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New Virtual Film Festival Features Work Of Conn.-Based Black Artists

Julianne Varacchi
Connecticut Public
Spoken word artist Salwa Abdussabur

Racial justice advocacy group CT Core – Organize Now! and spoken word artist Salwa Abdussabur are hosting the first Black Haven Film Festival. The live virtual event gets underway Friday.

The festival includes five short films by Black Connecticut-based filmmakers and a live performance by audiovisual artist Chad Browne-Springer. In a statement, organizers of the event called Black Haven a “rallying cry.”

“It’s an opportunity to bring media, theatre, and film communities together, to begin to break down the long-standing systems that keep excellent, genius art from being supported, funded, seen, celebrated AND held at the status that it rightfully deserves to be held,” wrote the organizers.

Black Haven Film Festival lead organizer and curator Salwa Abdussabur said this year’s theme is “Black Stories and Black Liberation.”

“There’s a piece that’s very much up to interpretation, it’s beautiful visually, and it has a beautiful message,” said Abdussabur. “Another piece is literally Black people existing, and I love that so much. We have another piece that really goes into activism and community building. So, it’s kind of like you are getting all the best parts of all the different experiences, and I think that’s cool.”

Abdussabur said one of the goals of the festival is to create a virtual “oasis” for the audience.

Credit CT Core – Organize Now!
CT Core – Organize Now!
The first Black Haven Film Festival features five short films and a live virtual performance by audiovisual artist Chad Browne-Springer.

“You’re going to go through every single emotion. Visually you are going to be stimulated in all the best ways. I think that there’s going to be such an amazing excitement. It’s special -- people will feel honored to be in the space,” said Abdussabur.

Tickets to the Black Haven Film Festival are available at tinyurl.com/blackhaventickets. Tickets are free, but donations are encouraged. The proceeds will benefit the artists involved in the film festival.

The live virtual event gets underway at 6 p.m. Friday.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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