2021 Festival Archive

Relive the Black Film Festival of New Orleans

March 26 - April 4

Photo from the 2021 Black Film Festival of New Orleans in-person event at Cafe IstanbulMissed the 2021 Black Film Festival of New Orleans or want to relive the experience? Check out the in-person event photos, the 2021 festival schedule and the list of shorts, documents and other featured film screenings. And explore the full list of BFFNO Award Winners and Nominees online.

The Awards Showcase

The full list of the Black Film Festival of New Orleans’ 2021 Award Winners includes:

  • Best Sound Design/Music: A Dream For Sale by Jonathan Isaac Jackson
  • Best Makeup/Wardrobe: Rejoice Resist by Elisha Smith-Leverock
  • Best Web Content: Shank’s Rain by Jonathan Rowan and Khyran Shank
  • Best Animation: From Me To You: A Conversation with Animation by Leah Coleman
  • Best Cinematography: Rejoice Resist by Elisha Smith-Leverock
  • Best Writing: Keep Your Flowers by Sekou Brown and Ivory Adams
  • Best Actor: Maynard Okereke in I’m Sorry
  • Best Actress: Jasmine Guy in Illegal Rose
  • Best Director: Deborah Riley Draper for Illegal Rose
  • Best Documentary: A Placed Called Desire by Leonard Smith III
  • Best Feature: Solomon by JB Armstrong
  • Best New Orleans Project: A Dream For Sale by Jonathan Isaac Jackson
  • Audience Jury Award: A Place Called Desire by Leonard Smith III
  • Best Short Film: Rejoice Resist by Elisha Smith-Leverock
  • Best Young Filmmaker: David Chambers for Blaming Cairo

BFFNO Night #1

Festival Poster for Night 1 Events

BFFNO Night #2

BFFNO Festival Night 2 event poster

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Friday, March 26

Live Screenings

Event: 2021 BFFNO Black Carpet Kickoff/New Orleans Filmmakers Night 


Date & Time: 3 – 9 p.m. Friday, March 26


Location: Cafe Istanbul, 2372 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 (located inside the Healing Center)


Films: Everything that Shines Is Not Gold, A Frantic Love, The TriLateral Effect, Renaissance, Seeing Sounds, The Truth, A Dream For Sale, All The Smoke, Looking at the Edges, Think About It

Saturday, March 27

Live Screenings

Event: The Diaspora Filmmakers Night


Date & Time: 5 – 11 p.m. Saturday, March 27 


Location: The Broad Theater, 636 N Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119


Films: Low Key, Couch Coins, I’m Sorry, Shank’s Rain, White Tears, Maternally Yours

Sunday, March 28+

Virtual Screenings

Event: Virtual Film Screenings | Watch and get tickets at https://bffno2021.bingewave.com/f/black-film-festival-of-new-orleans


Date: Beginning Sunday, March 28 – April 4


Sunday virtual film screening schedule:

  • 10 a.m. – noon: Balloon Man (1:37:37)
  • Noon – 1 p.m.: Genesis (5:00), From Me to You (5:26), Renaissance (4:19), Keep Your Flowers (3:47), Couch Coins (5:39), Think About It (7:53), Seeing Sounds (3:27)
  • Noon – 2 p.m.: A Place Called Desire (1:32:10)
  • 2 – 4 p.m.: Solomon (1:31:23)
  • 1 – 3:30 p.m.: A Dream for Sale (6:51), Rejoice Resist (5:13), All The Smoke (7:32), Round Table (18:00), Such An Honor (9:11), Silent Partner (10:00), White Tears (23:24) 1-3:30pm
  • 3:30 – 6 p.m.: I’m Sorry (14:19), Lessons Lived (17:06), Illegal Rose(14:06), Blaming Cairo (15:02), I Hate This FKN Job (17:30), Barley (13:21), Broke Is The Reason (8:18)
  • 5 – 7 p.m.: Low Key (1:37:17)
  • 6 – 8 p.m.: Puppy Love (17:53), January 14th(14:43), Everything That Glitters (18:24), Light In Dark Places (10:55), Pepper Soup (10:31), Shanks Rain (9:21)
  • 7 – 9 p.m.: Pink Opaque (1:31:08)
  • 9 – 11 p.m.: Fierce Funny & Fly (1:16:20) 

(Sunday, March 28 only | All films will be on demand until April 4)

Saturday, April 3

Virtual Awards Show

Event: Virtual Awards Show with live performances streamed via BFFNOtv on Youtube and Black Film Festival of New Orleans on Facebook


Date & Time: 2 – 5 p.m. April 3

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All Films

2021 Black Film Festival of New Orleans
[filter_gallery_wrap columns=”3″ columnstab=”2″ columnsmbl=”1″ hover_effect=”ih_item_slide_up” categ_activeclr=”#000000″ categ_activebg=”#000000″ categ_textclr=”#000000″ categ_textbg=”#000000″][filter_gallery_son controlname=”friday, virtual, nominees” caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”450″]Directed by Jonathan Isaac Jackson | A Scientist invents a machine that can record dreams. As she looks outward at the universe for answers, she discovers that her answers lie within herself. Isn’t every movie a Dream for sale tho?[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son controlname=”” caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”746″]Directed by Gary Tucker | After her terrifying ordeal with her obsessive stalker, Justin, the headstrong Ebony seeks to reconstruct her life and regain her independence, something she hopes moving into a home of her own will help her accomplish. Her friends face struggles of their own as Tracy finds herself in hot water at her pharmacy job, and Shelia’s bond with her teenage daughter, Akilah, hits a rocky patch. Ebony throws herself into her restaurant work, but when a flirtatious relationship begins to build between Tracy and her coworker, Roman, and Shelia’s romance with her boyfriend, Derrick, continues to bloom, she can’t help but feel something, or someone, is missing from her own life. Her friends hope she might be able to find that someone at an upcoming Christmas party they are hosting, and Ebony, despite the fact her invitation to the party mysteriously went missing, reluctantly agrees to attend. Besides, it’s not like Justin could possibly know about the party – Right[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son controlname=”friday, virtual” caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”428″]Directed by Karim Massaquoi | A struggling roadside diner finally gets the patrons they’ve desperately been waiting for[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”440″]A Place Called Desire has been in the making for 12 years, offers many unforgettable history lessons applicable to American history, Louisiana history, African American history, urban history, racial history, studies of neighborhoods, studies of survival, and memorable stories of love and community. Somehow the filmmaker shares hard truths with a gentle touch.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”442″]Directed by Chantal Potter | Balloon Man crystallizes the art of struggle and redemption, while providing an unofficial blueprint for not becoming a victim of circumstance. It is the manifestation for father and daughter, of a dream simultaneously realized. Four decades, thousands of passengers and countless adventures later, Bill finds freedom in flying, proving that with a bit of faith the sky is the limit.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”434″]Directed by Daniel Ferrell | A young man with a record has a hard time finding a job while trying to avoid his old life[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”426″]Directed by David Chambers | College athlete Cairo Jones quickly goes from Big Man on Campus to Public Enemy Number 1 when he is accused of a heinous crime[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”592″]Barrington Vaxter | After turning his child’s blankets into a rope and scaling a balcony to escape the IRS, Barrington finds himself a homeless father who will do anything to keep what he hasn’t lost already.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”446″]Directed by Mr. Snugglez | The life of coins and how they interact with the world[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”435″]

Directed by Jean Paul Noel | Fierce Funny & Fly examines the friendship behind the first comedy festival exclusively for Black Women comics. In 2017 a group of talented women joined forces to create a safe space for their diverse comedic voices. The outgrowth of that mission became the Black Girl Giggles Comedy Festival.

[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”432″]From Me to You: A Conversation with Animation, Directed by Leah Coleman | The narrative follows the character, Renee, who is unmotivated to finish a recent animation project. Though she makes another attempt to start, she is uncertain of her own abilities as an artist and again, avoids working on the project. As she seems to give up, her work comes to life, forcing her into a dreamscape. There, she confronts her own uncertainties and is reminded of the accomplishments she has made when she first began her journey.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”430″]Directed by Phillip Page | Genesis is an animated short film about being creative and loving what you create! Inspired by the Book of Genesis[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”443″]Directed by Marcellus Cox | An Award Winning Drama about a young African American man who spends his last free day before heading to prison apologizing to everyone near and dear to him for betraying their trust in him[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”448″]Directed by Monique Lola Berkley | Young, driven and professional, Naima Ali is the only woman of color in her office. On the surface seemingly no issues but once peeled back the pages of her employer, Winning Magazine, we get to see why Naima feels the way she does. Naima’s co workers might not deal with issues the way she does, however, we question if they are as happy with their jobs as portrayed.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”594″]Directed by Deborah Riley Draper | A nurse accidentally kidnaps an ICE detention center runaway on the Fourth of July and changes both their lives.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”438″]Directed by La’Chris Jordan | A young couple’s anniversary takes a bittersweet turn when a police officer pulls the husband over on a questionable traffic stop. Inspired by true events.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”437″]Directed by Sekou Browne | Fleeing her abusive husband, a woman musters up strength and decides to face her abuser head on[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”595″]LESSONS LIVED, Directed by Mark Vinzant | LESSONS LIVED is a story about a grandmother’s search for understanding from the imprisoned killer of her grandson Jamison. Bertha suffers from an inner conflict between her religious beliefs of forgiveness and revenge.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”790″]Directed by Cierra Johnson | A look at one of New Orleans’ youngest neighborhoods. The East![/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”445″]Directed by Rock White | An unfulfilled salesman and his eccentric streetwise manager come together to navigate Dallas’ underground music world for a chance at a record deal[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”449″]Directed By Nicole Collins | The past and present collide revealing family secrets that could slow down the plans of an ambitious young woman.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”429″]Directed by Derrick Perry | A story of love, family, hardships, and life in Los Angeles[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”441″]Directed by Jeremiah Towolawi | Rachel and her husband Tosin have been trying for a child for the past few years. Although they haven’t managed to have a child of their own they have managed to keep the faith. But then, Rachel has a miscarriage and begins struggling with her faith and her marriage. Rather than confiding in each other, Rachel and Tosin turn to technology and begin searching for a way forward from this traumatic event.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”447″]Directed by Darren Heard | Beetle, the typical around the way kid, has a huge crush on his favorite R&B singer “Crystal”. While listening to the radio, the DJ announces a contest that will get him up, close and personal with the singer but the only way to win the tickets is to call in. The problem is, his phone does not work. Beetle has to figure out a way to get to the love of his life in this coming of age drama about what it was like when you first experienced love.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”431″]Renaissance, Directed by Cavalier V. Korin | Guided forces compel Cavalier to take a journey exploring a 22 mile religious Pilgrimage on the northern coast of Panama. Here, western and indigenous archetypes reform our ideas of death, transformation, and rebirth[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”597″]

Directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock | Rejoice Resist is a film that celebrates and shows Black Joy and Black pleasure as the ultimate form of resistance. It highlights the importance of allowing yourself to feel joy especially in the face of adversity.

The film, surreal and lighthearted despite its powerful themes, depicts a woman on a quest to discover this truth.

[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”427″]Directed by Michael A Pinckney | This short film talks about the state of affairs within the black community in a comical and satirical way. This short will touch on many different issues within the black community. Imagine having an elected official for each of the different stereotypical images faced within the black community, and then that same community coming together in a secret meeting to discuss, debate, develop solutions to move forward as a whole. This film should not only make you laugh, but also help you to see the hidden message in each conversation.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”598″]

Seeing Sounds, Directed by Jason Foster | Mr. Henry has been working in the same parking lot since 1959. Seeing Sounds takes a peek inside his world through an interview, portraiture and environmental still film photography and Super 8 film footage.

[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”433″]Directed by Jonathan Rowan | Shank trades in his player card, giving his heart to the woman of his dreams but her true intentions changed his life[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”436″]Directed by Issa Currie | Hank’s Family is missing and he’s not talking. Two detectives are hot on the case but have nothing to go with. Can they solve the case before it goes cold?[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”444″]Directed by JB Armstrong | While living in Detroit, a struggling young white writer and a retired black psychiatrist form an unlikely friendship in the midst of the city’s changing demographics and culture, all while uncovering secrets about one another that threaten to destroy their growing bond.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”439″]Directed by Nicole Pouchet | Set in the year 2050, SUCH AN HONOR is a short sci-fi film about an aging actress who is pressured to upgrade into a synthetic body. It’s all about growing old gracefully and who gets to choose what women do with our bodies[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”747″]Directed by Bianca Siplin | A good mistress is a wife’s best friend[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”749″]Directed by Trazi Lashawn | An episodic drama following the lives of a community intertwined by drama and secrets[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”600″]Directed by Troy Pierre III | (Think About It) What is Black Film? | A thought provoking series exploring topics and ideas a lot of people feel they understand until it’s time to actually think about it. Some things aren’t as simple as they may seem.[/filter_gallery_son][filter_gallery_son caption_bg=”rgba(0,0,0,0.81)” popup=”image” iconclr=”#ffffff” image_id=”601″]Directed by Tommy Franklin | Based on a true story, WHITE TEARS is a surreal dark comedy and adventure-fantasy. Our victim and hopeful hero, Cedric, has a seemingly casual romantic rendezvous with a woman he met while traveling. Shortly after their meetup, the woman’s White Tears send Cedric’s whole being and world into a state of horror! He eventually snaps out of his shock and into an epiphany that sets him on a quest he masterminds to cure and unburden his people of the White Tears Epidemic™️, otherwise known as white liberal guilt. Cedric might not save the world, but he damn well tries by bending science as we know it and defies the dangers of White Tears Radiation™️. Can White Tears be eradicated? Cedric thinks he’s the one for the job, and the idea of a world full of black love, joy and uninterrupted Black excellence sees him through to the final destination. [/filter_gallery_son][/filter_gallery_wrap]

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