The recent success of films Get Out and this past weekend’s opener Girls Trip has proven to many what Black folk have already known- that Blacks can be a successful and viable force in front of, or behind the camera lens.

Thankfully, the film buffs at Gene Siskel Film Center have long been ahead of the curve. This August, the venerable film center will present the 23rd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival- a celebration of independent films “that tell the stories and explore the images, heritage, and history of the worldwide black experience.”
Black Harvest will feature films covering the gamut of the Black life including Social Activism and community issues, Black love and relationships, artist biographies, Chicago-centric films, as well as comedies, dramas and thrillers. There will be also a panel discussion and workshop for budding filmmakers.

Over 40 films will be featured so there is truly something for everyone.

Stanley Nelson’s- Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
Stanley Nelson is a longtime storyteller of Black life and history. The brother who brought us the 2015 hit, Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, is back with Tell Them We are Rising- an unusual look into the history of Black education and HBCU’s.

Killing Lazarus
From the official Killing Lazarus website: “Killing Lazarus is a gripping tale of a doomed friendship formed out of despair and cemented by the need to survive. When they find themselves truly at odds, their loyalty is put to the test one last time.” Produced by Jamelah Biggs- star of the awesome web series- First– an Issa Rae Production.

90 DAYS- Featuring Teyonah Parris and Nic Few and Pauletta Washington
The story of a young couple that quickly falls in love when after 90 days one reveals a life-altering secret. Based on a true story. Directed by Empire’s Jussie Smollett. Here is a sneak peek:

90 Days Trailer from Full Frequency Media on Vimeo.

On August 19, “Action! The Real Deal About Filmmaking,” a panel featuring and DIY workshop, will cover every aspect of production and feature down-to-earth advice and practical information from our guest producers and directors. The August 27 presentation “The Realities of Screenwriting” will provide valuable tips.


Black Harvest-Love Jones

Closing night -Thursday, August 31, Black Harvest will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Black film classic- Love Jones starring Larenz Tate and Nia Long, which was famously filmed here in Chicago. The screening will include a personal appearance by director Theodore Witcher, a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
Check out more of the great films being shown during the Black Harvest Film Festival at


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