By Eric Henderson

The Twin Cities Black Film Festival is celebrating its 11th year, and Showplace Icon is its home for the next four days.

The opening film — In Search of the Black Night — is a lighthearted documentary look at the increasing challenges facing contemporary black relationships, and specifically why so many women think there are no eligible black men anymore. Director Tamarat Makonnen traces the source of the quandary from evolving standards to the education gap, from men living on the down low to current incarceration rates.

There are also plenty of local offerings of note in the fest’s screening calendar, including an entire celebration of Minnesota shorts beginning early Saturday afternoon, as well as the documentary There But For The Grace Of God, which juxtaposes the day-to-day existence of a homeless woman against the construction of the Central Corridor light rail line, a potentially neighborhood-altering project that the filmmakers hold in comparison to when Interstate 94 decimated the old Rondo neighborhood.

The focus is also widening to include such Sundance selections as Broken Night, a short that was produced entirely on a Nikon D-SLR, and Gideon’s Army, a galvanizing documentary about three defense lawyers fighting an uphill battle in the Deep South.

Here is a partial list of the program schedule:

Thursday September 26, 2013
8:30 p.m.: Opening Night Film: In Search of the Black Knight

Friday September 27, 2013
7:05 p.m.: Hill and Gully
10 p.m.: Special Screening (Not yet announced)

Saturday September 28,2013
12:40 p.m.: Celebration of Minnesota Filmmakers: Introduction
2:05 p.m.: Small Small Thing
4:10 p.m.: Menages
6:30 p.m.: Infidelity
7:30 p.m.: The Suspect

Sunday September 29,2013
11:30 a.m.: The Avenue
2:20 p.m.: Black and Write
3:35 p.m.: The Retrieval
5:15 p.m.: Gideon’s Army
6:45 p.m.: There But for the Grace of God
7:45 p.m.: Minnesota Delivery

More programming information, as well as information on festival events, can be found here.


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