The International Black Film Festival (IBFF), located in the heart of Nashville, kicks off its 18th season on Wednesday, September 27, and runs through Sunday, October 1, presenting opening day panels on social justice, its impact on culture — films and music — and a “Salute to 50 years of Hip Hop” panel, a dialogue distinguished by the presence of a true master, a legendary artist of rap, honored guest Mr. Kurtis Blow. This year screenings & panels will take place at 3 venues: The R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center at Belmont University, Fisk University, and the Z. Alexander Looby Center Theater.
IBFF gets an up-and-close opportunity to talk to the “These Are the Breaks and Basketball” icon in “A Conversation with the Architect of Hip Hop, Kurtis Blow.” In a wide-ranging discussion, enlivened by audience participation, Kurtis Blow will provide insights on his creativity, rap career, and how they have fueled his incredible life journey. Tickets are now available for this exciting program, and can be purchased at: www.ibffevents.com .
In keeping with IBFF’s commitment to musical themes in film, audiences will find the annual staple of unique films that feature music in surprising, informative, and entertaining ways. Selections include Lead Belly, a Special Feature on Music Legend Huddie Ledbetter; Birth of a Song, a short biopic of Luther Ingram; The Quilt: A History of African American Music; How to Deal with Fame, a short musical biopic; and TikTok Challenged, a family goes all-in on TikTok.
One & Done is a local favorite, a 17 minute Narrative Short written by Michael “Diallo” McLendon, Directed by Candace Omnira, starring Renard Hirsch and Kimberley Renee Jones, also featuring John Wiggins, KeShawn Pettigrew, Kenny Dozier, Candace Omnira, Maya Scruggs, MJ, and Antwon Willis. In the film, an eccentric teacher lands a date with a co-worker who is out-of-his league, and struggles to impress her with hopes of making it to date number two. See it in the Short Suites 4 program, on Saturday, September 30, 2:45 – 4:10pm at the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center at Belmont.
“IBFF will also showcase amazing, independent films and looks forward to the return of actors, actresses, and writers when the time is right. As the strikes forge on, we sincerely hope that more fair and equitable outcomes are being established for the film and TV community,” said IBFF Founder Hazel Joyner Smith.
Beyond music, festival participants will enjoy other topics from this season’s competition films, as “Official Selections” represent a range of genres — dramas, thrillers, horror, rom-com, and documentaries — wth each one exploring intriguing themes on identity, social justice, relationships, and spirituality in novel ways. Panels, workshops, and social networking fill up festival days with activities to help filmmakers and aspirants attain their artistic goals.
Browse the festival program and purchase tickets for film screenings and events at www.ibffevents.com . There you will find listings of all festival films, film posters & details, and a programming schedule with times and locations listed for all movies and events.