The last month of summer may mean shopping for school supplies and getting ready for fall for some, but in Chicago, it signals the last rush of summer festivities. One of the most anticipated events is the annual Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The 22nd annual film series runs from August 5- September 1 and features on array of film styles and discussions, including movies shot in Chicago by local filmmakers. The line-up is overflowing with special events and showings so here are a few highlights:
A romantic comedy that follows newlyweds struggling to make ends meet thanks to the Gucci-obsessed wife. When a high-rolling friend makes a financial proposition while bringing his girlfriend along for the ride, the situation gets crazier and funnier.
This riveting documentary follows four teens from Chicago's South Side to Senegal, West Africa, where they learn the significance of the ancient tradition of drumming in African culture. The boys performed on buckets on Chicago streets but in Senegal, they struggle to adjust and understand a different lifestyle.
The effects of gentrification in New York's Chelsea neighborhood are examined in this evocative documentary. On one side, African American and Latino residents of a housing project live while owners of new condos and an elite private school move in. Voices from both sides are highlighted in this HBO advance screening. Register for free admission here.
A gripping tale of an interracial marriage that crumbles under society and community pressure. The film was directed by both an African American man and a Caucasian woman to provide different perspectives. The co-directors and actors will appear for discussions after the screenings.
Black Harvest Film Festival, August 5 through September 1
- Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street
- General Admission Tickets: $11, Students and Youth: $7
- Festival Pass: $55
- View The Festival Schedule Here
Photos courtesy of Black Harvest Film Fest