Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival brings a solid schedule of previews, screenings and stars to the island

The Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival kicked off Friday, bringing a star-studded cast to the island to promote current and upcoming projects.

The festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, runs through August 13 and will showcase features, documentaries and short films produced by and starring Black artists from around the world. Tamron Hall, Tyler Perry, Regina Hall, Tracee Ellis Ross and Spike Lee are among the highly anticipated names yet to appear. Most performances and events take place at Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center in Oak Bluffs.

Here’s a breakdown of some programs you can’t miss at the 2022 Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival. Please visit the event website (mvaaff.com/2022-itinerary) for full program listings and updates as the schedule is subject to change.

“The Jazzman’s Blues” with Tyler Perry

Award-winning writer, director and producer Tyler Perry will present clips from his upcoming film The Jazzman’s Blues on Saturday at 8pm. Starring Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer as forbidden lovers, the film “unravels 40 years of mysteries and lies, punctuated by Deep South juke joint blues,” according to the schedule. Guests can stay for a discussion with Perry afterwards.

“From Scratch” starring Attica Locke and Tembi Locke, hosted by Tamron Hall

Sunday’s marquee screening features the first episode of a new show coming to Netflix this year. From Scratch is a cross-cultural love story about Amahle “Amy” Wheeler (Zoe Saldana), an American student who falls in love with Sicilian chef Lino while studying abroad in Italy. The series is inspired by author and actress Tembi Locke’s 2020 memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home. After the screening, join a discussion moderated by talk show host and journalist Tamron Hall. The event starts at 8 p.m

New Edition on stage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Louisiana Superdome on July 3, 2022 in New Orleans.Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence

“Biography: Bobby Brown” starring Bobby Brown

R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Brown executive produced this docuseries, which chronicles his life from Roxbury’s Orchard Park housing projects to his rise to fame with New Edition and beyond. Clips from “Biography: Bobby Brown,” which premiered on A&E in May, will be shown Monday at 6 p.m. The event also features a talk with Brown, his executive producer and wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown, and director J. Kevin Swain.

“Loudmouth” with Rev. Al Sharpton

On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., guests can watch a film shedding light on the life of preacher and activist Rev. Al Sharpton, followed by a conversation with the veteran civil rights activist himself. “Loudmouth” follows Sharpton after the killing of George Floyd in 2020 and is at the center of the national conversations centered around race.

Actress Regina Hall at the 2022 Reel Works Change Makers Gala at Tribeca 360 on May 25, 2022 in New York City. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Reel Works

“Hoop for Jesus. Save Your Soul” with Regina Hall

“Hoop for Jesus. Save Your Soul” stars Regina Hall as Trinitie Childs, the first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch trying to reunite her congregation after a scandal shuts her and her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown). forces. The satirical comedy premieres this September, and Hall will be at the festival on Thursday at 8 p.m. for a pre-screening talk and Q&A about her career in front of and behind the camera and the opportunities for black creators in Hollywood.

“The Hair Tales” with Tracee Ellis Ross

Award-winning actress and executive producer Tracee Ellis Ross’ OWN documentary, The Hair Tales, focuses on Black women’s parallel journeys with their hair and with themselves. Ross invites viewers to explore “not just how hair is part of identity and… of the personal expression of every black woman throughout history, but also the impact black women have had on culture and humanity,” according to the schedule. Ross will participate in a discussion following the screening next Friday at 6pm

Spike Lee watches as Colin Kaepernick greets fans prior to the Michigan Spring Football Game at Michigan Stadium on April 2, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jaime Crawford/Getty

A little taster with Spike Lee

Next Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee will give audiences an early look at his multi-part ESPN documentary about activist quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The film features new interviews and a never-before-seen archive that will help Kaepernick tell his story from his perspective, according to the festival’s programme.


Brittany Bowker can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.

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