April 25, 2018
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35th Annual Newark Black Film Festival Presents Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project





Film Screenings:

July 8             (Newark Museum)

July 9             (NJ State Museum)



NEWARK : On June 11, 2003, 15-year-old Sakia Gunn waited at a bus stop on the corner of Market Street and Broad in Newark, NJ, after an evening of fun with friends.   Unfortunately, she never made it home.   A senseless act of violence, took the young woman's life because she was a lesbian. The murderer was a 30-year-old homophobe, Richard McCullough.  


The 35th annual Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF) will screen Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project on Wednesday, July 8 at 7 pm at the Newark Museum.  The Museum has produced NBBF since 1974.  For the past nine years, the six-week festival has been shown at several venues in Newark and Trenton with the support of Bank of America.


Producer/Director Charles B. Brack captures the sentencing of McCullough and the reactions of Sakia's loved ones, from Sakia's best friend who held her while she died, to her mother who read "Words To My Daughter's Murder".    Brack also interviews local residents and community leaders.   Her death also stirred an outcry in the community, which demanded 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.  


Upon her death, several groups organized as the Newark Essex Pride Coalition and the Newark Pride Alliance to help tackle the intolerance and to seek safety for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.


In the past 34 years, 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.  Following Wednesday's screening, Brack will be joined in a dialogue with the audience by June Dowell-Burton of the Newark-Essex Pride Coalition and Darnell Moore of the Newark Pride Alliance.


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.


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 general information, call 973-596-6550 or visit our Web site, n ewarkmuseum.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.

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