‘Black August’ Independent Film Festival

‘Black August’ Independent Film Festival

August 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Now in its second year, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s (MXGM) Annual Black August Film Festival is back with 11 full length films, shorts and documentaries centered around the life, culture and political uprisings of the African Diaspora.

The film festival is part of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s ongoing project to support and connect with political prisoners in respect of the Black August tradition. One of the six core principles listed on their website cite their mission is to release activists who have been imprisoned simply for fighting for the equality in their communities that should be available to everyone. Black August has its roots in the California prison system — it’s original purpose was to remember those who died in the 1971 bloody breakout attempt at San Quentin State Prison. Today, Black August is month for education, outreach and “self discipline” (participants fast from sunrise to sunset).

The Black August film festival battles themes of racial prejudice, poverty and identity, with the entries varying in length and the locations filmed. “Hip Hop is Bigger than the Occupation” directed by Nana Dankwa, is a 98-minute long documentary which follows artists traveling through Palestine, teaching and performing about non-violent forms of resistance to oppressed youth for 10 days.

“A Crocodile Story” by Hisham Haj Omer is an animation featuring a Sudanese song titled, “Habibi Ta’al” which roughly translates to “My Love, Come Join Me.”

There is also an entry by the students of Satellite Academy High School titled, “Know Your Rights: How to Deal With Police Confrontations,” a documentary highlighting the legal rights of citizens who are the target of prejudiced police attention.

Along with the festival, interested audiences can also attend the Black August Art Show and auction on August 20 at the Brecht Forum. Join the MXGM as they display art and put on music and dance performances. The Black August Film Festival will be on August 13 at The National Black Theatre. All proceeds from both events benefit the politically imprisoned.

The MXGM will also host conferences and hip-hop performances in the coming month. Check out the Events page of the MXGM to see when the next inspired event will be!


This is the trailer for “Hip Hope is Bigger Than The Occupation,” a documentary following artists as they travel through Palestine, teaching and performing non-violent forms of resistance. The piece will be aired at the Black August Film Festival on August 13th.