Denton Black Film Festival Celebrates Diversity in Film and Art

Next week, Denton will host an event which showcases the African-American experience -- through film, music and art.

Denton Black Film Festival began five years ago. That first year’s event lasted a day and a half, featuring thirteen films and attended by about 800 people.

This year’s festival will include 64 films, with titles as diverse as the people who made them.

“We want to entertain people,” said Linda Eaddy, co-founder of the event. “But the whole idea is to educate and inspire people, as well."

Films, discussion, music and comedy feature black culture, while seeking to build community, said Eaddy.

“So, it's really an effort to get people talking to each other, get out of their own comfort zones,” she said. “To learn about other people and maybe some things they didn't know."

One highlight of this year's festival, the showing of a never-before-seen interview with actress Juanita Moore. Best known as an Academy Award nominee for her role in the 1959 film “Imitation of Life,” the interview was conducted in 1996, by director, producer and archivist Walid Khaldi, who produced a short film about Moore’s life. Moore died in 2014 at the age of 99.

“There is a long history of African-Americans in front of the camera and behind the camera,” said Khaldi.

Eaddy said storytelling is a big part of the Denton Black Film Festival, but so is the art. Like a featured exhibit, which includes the work of Denton quilter Barbara McCraw.

Organizers say the festival’s goal is to bring the "black experience" to life.

“The whole idea is to be community, and bring people together,” said Eaddy. “I think Denton is the perfect spot."

The Denton Black Film Festival runs January 23-27 at nine different venues. NBC 5 is a sponsor.

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