The future is now: Blacks in sci-fi, Afro-futurism on film

I’m so excited about Afro-futurism and glad to see that the visionary writings of Octavia Bulter, and the global  hit movie  Black Panther are joined by a growing body of work in all genres that affirms and celebrates  black people in imaginings of  the future and in alternate renderings of the universe.

Afro-futurism definition I was amazed and delighted to attend Far Out Black, a screening a panel curated and moderated by my friend and colleague, filmmaker Celia Peters at the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles.

CAAM Far Out screening and Panel
Top row, L to R: Donovan Vim Crony, Keith Josef Adkins, Buki Bodunrin, Ezra Claytan Daniels, and Celia Peters; Celia Peters and Olu Gittens. Bottom row: CAAM event flyer, Celia Peters enging with audience members

Far Out Black featured Afrofuturist short films with visions of the future that are complex, unique, and vibrant. The packed audience had an opportunity to engage in conversation with these cinematic innovators about their films and their perspectives on working in the dynamic and quickly changing film industry.

Sorry to Bother You movieI also joined my friend, actress Monica Parks Simon, member of the Screen Actors Guild Film Nominating Committee, for a special early screening of Sorry to Bother You, directed by Boots Riley and starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. “In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.”

The SAG-AFTRA screening was followed by a very well moderated and lively Q & A featuring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler and Writer/Director Boots Riley.

The future is now and we are in it!!

-O.G.

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