April 20, 2018
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Critically Acclaimed, Afro-Centric Twilight Zone Inspired Trilogy

NBFF Presented with Bank of America Sponsorship at Newark Venues, 
June 24 – July 29; NJ State Museum, Trenton, June 25 – July 30


Newark, NJ- The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF), longest-running black film festival in the United States, celebrates its 35thsummer season on June 24 at 7 pm with the 15th anniversary screening of Cosmic Slop, the Hudlin Bros.' Twilight Zone-inspired trilogy, which originally aired in 1994 as an HBO special.


Produced since 1974 by the Newark Museum and sponsored for the past nine years by Bank of America, the six-week festival is shown at several venues in Newark and Trenton.   Cosmic Slop will be screened at the Newark Museum at 7pm on Wednesday.   The film will open the Festival in Trenton at the New Jersey State Museum the next evening, June 25.  


Warrington Hudlin , (best known as the producer of House Party, Boomerang, and BeBe Kids) will lead the post screening discussion of this Hudlin Bros. production.   Critically acclaimed, but highly controversial when it premiered on HBO years ago, this is a rare opportunity to see the film that has become a much talked about, but hard to find "cult classic" in communities of color.   Don't miss, New Jersey's own and P Funk master, George Clinton, as Cosmic Slop's host and interlocutor in the film.   (Print Courtesy of HBO Video).


Since its introduction in 1974 by the Newark Museum, NBFF has provided a forum for hundreds of emerging writers, directors, producers, performers and patrons of black cinema and has attracted abroad audience from throughout the northeast region.   The goal of the festival, according to festival chair Gloria Hopkins Buck, is to "present programs that reflect the full diversity of the Black experience both past and present, encompassing a wide range of forums and formulas, from documentary to the avant-garde."   In the past 34 years, Buck said, NBFF has screened 676 films to an audience of more than 157,000 adults and children.   All festival screenings will be followed by a presentation and public discussion with filmmakers and artists.


Bank of America New Jersey President Ann Limberg, reflecting on the institution's nine-year sponsorship of NBFF, said, "Bank of America is deeply committed to the arts and believes that when we create opportunities to bolster the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities we serve, we ultimately help our customers and other stakeholders succeed. The Newark Black Film Festival has provided Bank of America with an ideal vehicle to achieve its corporate philanthropy mission of service to the community."


NBFF co-presenters include New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); The Newark Public Library; Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey/Newark; Newark Screens on Springfield Ave. in Newark; and the New Jersey State Museum in partnership with the New Jersey Department of State.  


All screenings are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.   Films in Newark will begin at 7pm on Wednesdays.   Films at The State Museum in Trenton will begin at 6pm on Thursdays.   Seating for all screenings is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.   Once the theater is filled to capacity, additional seating will not be provided.   Group seating is limited to two groups of 25 for each screening.   To reserve group seating, in Newark, call 973-596-6550 and in Trenton, 609-292-6464.   In Newark, group seating will be held only until 6:40pm.




June 24         (Newark Museum)

June 25         (NJ State Museum)


FILM: Cosmic Slop

This Afro-centric Twilight Zone inspired trilogy celebrates its 15th anniversary at the festival.   A three-part anthology combining fantasy and topical social issues includes: Space Traders, where aliens offer solutions to the United States' problems in exchange for all African-Americans. The country has five days to decide.    In Tang, a woman living with an abusive boyfriend receives a package containing instructions for the "revolution". In The First Commandment, a young Catholic priest is torn between church doctrine and his congregation, which believes that the statue of a saint is both a Catholic and Afro-Cuban deity. His faith is tested when the statue comes to life and performs miracles.   A special thanks for HBO Video.    1994, 83 minutes


PROGRAM: An Afro-Centric Twilight Zone: Speaker: Warrington Hudlin, Filmmaker, DVRepublic.org.    Hosts: Gloria H. Buck and Dr. Clement A. Price.


July 1             (Newark Museum)

July 2             (NJ State Museum)


FILM:  This is My Africa

Award-winning documentary has been described as a "50-minute crash course in African culture."  Film chronicles a unique journey into an Africa that many may not know about, with recollections by writers and artists on food, books, art, music and film.  2008, 50 minutes


PROGRAM: The Continent Up Close and Personal. Speaker: Zina Saro-Wiwa, Writer/Filmmaker/Director.     Hosts: N.L. Akili Buchannan and Gloria H. Buck.


Newark Only: 5:45 pm reception and private viewing Party Time: Re-imagine America, A Centennial Commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE. Shonibare is featured in the film.  RSVP 973-596-6550 or rsvp@newarkmuseum.org.


July 8           (Newark Museum)

July 9             (NJ State Museum)


FILM: Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project


In 2003, 15-year old Sakia Gunn was murdered on the streets of Newark because she dared to be herself: a young, Black lesbian.   Taken from her world, her friends, and her family before her life truly began, Sakia's story has only begun to be told.   And her story demands attention and compassion, not just for Sakia, but for all of the young Black women and men who pay the price of intolerance, shame, hate, and silence.  

2008, 58 minutes


PROGRAM: To be Young, Gifted, Black and Safe. Speakers: Charles B. Brack, Producer/Director and Jane Dowell-Burton, Newark Essex Pride Coalition.   Hosts:   Ralph R. Waller and Tynesha McHarris.



July 15           (NJ Institute of Technology)

July 16           (NJ State Museum)


FILM: Medicine for Melancholy


A love story of bikes and one-night stands through the eyes of two twenty-something urbanites in search of self-definition.   Barry Jenkins' award-winning independent film redefines the date movie, giving it a new life, new edge, and a brand new soul.  

2007, 88 minutes


PROGRAM:   What's Love Got to Do With It? Speaker: Barry Jenkins, Filmmaker. Hosts: Theodore T. Johnson and Anthony G. Clark.


July 22          (Newark Museum)

July 23          (NJ State Museum)


FILM: A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School


New Jersey 's Bordentown School was an educational utopia, that taught values, discipline and life skills to generations of children.   This film examines a seventy-year period when America cared little about the education of African-Americans.  

2008, 60 minutes


 (A special tribute to historian Giles R. Wright Jr., and filmmakers Thomas C. Guy Jr. and St. Claire Bourne.


PROGRAM: Casting Booker T. Washington's Long Shadow in New Jersey. Speakers: David Davidson, Producer/Filmmaker/Director and Amber Edwards, Co-Producer.   Host. Dr. Clement A. Price.



July 29          ( Newark Museum )

July 30          (NJ State Museum)


FILM: The Birth of a Nation (segments) & Within Our Gates


This classic 1915 silent film directed by D.W. Griffith was an innovative cinematic breakthrough for its time.   But Griffith's "masterpiece" was made at the expense of African-Americans, telling a story of American life that sprang from a deeply distorted, fundamentally racist perspective.   This controversial Civil War epic damaged American race relations for many decades, through its vicious caricaturing of African-American citizens, and its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan's terrorism.   1915, segments only


FILM: Within Our Gates


This 1920 film by the pioneering black film maker and entrepreneur Oscar Micheaux is an early depiction of race and race relations in America during the formative years of Jim Crow and racial terrorism. It is considered a response to The Birth of a Nation, with a story focusing on an African American woman who travels north to help a minister raise funds in support of a school of impoverished black children.   1920, 79 minutes


PROGRAM: Birth of a Myth and a Nearly Forgotten Response. Speaker: TBD.   Host: Dr. Miriam Petty.


Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America will embark in 2009 on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visitwww.bankofamerica.com/foundation.



The Newark Museum is located at 49 Washington Street in the Downtown/Arts District of Newark, New Jersey, just 3 blocks from NJPAC and 10 miles west of New York City.   The Museum is open all year round: Wednesdays through Fridays, from Noon - 5 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., October 1 – June 30; and Saturdays and Sundays, from Noon – 5 p.m., July 1 – September 30.   Suggested Museum admission: Adults, $10.00; Children, Seniors and Students with valid I.D., $6.00. Members and Newark residents are admitted free. The Museum Café is open for lunches Wednesday through Sunday. Convenient parking is available for a fee.   For   information, call 973-596-6550 or visit our web site, h ttp://www.NewarkMuseum.org .   The Newark Museum, a not-for-profit museum of art, science and education, receives operating support from the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State—a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the Prudential Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and other corporations, foundations and individuals. Funds for acquisitions and activities other than operations are provided by members and other contributors.


The Newark Museum is just a few steps from the NJTransit Light Rail Washington Park Station.  Direct connection with the Light Rail at the Broad Street Station and through Penn Station makes the Museum a convenient ride from all points in the region.




The New Jersey State Museum was established in 1895 - one of the nation's first state museums founded with an educational mission. Today, that mission comes alive across four distinct subject areas – Archaeology/Ethnology, Cultural History, Fine Art and Natural History – offering a dynamic experience of "four museums in one" and a galaxy of activities for every member of the family. Treasures are exhibited thematically across an expansive, three-building campus that includes the newly renovated four-level main building, a 384-seat auditorium, and a 150-seat planetarium, which is undergoing renovations. Together, the State of New Jersey and the foundations, corporations and citizens of the state are transforming the "People's Museum" into a premiere location for cultural exchange and education. For more information go to www.newjerseystatemuseum.org.




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