2022 AWARD WINNERS

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  BEST LONG   DOCUMENTARY  

CLASS OF COVID-19

DIRECTOR BY JON BRICK 
 

Class of COVID-19 explores the challenges facing educators, students, and families during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Issues such as the inequities in school resources, student activism during the pandemic, and struggles with mental health come to light. This thought-provoking film introduces us to Nicole, a teacher battling severe health challenges who continued to teach from her hospital bed, and Stephen, a high school history teacher helping students navigate the complex issues of racial and social justice.    The film also follows three Black, female-identifying high school students who take on leadership roles in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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  BEST SHORT   DOCUMENTARY  

MY EMPTY CHAIR

DIRECTED BY ANDREW TOMLINSON

DARNELL SINGLETON
 

When two top U.S. Treasury Executives set out to steal a $100 million contract from Jerroll Sanders, a Black CEO, things didn’t go the way they planned. 

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  BEST LONG NARRATIVE  

REMEMBER ME:

THE MAHALIA JACKSON STORY

DIRECTED BY DENISE DOWSE

"Remember Me" is a biopic on the life of Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, her rise and challenges in the music industry, her unbreakable bond with Dr. Martin Luther King and her dramatic impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

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  BEST SHORT   NARRATIVE  

SHADOWS OF THE

DUST

DIRECTED BY ALI MATLOCK

A couple's weekend getaway to view a once in a lifetime celestial event devolves into a series of inexplicable occurrences

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  BEST SOCIAL JUSTICE     FILM  

SONS OF TOLEDO

DIRECTED BY MONTY COLE

After receiving the early morning news of his younger brother’s murder, a mourning barber pushes through the muddy waters of grief to find the courage to do the impossible - give his brother one last cut.

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  BEST INTERNATIONAL   FILM  

DIGGING FOR LIFE

DIRECTED BY JOAO QUIEROGA

After receiving the early morning news of his younger brother’s murder, a mourning barber pushes through the muddy waters of grief to find the courage to do the impossible - give his brother one last cut.

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  BEST OF TENNESSEE   FILM  

SPIN

DIRECTED BY BRANDI NICOLE, JEN WEST

Joy, a woman who finds baking is her happy place, swirls an assembly line of cupcakes. When her boss tells her there's a customer who's ordered one with extra sprinkles, she proudly carries it out to find an adorable 5-yr-old anxiously waiting. Having a way with children, they instantly connect.

 

Until.

 

The girls' father comes from the back and Joy turns to see a familiar face that's an unwelcome blast from the past. A slight panic attack ensues and as she tries to keep calm her mind is flooded with complicated memories, leading her to a startling realization.

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  AUDIENCE CHOICE   AWARD  

WORLD 4 LEVEL 2

DIRECTED BY  J. NICOLE

OLIVE a stay at home mom whose overwhelmed with past due bills and funeral costs, must find a way to deal with her uncommunicative son CALVIN JR. after the lost of her husband, CALVIN SR. With a bit of guidance from the Super Mario Brothers, her and her son learn to jump over life's hurdles. 

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  BEST OF FESTIVAL  

MY EMPTY CHAIR

DIRECTED BY ANDREW TOMLINSON

DARNELL SINGLETON

When two top U.S. Treasury Executives set out to steal a $100 million contract from Jerroll Sanders, a Black CEO, things didn’t go the way they planned. 

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  FOUNDERS AWARD  

BONNIE BLUE:

James Cotton's Life in the Blues

DIRECTED BY BESTOR CRAM

Born in 1935 on Bonnie Blue plantation in Tunica, Mississippi, apprenticing with Sonny Boy Williamson II and Howlin’ Wolf, and schooled by Muddy Waters, James ‘Super Harp’ Cotton became a mentor to harp players around the globe as he brought the delta blues into mainstream rock ‘n roll. Orphaned at nine, Cotton’s journey tracks America’s history and his story is one of empowerment during a time when the weight of racial inequity made the journey seem impossible. Bonnie Blue – James Cotton’s Life in the Blues is a unique portrait of an era and its impact today. Cotton’s music made history; his musical voice was unique, and the blues were never the same.