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Apollo Digital Stage

ImageNation's
Cocktails & Sōl Cinema


Thursday, November 19 / 7PM ET

APOLLO FILM PRESENTS

ImageNation's Cocktails & Sōl Cinema: Black Life Matters

7 pm ET Film Screenings
8:15 pm ET Virtual Panel
Admission: Free - RSVP for the film to access the Q&A

Apollo Digital Stage

This year has been explosive in many ways. People across the world embraced the mantra Black Lives Matter, collectively mourned senseless state-sanctioned deaths, and is marching toward change. Black Life Matters is a deeply introspective celebration of Black life, a grappling with our challenges, and a declaration of a brand new day. This collection of short films will be followed by a spirited filmmaker discussion on cinema, filmmaking and the future of Black film.

Black Life Matters, 68 min compilation, International

ImageNation, an innovative Harlem-based company, partners with the Apollo to present quarterly socials featuring premier and advance screenings of Pan-African films, preceded by a reception with a live DJ/performance, followed by a talkback. The series will feature soul cinema—smart films, primarily directed by people of color, that explore the history, examine social issues, and highlight the humanity of Pan-African people in the genres of drama, science fiction, animation, comedy, documentary, experimental, and emerging media.

Post film discussion immediately the film featuring the following panelists :

Nefertite Nguvu

Thati Peele

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

Marshall Tyler

Christine Turner

Shawn Batey

 

Film Information

Click each individual film title to each detailed information about the short film and the director.

Director: Morgan Cooper
Film Type: Experimental
Origin: USA
Length: 3 min
Year: 2019 

Synopsis

Dedicated to George Floyd, and the countless other victims of police brutality and systematic racism in America.

Director’s Biography

Morgan Cooper is a Los Angeles-based writer and director whose passion is telling the stories of those who are unrepresented, underrepresented, and misrepresented. Cooper’s influences include fine art, photography, jazz, hip-hop, and his experiences growing up in Kansas City, Mo. He is committed to using his voice as a filmmaker to positively impact society and inspire the next generation of young black filmmakers. Two of Cooper’s films won in their categories at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. In March 2019, Cooper released Bel-Air, a short film reimagining ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a modern-day drama. He is now collaborating with Will Smith's Westbrook Studios to turn Bel-Air into a series that will air on Peacock.

Director: Nefertite Nguvu
Film Type: Dramatic Narrative
Origin: USA
Time length: 14 min
Year: 2017

Synopsis

Displayed through a series of vignettes: connected memories and dreams, the film explores the psychic terrain of two people struggling to rebuild a marriage, marred after tragedy strikes. Ruminations on trauma, memory, survival, alienation, depression and ultimately resilience are intertwined in this story about the fragility and complexity of human relationships.

Director’s Biography

Nefertite made her television directorial debut helming an episode of BET’s original anthology series Tales. She has also written, produced and directed several narrative shorts: I Want You, The End of Winter, and The Last Two Lovers At The End Of The World. Amongst other web-based programming, Nefertite also directed a ten-part web series featuring Queen Latifah for Cover Girl and Flavor Unit Entertainment entitled U.N.I.T.Y. Re-ignited; Love Star a mini music documentary; as well as an eight-part web series entitled Black America Again featuring Academy Award winning musician/actor Common for Universal Music and Freedom Road Productions. As writer/director/producer, Nefertite made her feature film debut with Urbanworld Film Festival winner In The Morning, a film about love and its inevitable change/decline charting the emotional anatomy of several relationships over the course of one day. 

Director: Thati Peele
Film Type:
Dramatic Narrative
Origin: South Africa
Time length: 12 min
Year: 2015

Synopsis

Happy, a caustic South African farm worker, battles the odds to get his daughter to a prestigious piano audition on time.

 

 

Director's Biography

Thati Pele's journey to becoming one of South Africa’s most exciting young directors has been filled with unexpected turns. After earning a degree in mathematics and statistics from UCT, and a short stint in marketing, an encounter with Giant Film’s Ian and Cindy Gabriel led her to apply to New York University's Graduate Film Program. Lerato, premiered at SXSW Film Festival in 2015 and won her the Best Director Award at the New York Fusion Film Festival, as well as the New Talent prize at CICLOPE Africa 2019. Now back in Johannesburg, she’s a launch director at Giant95, lectures a film module at Wits University, and is intent on bringing her singular vision to African filmmaking.

Director: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi
Film type: Documentary
Time length: 10 min
Origin: Cuba/USA
Year: 2017

Synopsis

Internationally renowned, Jennyselt is a prestigious Afro-Cuban Folklore dancer who currently dances with the group Yoruba Andabo. She seeks her successor to keep the legacy of Afro-Cuban culture, dance, and religion alive. Jennyselt takes us to the side of Havana that is rarely seen by tourists, Juanelo, where there is a community project cultivating dreams and teaching the next generation of dancers. Who will she choose to keep the legacy alive?

Dance with Your Heart Trailer

 

Director's Biography

Eli is an award winning filmmaker and currently directs FistUp.TV. His work has circulated through the National Broadcast: Free Speech TV, Teaching Channel and PBS. He is the co-founder of Defend Puerto Rico, a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Eli is curating his ninth Annual Fist Up Film Festival in the Bay Area, California. His dedication to his craft is deeply connected to his commitment to social justice and the belief in the transformative power of film. Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is graduate of UC Berkeley, he received his MA degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Director: Marshall Tyler
Film Type: Dramatic Narrative
Origin: USA
Time length: 16 min
Year: 2019

Synopsis

In this award-winning film follows 15-year-old Manny Benett as he learns the hard way the price of being cool. Inspired by true events.

Trailer

Director's Biography

An award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles, Marshall Tyler’s critically acclaimed short, Night Shift, was executive Produced by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon and premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The Vimeo Staff Pick-selected film won numerous honors, including the Gold Hugo Grand Jury Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.   His latest project CAP, premiered at the 2019 American Black Film Festival and was acquired by HBO after winning the highly coveted HBO Short Film Competition. Cap also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2019 Urban World Film Festival.   Both Night Shift and Cap were Oscar-qualified.  A member of the 2018-2020 class of Disney/ABC’s Television directing program and an alumni of the Ryan Murphy Half Initiative, Marshall recently helmed an episode of 9-1-1 for FOX. Under his production company New Bumper & Paint, Marshall is currently developing two feature projects:  a psychological-thriller titled PERFECT, and an adaptation of Iceberg Slim's MAMA BLACK WIDOW.   New Bumper & Paint recently partnered with the former Chairman of Lionsgate, Patrick Wachsberger’s Picture Perfect Federation to produce a six-part docu-series inspired by the short film Cap.   New Bumper & Paint is also partnering with The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum to tell the incredible life story of legendary designer, the late Willi Smith of the iconic 80’s street couture brand WilliWear.

Director: Christine Turner
Film Type: Dramatic Narrative
Origin: USA
Time length: 9 min
Year: 2017 

Synopsis

Family bonds are tested when a young man is left to care for his grandmother one morning. Stars Bethann Hardison. Produced by Harlem filmmaker, Duana Butler.

Trailer:

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi3835935001?playlistId=tt6127330&ref_=tt_ov_vi

Director's Biography

Christine Turner is an independent filmmaker in New York whose work has been called “Exquisitely tender” and “Thoughtful and enlightening” by The Washington Post.  Most recently, she directed Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business, about the 93 year-old artist.  The film played Sundance ‘20 and was featured as a New York Times Op-Doc. Previously, Christine directed the feature documentary Homegoings, about a renowned funeral director in Harlem.  The film premiered at Documentary Fortnight at MoMA and aired nationally on the PBS series POV in 2013.  In addition, her short fiction films, Hold On and You Can Go, have screened at Sundance and Tribeca, respectively.

Director: Terence Nance
Film type: Experimental
Origin: USA
Time length: 2 min
Year: 2014

Synopsis

After the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown at the hands of police last year, the United States came together in protest against police brutality towards the African-American community there. “I can’t breathe,” the last words uttered by Garner as he was choked to death, and “black lives matter,” became slogans, hashtags and battle cries as activists took to the streets. In this film by Terence Nance, American civil rights attorney John Burris, calls on everyone – the economic community, the business community, the social community and the faith community - to do something about it. “The lives that have been lost are important lives and they should not have been lost in vain,” he says. Do something. Produced by the Blackout Film Collective. 

Director's Biography

Terence Nance was born in Dallas, Texas in what was then referred to as the State-Thomas community. Nance’s first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically soon after. The film featured music from Flying Lotus and was Co-Executive Produced by Jay-Z and dream hampton. In the summer of 2018, Terence’s Peabody award-winning television series Random Acts of Flyness debuted on HBO to great critical acclaim, and was renewed for a second season by the network. The New York Times hailed the show as “hypnotic, transporting and uncategorizable”  In the fall of 2018, it was announced that Nance was tapped to write and direct Space Jam 2, starring Lebron James. Terence has been active making music for a decade scoring all of his own films and TV series and working with several groundbreaking musicians in the process. Featured collaborators on his recently released THINGS I NEVER HAD EP are the psychedelic chanteur Nick Hakim, the incomparable harpist Brandee Younger, and of course the space gospel minister Nelson Bandela. Additional film work includes “Swimming in Your Skin Again” and “Univitillen”. Nance premiered a performance piece, 18 Black Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and are Thus Spiritual Machines at Sundance.

Director: Shawn Batey
Origin: USA
Time length: 2 min
Year: 2020

Synopsis

100 Days of Protest is a passionate summary of the uprisings that followed the death of Mr. George Floyd. 

Director’s Biography

Harlem-based Shawn Batey, is an award-winning filmmaker with over 15 years experience as a producer, filmmaker, and writer of documentary films and videos. Third World Newsreel is the distributor of her feature Changing Face of Harlem as well as two other of her films: “Hair-Tage”, a cultural documentary on dreadlocks, and “Through My Eyes”, an interpretation of September 11th from the perspective of Latino and African-American Youth. Her additional credits include “60+”, a musical documentary of an all-female senior citizen band, “Making the World Feel Better, the P.S. 230 Mural Project” and “Tree Fever”, a quirky look at Christmas tree sellers in Upper Manhattan.

Meet the Directors

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