Color, In Cinema

The Cary will host its first-ever African-American Film Festival beginning today, as a four-day celebration of people of color in cinema.

In the spotlight are seven feature films and six short films made by and about African-Americans, along with Q&A and panel discussions with talented local and national filmmakers.  

“The African-American Film Festival offers a diverse selection of feature-length and short films from talented artists, curated for their impact and representation of important voices in our community,” said Joy Ennis, operations and program supervisor for The Cary Theater.

“We are excited to host our inaugural event and bring together award-winning filmmakers, including Cary’s own Allan Smith as well as our featured filmmaker, Harold Jackson III.”

Jackson is an Emmy-nominated producer and recent winner of the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the N.C. Black Film Festival. His films include Last Night, The Gift, Burn: The Evolution of an American City, and Under the Bourbon Moon.

Unless otherwise noted, the film screenings are free. Here’s the festival schedule:

Tonight, March 3:

7 p.m., Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Lifesavers, followed by Q&A with Director Allan Smith. A Cary resident, Smith was raised in Hollywood. His film and television credits include Chinatown, The Day of the Locust, The Brady Bunch, and Gunsmoke.

9:15 p.m., Blood Done Sign My Name

Friday, March 4:

7 p.m., Last Night, followed by Q&A with director and featured guest Harold Jackson III

9 p.m., The Sin Seer, curated by Harold Jackson III

Saturday, March 5:

10 a.m., Panel Discussion: Diversity in the Film Industry, featuring Harold Jackson III and moderated by ABC Eyewitness news’ Joel Brown.

Panelists will include John Heller, Emmy Award and two-time CLIO Award-winning producer and director; Tyler Schwartz, senior filmmaker at Raleigh-based production company Carolina Reprographics; and Charlon Turner, board vice president of the Black Arts Alliance and host of the N.C. Black Film Festival.

2 p.m., An afternoon of short films:

February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four, by Dr. Steven A. Channing

Dark Therapy, by Chad Eric Smith

First Date / Last Date, by Derege Harding

The Confidential Informant, by Stephen Kinigopoulos

Jane Doe, by A.M. Greene

7 p.m., Straight Outta Compton, introduced by Harold Jackson III (Admission is $5.)

Sunday, March 6:

2 p.m., Dear White People (Admission is $5)

For tickets and more information on the African-American Film Festival, visit

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