2023 Film Festival


We carry them with us

In-theater Program

March 9th

NC…where you at!? The filmmakers in this program are native to North Carolina. The themes explored in this block include community histories, unapologetic love, and ancestral connections with nature.


The Communion of White Dresses


Director: Dr. Kristi V. Johnson

Documentary Short ~ Dance ~ Experimental


I Wanted to Ask the Trees


Filmmaker: Dr. Kristi V. Johnson

Dance ~ Experimental ~ Southern Narrative Short


Black Saviors


Director: Landon Terrell Bost

Documentary Short ~ History


Black Rainbow Love


Director: Angela Harvey

Documentary Feature ~ LGBTQIA+ ~ Love


Ancestors. Ritual. Myth. The films in this block explore the central role of spirituality throughout the African Diaspora.


Black Strings


Filmmaker: Marquise Mays

Documentary Short ~ Ancestors




Director: Wilmarc Val

Documentary Short ~ Spirituality ~ Ancestors




Directors: Adisa Septuri & Ebony Gilbert

Documentary Short ~ Trauma


Digging For Life


Director: Joao Queiroga

Documentary Short ~ Trauma ~ Ancestors


The publicity around Tenoch Huerta’s ethnicity was a big conversation during last year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This screening celebrates the Afro- & indigenous communities in Mexico.


Black Mexicans / La Negrada


Director: Jorge Pérez Solano

Narrative Feature

Join us for hors d’oeuvres and refreshing beverages before an amazing program that celebrates great filmmaking!

First, Spirit House of Durham will invite the ancestors to watch over the in-person portion of the festival. Then, we’ll screen THE INSPECTION followed by a Q+A with director, Elegance Bratton and producer, Chester Algernal Gordon.


The Inspection


Director: Elegance Bratton

Narrative Feature

March 10th


Producing Towards Equity with the IDA and Documentary Producers Alliance


“Producing Toward Equity” (PTE) is an interactive workshop offering filmmakers resources to dismantle outdated producing practices and rebuild ones that are more fair and just. Developed by the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA) in partnership with the International Documentary Association (IDA), PTE is focused on film financing and crediting through the lens of equity and inclusion, for independent documentary producers of all experience levels. The workshop is designed to provide producers with information that may otherwise be unavailable or difficult to find in formal educational programs and on-the-job training.


Training / Workshop

Post in Black: Planning Your Fiction Short While Creating a Career in Post


Post in Black started as a blog in 2011 and since has expanded into a web-series and podcast featuring some of the most sought-after talent within the post-production industry. The purpose of this workshop will be to increase awareness of post-production opportunities for African Americans, while shining a spotlight on the entire process as a whole. From Editor to Sound Mix to VFX to Coloring and Composing, these positions are both important and interdependent. We’ll discuss how to get into these professions, the various ways to increase self-learning, and how to seek mentorship in the industry outside of the major city centers like Los Angeles, New York or Atlanta.

About Post in Black

Since its inception, Post In Black, has provided a much-needed outlet and platform for post-production professionals in the African

American community. The goal is to connect these individuals with those who are unaware of all the work happening behind the scenes. As advice and experience is shared from subject matter experts that have succeeded in this field, it is the hope that the pursuit of a post-production career becomes more attainable.

David Hunter Jr.

David Hunter Jr. is an actor, writer, and producer with a desire to tell stories that impact, inspire, educate and entertain. He is a proud graduate of Hampton University and also studied acting at the Identity School of Acting. Since relocating to Los Angeles, he has voiced campaigns for Blavity, Google, and Samsung along with a variety of commercials, podcasts, and animated projects. He also served as the “Voice of God” for the theatre staff at the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre) for the Oscars for over 10 years. Over the last year, David has also worked hand in hand as a producer for Amy Aniobi (Insecure) and her company SuperSpecial helping to produce 2 short films which are currently in post-production.

Tatiana Johnson

Hailing from Durham, NC, Tatiana M. Johnson is an award-winning producer, writer, and creative consultant with more than a decade of experience. She holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Business Management from Hampton University and has worked directly with companies including Leslie Lewis Consulting (Grammy Nomination Production Consultant), WME Entertainment, Canady Foundation for the Arts, Blackspace: An Afrofuturism Digital Makerspace, National Geographic, and Duke University. She has maneuvered through various media industries but finds joy in partnering with creatives to bring their artistic visions to fruition. To date she has executive produced three web series, produced two short films, two talk shows, two live theater performances, one documentary and consulted on the publishing of five books. She operates a talent management/creative consulting company, 1st Lady Management, and serves as a co-Founder for Made for More Entertainment. The mantra she carries with her is “there are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it”.


Training / Workshop

How do we love one another? How are we caring for our people? This block centers films concerned with compassion, intimacy, intention, and love.


I Held Him


Director: Hans Augustave

Narrative  Short ~ Mental Health




Director: Rodrigo Sena

Narrative Short ~ Ancestors




Director: Meiko Taylor

Narrative Short ~ Trauma ~ Mental Health


Wants and Needs


Director: Julian Vargas

Narrative Short ~ Love

Based in France, Sudu Connexion is a distribution company that features high-quality films from Africans in the diaspora about Africans around the world.


En Route 


Filmmaker: Leslie TÔ

Narrative  Short ~ Family





Director: Ramata-Toulaye SY

Narrative Short ~ Family


Twin Lakes Haven


Director: Mbabazi Sharangabo Philbert Aimé 

Narrative Short ~ Love


Seeking Aline


Director: Rokhaya Marieme Balde

Documentary Short ~ History


On The Surface


Director: Fan Sissoko

Narrative Short ~ Animation

From Anime / Comic book / Podcast to Broadcast

Karama Horne (@theblerdgurl”) is a culture journalist, podcaster, content creator, host and critic parked at the intersection of geekdom and diversity. Join her for a conversation about transforming your anime, comic book, or podcast into content for broadcast TV or streaming network.

A former commercial video editor she is the founder of theblerdgurl.com a site dedicated to Black nerd geekdom and pop culture. As a journalist, Karama has bylines at Rotten Tomatoes, NERDIST, Mashasble, SYFYWIRE and The Wrap. As a host has been featured as a guest host on red carpets, comic-con stages and is the co-host of Pop Paranormal , a horror podcast on Travel Channel. Karama has been featured in the NYTimes, USAToday, The Guardian and more and in 2022 her first novel, Black Panther “Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual for the Dora Milaje” was released. In 2023 Karama makes her debut as a comic book writer in the anthology one shot Marvel’s Voices: Wakanda Forever.


Training / Workshop

Join us for this special screening of one of the most riveting documentaries of this past year. In addition, we’ll have live and in-person the film’s director, the visionary Byron Hurt along with producer Natalie Bullock Brown. Also participating in the Q+A will be Pamela Champion, a mother featured in the film who tragically lost her son to hazing.




Director: Byron Hunt

Documentary Feature ~ Trauma ~History

March 11th

DAWG Town Hall with Working Films

There’s a growing movement asking documentaries to do better – to honor and center the power and agency of the people featured in films, and move away from the form’s extractive origins. Join members of the Documentary Accountability Working Group – Natalie Bullock Brown, Hannah Hearn, and Molly Murphy – for a town hall conversation exploring values, ethics, and accountability that can be applied from the time a film is considered being made, through its release and impact campaign. This interactive conversation will offer a safe space to explore intentional practices, challenges, and a future in which everyone involved in a film can experience and look back on as a positive experience. 


Training / Workshop

This block of films explores Narrative themes woven together around relationships, family, and fragility in navigating this terrain.


The Language of Joy


Director: Ouida Washington

Southern Documentary Feature ~ Experimental




Director: Myron Ward

Narrative Short ~ Family


Through the Barricades


Director: Alexandrine Benjamin

Narrative Short ~ Family ~ Love


An Afternoon Sun Shower in Spring


Director: Jonathan Isaac Jackson

Narrative Short ~ Family


Moon Over Aburi


Director: Sheila Nortley

Narrative Short ~ Trauma

Hayti staff chose this film when it was shortlisted as France’s entry to this year’s Academy Awards. While Alice Diop’s tour-de-force did not make the final round, we’re excited to share this with our film-loving community.

Saint Omer


Director: Alice Diop

Narrative Feature

The films in this block explore the ways that we are in continuous rhythm and harmony with the ancestors.


I Wanted to Ask the Trees 


Filmmaker: Dr. Kristi Vincent Johnson

Southern Narrative  Short ~ Dance ~ Experimental


Under the Sun After the Wind

Director: Patrice D. Bowman

Southern Narrative Short ~ Dance ~ Experimental




Director: Junadry Leocaria

Dance ~ Experimental


The Communion of White Dresses


Director: Dr. Kristi V. Johnson

Documentary Short ~ Dance ~ Experimental




Director: Katrina Brook Flores

Narrative Short ~ Experimental ~ Afrofuturism ~ Love




Director: Dumas Haddad

Narrative Short ~ Experimental 

Future Forward Techno with DeForrest Brown

Join us for a special presentation in the lobby of Hayti! DeForrest Brown, Jr., rhythmanalyst, media theorist, and curator, will present a one-hour soundscape of electronic music. Brown releases music under his own name as well as the moniker Speaker Music and is a representative of the Make Techno Black again campaign.


Free and open to the public.

Director Kristian Hill and Producer Jennifer Washington will be at Hayti for this special screening of God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines. A Q+A with DeForrest Brown, Jr. follows.


God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines


Director: Kristian R. Hill

Documentary Feature ~ Music ~History