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Filmmaker to be awarded at Black documentary film festival

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Indianapolis Black Documentary Film Festival (IBDFF) will award local filmmaker Jerald Harkness with the Spotlight Award at the 3rd annual film festival Aug. 26.

This is the first year of IBDFF’s Spotlight Award, which will be given annually to a filmmaker who demonstrates “excellence and dedication to their craft” and tells the “unseen stories about the African American experience.”

Harkness is the CEO of Studio Auteur, a content creation company that specializes in making documentaries, and has more than 25 years of documentary production experience. He will receive the award for his documentary “The Glories of Our Journey: A Community Story,” which tells the story of John Hope School No. 26 and its importance to the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.

The founder of IBDFF, Eric Winston, created the film festival to showcase the work of film artists and to create a more accurate media depiction of Black culture in Indianapolis.

“We want to make sure that we bring films to the community that shed a positive light on the African American community,” Winston said.

There will be documentary film screenings from Aug. 26-28.

Harkness will receive his award during a reception at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St. There will be food at the reception and a screening of Harkness’ documentary. WTLC radio host Tina Cosby will moderate the reception. Tickets are available at ibdff.com.

The following two days, Aug. 27-28, are dedicated to screening Black and minority documentaries. This will include “Breathing Black,” a documentary about nine Black people from Baltimore and their journey to finding happiness during the pandemic. Another documentary, “Becoming Black Lawyers,” follows five Black students as they discover what it takes to become a lawyer in the U.S.

Some filmmakers will be present for Q&A sessions.
Winston is excited for this year’s documentary screenings and encourages people to attend the film festival.

“Come out and be a part of this,” Winston said.

The doors will open 30 minutes before each film starts. For details on the screening schedule, visit ibdff.com.

Contact religion reporter Abriana Herron at 317-924-5243 or by email abrianah@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is a Report for America corps member and writes about the role of Black churches in the community.

Indianapolis Black Documentary Film Festival Schedule:


Aug. 26 — Reception and Featured Screening
When: 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St.


Aug. 27 — Full Screening Day
When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Art Center


Aug. 28 — Full Screening Day
When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie, 1258 Windsor St.
For details on the screening schedule, visit ibdff.com.

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