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Preview: San Diego Black Film Festival

Opens Tonight At Reading Gaslamp

Above: San Diego Black Film Festival director Karen Willis with actor Michael Jai White at the 2009 festival.

The San Diego Black Film Festival kicks off tonight at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas and runs through February 3.

The festival's opening night film is the world premiere of the documentary "African Independence" presented by Dr. Tukufu Zuberi (of PBS' "History Detectives"). The film screens with 2 shorts: "The Silent Treatment" and "Sleep." Also screening on opening night will be "CH27" (another world premieire), "Winta," and "Red, White, Black and Blue."

The festival will also have panels on topics ranging from branding to producing to writing. Another highlight is the annual Shaft/Superfly Party. As the festival website says, "Put on your bell-bottoms and Afro too. If you can dig it! Now party on down to the hippest 1970s soul and disco party around. You know you got soul… so gone’ with your bad self!" The party is Friday night at 10pm.

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