The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) announces part two of our bi-monthly series, “Making Imagination Reel,” showcasing outstanding films featured in the 2021 Festival. Part 2 recognizes Black History Month 2022 and extends the celebration through March with five great films and interviews with their filmmakers. The virtual series is free on chesapeakefilmfestival.com
“By popular demand, we’re making selected films from 2021 available on our website,” said Cid Collins Walker, CFF Festival Director. “Every two months, we’ll bring you exceptional films that won CFF awards and/or were most popular with our virtual audience. You’ll also get extensive interviews we conducted with the filmmakers. I’m very excited to share those.”
The February and March lineup includes these films and interviews with their directors:
Chicago: America’s Hidden War – Documentary Feature – Produced and directed by Dimas & Tiffany Salaberrios. USA, TRT: 1:45 – Urgent, stunning, revealing. Chicago: America’s Hidden War pulls back the curtain and takes an inside war-journalistic look into the violence that has plagued Chicago streets for decades.
Director: Dimas Salaberrios (AKA Daylight Supreme)
Daylight Supreme is an Afro-Latino director whose travels have taken him through 40 countries across six continents and contributed to his broad knowledge of the fine arts. Daylight is also well-versed in Greek Literature and can read Ancient Greek. The sum of these experiences lend to the distinct filmmaking style depicted in his directorial debut, Chicago: America’s Hidden War.
At the height of the crack epidemic, I regrettably wasted my teenage years entrenched in my native New York City as a drug boss. While the unfortunate horror I lived through clearly equipped me with some keen insights into Chicago’s pervasive homicidal culture, it also imbued me with a most profound hope that things could indeed change. When I communicated with active shooters in Chicago — even with a full camera crew in tow — I was afforded unusual access into exclusive gang meetings on the most notoriously dangerous streets in the U.S. At any moment, we could all be fired on by rival gangs lurking just one block away.
I see Chicago as a cautionary tale. The startling things revealed in my documentary should be thoroughly studied by social science scholars to help other crime-ridden urban communities avoid the shockingly warlike environments in Black and Latino urban communities. The disregard for human life runs so rampant that even the killing of our Black women and children has been numbingly normalized.
Liam White – Narrative Feature – USA, Produced and directed by Harold Jackson, III. – TRT: 1:27 –A novelist, given just a few months to live, fights for a second chance while facing all the people he stepped on to get to the top.
Director: Harold Jackson III
After honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps, Jackson earned an undergraduate degree in Television at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in film and video from American University in Washington, DC. Some of his award-winning productions include BURN: The Evolution of An American City, a documentary about Tulsa, Oklahoma and its history of Black Wallstreet and the Tulsa Race Riot; Last Night, ABFF best screenplay/audience choice winner; The HBO “Best Film” Un Armed Man, a film engulfed in social commentary when civil unrest erupts after a police officer kills an unarmed man, and the EMMY nominated series Anacostia.
“Storytelling through visualization is what drives me,” Jackson says.
Mickey Hardaway – Narrative Short – USA, Directed by Marcellus Cox. TRT: 19:23 min – A young sketch artist visits a renowned psychiatrist as his life begins spinning out of control after years of physical and verbal abuse have taken a toll on him. Rated R – material which may be unsuitable for children under the age of 17. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Director: Marcellus Cox
Marcellus Cox is an award-winning writer/director hailing from Los Angeles, California. As a true auteur, his style of cinematic storytelling is embossed with dark and edgy themes that are engaging and enlightening. He brings his audience to a place of understanding and compassion for social issues and objectivity, pushing the boundaries of controversial storytelling on subjects such as race, religion, and social and political issues.
His work has screened in more than 200 international film festivals, earned more than 150 international film awards, and aired nationwide on CBS, FOX, ABC, SHORTS TV, Revolt, Crime/Investigation & PBS.
Mickey Hardaway is without question a very personal story to me, revealing how society can be our worst enemy, contributing to our downfall just because we are different. I wanted to showcase the inequities within society and the affect they have on people, especially the youth.
Othello-san – Narrative Short – USA, Produced and directed by Theodore Adams III – TRT: 20 min – A celebrated young African American actor enrolls at a prestigious theater school in Japan to play the lead role in Shakespeare’s Othello, only to find his dreams of greatness are tempered by an instructor who challenges him to question his reason for being there.
Director: Theodore Adams III
Adams is the President and Founder of Red Zeppelin Productions LLC. His first film was a feature length project, TRI, which won 12 festival awards. To date, Othello-san has won six awards in the category of best screenplay. His latest film, Tyndall Typewriters, premiered at CFF 2021, and earned his son, Theo Adams IV, CFF’s Best Actor award.
Adams III, who is fluent in multiple languages, found the inspiration for the characters in Othello-san from his studies in international schools and from extensive work on six continents. Literally a rocket scientist, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and his MBA from UCLA. He also completed post graduate studies at the Yale-China Program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is a graduate of Harvard Business School. He also is a leader in community service, heading two non-profits dedicated to supporting literacy, arts and education and finding technical employment for people with severe disabilities. Adams embodies the Renaissance Man.
My goal in writing and producing films is to have the audience leaving the theater smarter than when they entered; challenged by the message; and inspired to take an action.
Saving San Domingo – Made in Maryland – A film directed by Dave Harp with Sandy Cannon-Brown and Tom Horton. TRT: 27 minutes – A 200-year-old African-American community in Maryland struggles to save its traditions and values.
Director: Dave Harp
Harp started out as the staff photographer for the Hagerstown Morning Herald and was the photographer for The Baltimore Sun Magazine during the 1980’s. He started his own photography company in 1990 and currently is the photographer for the Bay Journal and contributor to countless other magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and Coastal Living. He was awarded the Andrew White Medal by Loyola College of Maryland in 2004 and is past president of the American Society of Media Photographers. A retrospective of his work was on exhibition at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum throughout 2021.
Harp has published several books of photography on the Bay with essays by Tom Horton, the producer, writer, and narrator of Saving San Domingo. In 2015, Harp added cinematography to his resume when he joined Horton and filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown to make six films about issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay.
I’ve spent much of my working life photographing people in their environments, pulling the camera back a little to reveal how where they live or work or play shapes who they are, and have continued this practice during the past decade making documentary films. This was never more apparent than capturing the Quinton family making scrapple on an open fire in the small African-American community of San Domingo. Their hope is to keep that multi-generational legacy alive during rapidly changing times. The same goes for San Domingo.
For more information, contact Nancy Tabor, Executive Director at 443-955-9144.