• film

PARTNER EVENT:
BlackStar Film Festival

Horace Tapscott, Musical Griot

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
United States, 2016, 72 min.
Philadelphia Premiere
Dir. Barbara McCullough
This film documents the life of the late musical genius and community activist Horace Tapscott, who was blacklisted in the 1960s and ’70s because of his political affiliations and the LAPD claiming his music incited people to riot. Mr. Tapscott is the storyteller, the griot, whose life and words chronicle the development of jazz in Los Angeles. He is also in conversation with musicians Don Cherry, Arthur Blythe, and Samuel Browne, his teacher and mentor. A cultural icon, he fulfilled his commitment to his teacher by mentoring three generations of young jazz musicians and toured nationally and internationally before his death in 1999. Members of the LA Rebellion including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Bernard Nicolas, and other filmmakers from that community worked on this film.
 

Screens With

How They Sway
SHORT DOCUMENTARY
United States, 2017, 15 min.
World Premiere
Dir. Jaad Asante
How They Sway is a short documentary that chronicles a winter season of Atlanta’s Ballethnic, a ballet company composed primarily of black ballerinas. The company prepares for their take on the classic Tchaikovsky ballet, which they’ve renamed The Urban Nutcracker. We see the dancers experience the challenges and tensions of such a rigorous, long-standing craft through a lens unburdened by the label minority. At its core, How They Sway confronts the visibility of the black ballerina and allows us to examine what can happen when you disrupt the tenets of a historically exclusive cultural institution.


Kojo: A Short Documentary
SHORT DOCUMENTARY
United States, 2016, 14 min.
Philadelphia Premiere
 Dir. Michael Fequiere
Kojo is about a gifted 12-year-old jazz drummer, Kojo Odu Roney. In a candid interview, Kojo reflects on his tireless work ethic, the current state of jazz music, learning from his mentor and father, jazz saxophonist Antoine Roney, and much more. Kojo’s charisma, sensibility, and passion are as mesmerizing as his drum skills and, for the first time in this documentary, he shares them with you.