The African-American Film Festival returns with more than 40 films

"Agents of Change" chronicles the conditions black students faced on college campuses in the late 1960s.

Photo (above) by Steve Starr

Photo courtesy Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
Photo courtesy Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival

The annual Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival (MVAAFF) recently announced its screening schedule for the upcoming film festival, which takes place Monday, August 10, through Saturday, August 15. Now in its 13th year, the MVAAFF highlights work by distinguished African-American producers and actors from across the globe. According to a press release, MVAAFF films address an array of topics in the African-American, LGBT, Hispanic, Asian, and international communities.

On opening night, Monday, August 10, sponsor HBO presents “Mavis!” at Entertainment Cinemas in Edgartown. All other screenings and events will take place at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center (MVPAC) at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, unless otherwise noted. A complete itinerary and film-screening schedule can be found at

“The MVAAFF provides a major platform for African-American filmmakers to showcase their talents, and is a way to bring wide-reaching social and cultural issues to the forefront,” says Dennis Williams, vice president of corporate social responsibility for HBO. “As a signature sponsor, HBO looks forward to honoring the African-American film community and all of its contributions to the worldwide filmmaking scene.”

“We are thrilled to once again sponsor the MVAAFF,” says Sheldon Levy, executive vice president for Saatchi & Saatchi New York. “The festival celebrates not only the spirit of independent film, but focuses a spotlight on the passion and persistence of filmmakers of color in the diaspora.”

Photo courtesy Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival
Photo courtesy Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival

“Along with my wife and MVAAFF co-founder, Stephanie, we are excited to provide this outlet for emerging and established African-American film prodigies,” says MVAAFF co-founder, Floyd Rance. “It is our hope to positively affect the U.S. film experience, as well as those who seek a broader insight on the influence African Americans have on filmmaking around the world.”

Select MVAAFF screenings and events


Edgartown Cinemas, 65 Main Street, Edgartown

Monday, August 10 – 6 to 9 pm: HBO presents “Mavis!”

Tuesday, August 11 – 3 to 6 pm: “Somewhere in the Middle”

MVPAC, 100 Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs

Tuesday, August 11 – 7 to 9 pm: The Yard presents a live dance performance by Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company

Wednesday, August 12 – 7 to 9 pm: Wharton Sports Business Institute presents “Althea”

Thursday, August 13 – 7:30 to 9 pm: “Treasure: From Tragedy to Transjustice, Mapping a Detroit Story”

Friday, August 14 – 7 to 9 pm: A discussion about the new Spike Lee film “Chiraq”

Saturday, August 15 – 5 to 7 pm: HBO Short Film Competition & Awards Presentation, followed by HBO presents “3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets”

Other notable films to be screened include: “Fingerprints,” “Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story,” “Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band,” “Forgiveness,” “Bound: Africans vs. African Americans,” “Agents of Change,” and “Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China.”


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