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Pile of Fabrics

Black History Month Short Film Festival


Black History Month Short Films Fest 2021

african short films .jpg

Schedule of Events


Program 1

2:00 PM – 2:08 PM Virtual concert by Leland Baker
2:10 PM – 2:26 PM Rain (Dir: Melyonna Bellenger, 1978, 16 Mins)
2:30 PM – 2:46 PM Art, Black Artists ( Dir: Flyseo J. Taylor, 16 Mins)

Program 2

3:00 PM – 3:16 PM Ujamii Uhuru Shule ( Dir: Don Amis, 1974, 16 mins)
3:20 PM – 3:45 PM Panel Discussions

Program 3

4:00PM – 5:00 PM Virtual Live Performance by BOCHEK

Short Films Selections



Director: Melvonna Ballenger

YEAR: 1978

FORMAT: 16mm  Digital video, transferred from 3/4" videotape, b/w


Director Melvonna Ballenger’s Rain (Nyesha) shows how awareness can lead to a more fulfilling life.  In the film, a female typist goes from apathetic to empowered through the help of a man giving out political fliers on the street.  Using John Coltrane’s song “After the Rain,” Ballenger’s narration of the film meditates on rainy days and their impact.  The rain in this short film doesn’t signify defeat, but offers renewal and “a chance to recollect, a cool out.”  —Trisha Lendo


Black, Black Artist

Director: Elyseo J. Taylor

YEAR: 1971

FORMAT: 16mm, color

As the only Black faculty member in UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, Elyseo Taylor was an influential teacher and advocate for students of color. In voiceover dialogue with woodcut printmaker Van Slater, Taylor’s film examines the status of contemporary Black artists.  A visual survey of Black art since the 19th century, punctuated with jazz and blues selections, outlines pressures to prove artistic capability, to suit white and middle-class Black tastes and to make explicit political statements —Jacqueline Stewart

Ujamii Uhuru Shule Community Freedom School

Director: Don Amis

YEAR: 1974

FORMAT: Digital video transferred from 16mm, color

Ujamii Uhuru Schule (Swahili for Community Freedom School) is the day-in-the-life portrait of an Afrocentric primary learning academy located in South Los Angeles. Focusing on the virtues of the three Rs — Respect, Righteousness and Revolution — the curriculum also teaches the importance of cultural values and self-defense. Shot in high contrast to emulate the color spectrum of the Pan-African flag, Don Amis punctuates the documentary with African chants, syncopated drums and poignant narration by the school’s faculty. Learn, baby, learn.  —Tony Best

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