visionary who founded one of the world’s most renowned dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  AILEY will close the festival on Saturday, June 26 at 4:00pm ET in person at the MFA.

RoxFilm festival all access passes are now available, and individual film passes will be available in June. The complete festival schedule will be announced soon.

“We are excited to be bringing the 23rd annual festival both in person and via online streaming,” says Lisa Simmons, Director of the Roxbury International Film Festival.  “Our partnership with the MFA gives us this flexibility and provides a way for audiences to come together indoors and outdoors in a safe way. This year we are excited to screen over 65 films that tell stories about reclaiming spaces, countering narratives, taking care of ourselves, and celebrating unapologetically.”

Over the course of ten days, RoxFilm will showcase feature-length narrative films, documentaries, shorts and animated films that are truly independent.  The festival has featured and celebrated both films and filmmakers of color for the past two decades screening over 1,500 films to over 35,000 attendees. RoxFilm will include online events such as panel discussions, one-on-one conversations, networking opportunities, filmmaker hangouts and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and special guests. Keeping to their mission, the festival will screen a number of local films and highlight films from Boston Public School students, Lynn’s Raw Arts Program and other student-made films from around the country.  

Directed by Yoruba Richen, How It Feels To Be Free takes an unprecedented look at the intersection of African-American women artists, politics, and entertainment and tells the story of how six trailblazing performers, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier changed American culture through their films, fashion, their music and their politics. 

Memoirs of a Black Girl is a coming-of-age-film where an astute and ambitious student named Aisha Johnson is one of the finalists for the coveted Conrad Scholarship. Aisha’s goal is to earn the top prize. But one day when Aisha tries to do the right thing, her life is turned upside down, which puts her future in jeopardy. Aisha must learn to navigate life at home, in school, and on the unforgiving streets of Roxbury.

Directed by Thato Rantao Mwosa.

Thato Mwosa is an illustrator, screenwriter, playwright, and filmmaker. She has won several awards for her narrative films and documentaries. Her films have been broadcast nationally and internationally.

This year, RoxFilm takes place June 17 – 26, 2021 at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston with some events hosted virtually.

A complete list of RoxFilm events, screenings, and tickets will be available soon here.

Other confirmed films to be screened at RoxFilm and programs include:

Fab 5 Freddy will join RoxFilm to discuss his film Fresh Guide To Florence with Fab 5 FreddyThe film is a revelatory and iconoclastic look at 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance art through the eyes of hip hop legend and art lover Fab 5 Freddy. Amidst rockstar artists such as Michelangelo and powerful patrons such as the Medici’s Fab discovers groundbreaking images of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society in artworks which have fallen through the cracks of art history and been neglected by art historians.

Shared Stories @ RoxFilm Programming: A Reckoning in Boston Directed by James Rutenbeck

Kafi Dixon dreams of starting a land cooperative for women of color who have experienced trauma and disenfranchisement in the city of Boston. By day she drives a city bus; at night she studies the humanities in a tuition-free course. Her classmate Carl Chandler, a community elder, is the class’s intellectual leader.

Executive Order – Directed by Lázaro Ramos

Set in Rio de Janeiro in a near and hypothetical future, Executive Order is a feature fictional film whose plot starts with the enforcement of a law that determines the compulsory return of all afro-descendants to their “countries of origin”.

8 Wheels – Directed by Drew Powell, Ryan Everitt, Adrian and Gibbons

Chez Vous is the only Black-Owned roller skating rink in New England. As roller skating rinks close down throughout the US due to COVID-19, this film takes a deep dive into what makes Chez Vous special.

The Daily Read program will return to RoxFilm, where scripts by RoxFilm alumni will be read by professional local actors. The Daily Read takes place LIVE during lunchtime from 12:00-1:00pm.  Audiences have the opportunity to hear works in progress.

Panel Discussions will take place around the history of black film – The panel discussions program will look into film noir,  the role white supremacy  has played in film, and a conversation with black chefs. There will also be discussions surrounding black storytelling, BIPOC media companies, animation, and much more.

The Roxbury International Film Festival is a competitive festival that awards certificates in the categories of Audience Favorite, Narrative Film, Documentary Film, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, Youth, Emerging Filmmaker, witha special award named after award-winning filmmaker Henry Hampton.

Festival passes are available and can be purchased here.

For more information on the film festival, visit www.roxfilmfest.com

About the Roxbury International Film Festival:

The Roxbury International Film Festival (RoxFilm) supports media makers of color and others who have an interest in creating and developing new and diverse images of people of color in film, video and performing arts. The festival collaborates with many arts institutions and organizations whose mission it is to promote and support independent artists and contribute to the creative economy of the Commonwealth. 

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