CHICAGO, IL (November 18, 2021) – The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) announced today winners of the premiere Black LGBTQ/SGL visual arts festival’s Black Alphabet Audience Award winners. The 2021 award winners are All Boys Aren’t Blue (Best Feature), Smoke Lilies and Jade (Best Short), and Gemmel and Tim (Best Documentary).
More than 500 attended the festival’s first hybrid virtual and in-person event from November 5-7, including Nathan Hale Williams, director of All Boys Aren’t Blue. One of the longest running Black LGBTQ/SGL film festivals in the world, BAFF is run by Black Alphabet, a nonprofit organization promoting equity awareness on behalf of the Black LGBT+ community through the use of media and the arts. The theme for this year’s festival was Together Again, a celebration that brought together film makers, critics, and fans from around the world at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, with virtual screenings available.
“We are honored that so many people chose to join us for this year’s Black Alphabet Film Festival,” said Adam McMath, Executive Director, Black Alphabet Film Festival. “Each year, BAFF provides an important opportunity to cultivate new dialogue, educate new audiences, and encourage new stories to be told – as we celebrate the cultural and social contributions of Black LGBTQ-identified artists.”
The Black Alphabet Audience Award winners are selected by festival screening audiences. This year’s winners explore diverse themes and stories, from the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys to the deaths of two black gay men who died at the hands of West Hollywood politico Ed Buck.
2021 Black Alphabet Audience Award Winners
· All Boys Aren’t Blue – Firsthand account of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that have made George M. Johnson into the person they are today. Based on the memoir from the author of We Are Not Broken (2021), directed by Nathan Hale Williams (attended screening).
· Smoke, Lilies and Jade – Alex, a young artist of the Harlem Renaissance, flirts with the idea of bisexuality. A short film from directors Deondray Gossfield and Quincy Le Near, narrated by Billy Porter.
· Gemmel and Tim – Two complementary documentary films examine the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Michael Dean at the West Hollywood home of businessman and political donor Ed Buck. From Michiel Thomas, the director of Game Face and That’s Wild.
In 2013, BAFF launched to provide opportunities for people to see images, hear stories, and relate to unique Black LGBT+ experiences absent from the mainstream media. Each year, the growing festival provides a global platform for members of the SGL/LGBTQ+ community to showcase their films. This year’s event was made possible with the support of funders AIDS Health Foundation (AHF), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), Illinois Humanities, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), United Way of Metro Chicago, and Lorde, Rustin & Bates.
Learn more: https://www.blackalphabet.org/film-festival. Media contact: Adam McMath, Executive Director | email@example.com