Preserve the Heritage...Embrace the Experience!
Preserve the Heritage...
Embrace the Experience!

The 23rd annual Heritage Film Festival


The Festival showcases diverse works of, by and about people of African descent. The three-day event will present short and full length films that support the talents of rising and established film makers and will present classic feature films as well.


The 23rd annual Heritage Film Festival is presented at the Hayti Heritage Center, and African American cultural arts organization located in the historic Hayti community of Durham, North Carolina.


Themes this year are: Blaxploitation; Social Justice and Our Legacy; Afrofuturism and Science Fiction; Community; and more.

$6 – Tickets include food and beverage



Thursday, February 9th (Blaxploitation)

6:00 pm – Foxy Brown – (92 minutes) – In this film classic, Pam Grier stars as the avenging angel.  She is focused on getting revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.  The role of Foxy Brown was intended as a sequel to Grier’s film Coffy, but the studio decided against a sequel and originated the character for Grier. Filming took only 17 days and solidified Grier’s onscreen image as a tough action figure. The soundtrack was recorded and produced by well-known R&B artist Willie Hutch, who also recorded the theme song for another classic Blaxploitation film “The Mack.”


7:45 pm – Across 110th Street – (102 minutes) – A fast paced crime thriller directed by the underrated Barry Shear starring Yaphet Kotto as a police lieutenant and Anthony Quinn as his racist colleague (Quinn also co-produced the film). The pair investigate a robbery committed by three black men of a mafia owned policy bank in which seven men were killed. For different reasons the robbers are also being chased by sadistic Italian mafia lieutenant Nick D’Salvio (played by Anthony Franciosa) and his henchmen. Great performances, excellent use of locations and profound characterizations established the film as a classic. The title song by Bobby Womack was also used in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and Ridley Scott’s American Gangster.


9:30 pm – Super Fly – (93 minutes) – Youngblood Priest (Ron O’Neal) is an African-American cocaine dealer who has a strong desire to leave the drug business. Before he can exit the drug world, he has to earn enough funds to support his lifestyle, believing that a regular nine to five job will not satisfy his needs. He creates a plan to sell thirty kilos of cocaine, and use the profits to sustain him while he searches for a job, which he assumes will be a difficult process due to his criminal background. Along the way Priest has several run-ins with corrupt law enforcement. He also experiences betrayal from his close friend, Eddie. In the end, Priest is able to escape the drug business with Georgia, his girlfriend, and walk away unharmed. Despite the controversy surrounding the film’s drug use, Ron O’Neal insists that Super Fly “is not really about drugs”; in fact, he asserts that it is the “greatest anti-drug film…”’ And of course, who can forget the awesome music by Curtis Mayfield….


Friday, February 10th (Social Justice and Our Legacy)

5:00 pm – Soul City – (90 minutes) – Soul City is a documentary short that tells the story of a group of civil rights activists and city slickers who attempt to build a multiracial utopia in the heart of Klan Country, North Carolina in the 1970’s.  Their pioneering efforts to jumpstart this black-owned, black-built town run up against tenacious enemies that still face idealists and dreamers today–ingrained racism, public skepticism, and unwillingness on the part of the government to think outside the box to solve social problems. As this group of dreamers try to bring together unlikely allies to support black power and economic development, they are forced to balance their soaring idealism with the hostile reality of the times.

(Followed by a discussion with State Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr. about what the film got right and what it got wrong)

7:30 pm – Finding Aumont Whitaker – (15 minutes) –  At age 22, Dina learned her biological father was a postman from Compton, California. Her mother told her he was married and Dina shouldn’t interfere. She didn’t. Dina gave up searching and convinced herself she was his unknown or unwanted child. More than two decades later, when a filmmaker friend helps Dina find her sisters on Facebook, they set out on a 3-day trip across the country to surprise them. An emotional journey filled with sorrow, love and laughter, Finding Aumont Whitaker will uplift hearts and bring families closer together.

(Followed by a discussion with the subject of the film and the filmmaker)

8:30 pm – 13th – Centered on race in the United Stated justice system, the film is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). The Ava DuVernay documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated today through mass incarceration.
10:00 pm – Mosaic – Although a successful lawyer with a beautiful family Ruth Anderson is preoccupied by her own ambitions to notice or care. The career driven realist clashes with her creative idealist daughter, Mara. There is consistent disagreement between the two and it becomes increasingly clear that a pattern of disconnection prevails in the family. When the wise and present Judge Rohi visits Ruth, he advises and offers resolution to her problems. Presented with an opportunity at reconciliation and the chance to surrender her most prized possession- her control, Ruth ops to take her own path and the real problems ensue. MOSAIC is a collection of emotions- pieces of a broken family with broken pasts struggling to mend broken hearts.

Saturday, February 11th (Afrofuturism/Science Fiction, Community)

11:00 am – Afrofuturism Cinema and Visual Science Fiction Shorts Narrated by Darrell Stover

Noise Gate – by Vim Crony – (8:20) – Watch Now
Noise Gate – Behind the Scenes – ( 6:34) – Watch Now
Pumzi – by Wanuri Kahiu – ( 21:52) – Watch Now

1:30 pm – Living Colors (running time 33 minutes) – Durham Civil Rights Mural documentary produced and directed by Rodrigo Dorfman and featuring over 100 community members
2:15 pm – Discussion on community centered public art
3:00 pm – A Block of Films curated by Lana Garland and featuring films from Uganda….Lana spent part of last summer in Uganda and had the pleasure of working with filmmakers from this country…This is the first time these films will be presented in the Triangle area….
7:00 pm – We come back to the Afrofuturism theme in the evening with a block of Sci-Fi Films.  First film is the short Unravel by Triangle filmmaker David Merritt who know calls L.A. Home…
Unravel is a mind-bending sci-fi, psychological thriller. Gage awakens to discover he is caught in a hellish time loop controlled by a blood soaked watch. Gage desperately struggles to change the outcome before he spirals into madness.
7:30 pm – Dead Day – Johnny Dutch (also a track star) – a short film about two young adults searching for refuge in an apocalyptic, zombie dominated world.
8:00 pm – Brother from Another Planet – Starring Joe Morton, co-star of the TV series Scandal

Music, vendors, food and beverages will be available – For additional information contact us at info@hayti.org or 919-683-1709




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