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San Diego Black Film Festival Spotlights African-American Cinema For 17th Year

A scene in the film

Credit: SDBFF

Above: A scene in the film "5th of July," which is opening the 17th annual San Diego Black Film Festival, is shown in this screenshot.

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Comedies, dramas, documentaries and short films are all on the agenda at the 17th annual San Diego Black Film Festival, which officially begins Thursday at ArcLight Cinemas La Jolla.

The festival opens with the comedy "5th of July," a comedy starring Jaleel White, who played Steve Urkel on the sitcom "Family Matters." A pre-opening reception will be held Wednesday at the Sugar Factory in the Gaslamp, where there will be a screening of "Brown Paper Bag," a feature film chronicling the struggles of African-American actors in the '40s and '50s.

In addition to the movies themselves, festivalgoers will be able to take part in panel discussions with some of the directors, actors and celebrity guests.

Karen Willis, director of the San Diego Black Film Festival, said she expects between 8,000 and 10,000 people to attend this year's festival over its four-day run.

Willis previews this year's films Wednesday on Midday Edition.

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