Just days after Chris Rock skewered Hollywood’s lack of diversity in film at the Oscars, The Cary theater will celebrate black cinema at its first African-American Film Festival.
The festival, which begins Thursday, March 3, is part of the town’s African-American Celebration. It will showcase seven movies and six short films by and about African-Americans.
The films include a showing of the critically acclaimed “Straight Outta Compton,” about hip-hop group N.W.A., and “Blood Done Sign My Name,” which tells the true story about volatile race relations in Oxford.
Here is a schedule of events. Most films are free unless indicated otherwise.
▪ “Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday. Director Allan Smith of Cary, who has been part of the film and TV industry for 30 years, will lead a question and answer session afterward. “Blood Done Sign My Name” will follow at 9:15 p.m.
▪ A reception is at 6 p.m. Friday, March 4, and “Last Night” will be screened at 7 p.m. with a discussion with director Harold Jackson III. “The Sin Seer” follows at 9 p.m.
▪ Filmmakers and actors will talk about diversity in the film industry in a panel, moderated by ABC11’s Joel Brown, at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5.
The panel includes Jackson, an Emmy-nominated producer who won the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the N.C. Black Film Festival, and John Heller, an Emmy and CLIO Award-winning producer and director.
Tyler Schwartz of Carolina Photographics and Charlon Turner, an actor and director who is vice president of the Black Arts Alliance and host of the N.C. Black Film Festival, will also speak.
▪ Short film screenings start at 2 p.m. Saturday: “February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four,” “Dark Therapy,” “First Date, Last Date,” “The Confidential Informant” and “Jane Doe.”
▪ The Cary will show “Straight Outta Compton” at 7 p.m. Saturday and “Dear White People” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6. Admission for each film is $5.
The Cary theater is at 122 E. Chatham St. Find tickets and information at thecarytheater.com/event/african-american-film-festival.