The 2020 D.C. Black Film Festival has begun! Of course this year things are being done differently as the festival is being brought to us virtually but still showcasing some great talents! I had the pleasure of moderating two panels for this year’s festival featuring films in the categories of “Reel Women” and “Love & Relationships”.
During my conversation with two of the directors in the “Reel Women” category, I learned that both women had a very deep connection to their films and they both branched from personal experiences. Alyscia Cunningham, the director of “I Am More Than My Hair” wanted to bring more awareness to the continuous bald shaming to happens to women. Whether someone deals with medical hair loss, cancer or has chosen to shave their head, Alyscia wants people to see this film and understand that it’s not okay to judge a person based on outside images of beauty. Personally, I didn’t know there were so many different types of alopecia and I let Alyscia know during our discussion that I appreciated her for making it a point in her film to fully explain it.
Angela Heath the director of ‘Women of Faith: Coping With Trauma’ shared with me that this film was on her heart for years but she kept pushing it off until finally, she said yes I will do it. Angela was raped and didn’t know where to turn to deal with the trauma she endured afterward. As a faithful Christain, Angela felt unsure about bringing this conversation up amongst other Christians but she soon realized, unfortunately, there were many women who shared her story. This film’s production wasn’t the best but the stories each woman in this film shared were powerful. A quote that has stuck with me from this film is “Our lives are not just for us” meaning we all must learn and grow from each other. As each of us tells our life stories and learn from those stories, we will continue to make this world a better place.
The other films in this category are ‘Canda’s Unchecked Racism’ and ‘Puppy Love’. Check out the trailers for all of the “Reel Women” films below and get your tickets to The D.C. Black Film Festival to see each film in their entirety.