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San Diego Black Film Festival

10th Season Kicks Off Thursday

Credit: Mike Todd

Above: "Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears" is this year's opening night film.


Karen Willis, Director of the San Diego Black Film Festival

Jhonson Simeon and Sean McLean, filmmakers, "A Part of Our Relationship"


The San Diego Black Film Festival will launch its 10th season this Thursday at Reading Gaslamp Stadium Theaters.

The San Diego Black Film Festival was established in 2002 and is hosted each year by the San Diego Black Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The festival and foundation are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of African American and African Diaspora cinema as well as the education of media arts.

According to the festival's press release: "As the San Diego Black Film Festival enters its 10th year, we're more excited than ever. The event continues to experience tremendous growth and is now one of the largest black film festivals in the country and second largest on the west coast. Our motto is "Spotlight on African American and African Diaspora Cinema." We screen over 100 films each year: Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Animation, GLBT, Horror, Religious, Foreign/African Diaspora, Shorts, Feature Films and music videos."

The festival returns to the Reading Gaslamp Theaters after having made its home for the past several years at the Horton Plaza Theaters. New this year is what festival director Karen Willis calls "The Big Eight," the films deemed the most important by the festival's committee. Returning is the popular Shaft Superfly Party on Friday.

The opening night film on Thursday is "Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears," and the festival closes on Sunday January 29.

One of the short films highlighted, "A Part of Our Relationship," was made by San Diegan Jhonson Simeon, who learned the craft of filmmaking as a combat photographer in the U.S. military. The film screens Friday at 5:00pm.

One of the feature documentaries screening this year is Mary F. Morten's "Woke Up Black" (Saturday, 1:00pm). Here is the trailer.

Woke Up Black

Trailer for "Woke Up Black"

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