Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

PODCAST - Episode 43, Sergio Mims (Black Harvest Film Festival); Sujewa Ekanayake (

Podcast #43

TRT: 60 Minutes

Episode Notes:
Brandon Wilson ( and I spent the hour talking to Sergio Mims, co-founder of the Black Harvest Film Festival (celebrating its 15th year), and Sujewa Ekanayake, writer/director of Date Number one and Indie Film Blogger Roadtrip, as well as editor of

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  1. The Sujewa said...

    Great show Tambay (even with your call dropping out - Brandon saved the day! :).

    Since Sergio Mims likes films made by Columbia College Chicago students I should probably show him IFBRT (& since both you & Brandon Harris are in the flick - thus possibly relevant (sp?) to Black Harvest) for his fest - I went to Columbia (the only film school i attended, was there for 1 semester/fall '92/film techniques I - learned a lot - shot a 15 min b&w 16 mm film w/ narration & music that I later screened at the Kennedy Center in DC - & discovered Jim Jarmusch films there - most importantly, & also discovered DC punk rock/diy music making & self-distro while i was in chicago attending columbia, which became a strong model for how I make & distribute movies). Anyway, it would be cool to visit Chicago again & screen IFBRT there.

    Looking forward to next week's show.

    Possible guest for your show: James Spooner (Afro-Punk, White Lies Black Sheep) - another DIY filmmaker & he dealt with an issue or issues that may be unique to some African American youth in his two features mentioned above. Spooner is (or at least was a few months back) on MySpace, also maybe able to contact him through (i believe that's the site url), or I may have one of his e-mail addys, check with me at some point. I talked to him at the Maryland Film Festival last year when he screened White Lies, very cool dude, very interesting movies, and also rocks the diy film approach.

    Thanks again for doing the podcast!

    - Sujewa

  2. Qadree said...

    I think some of what Sergio said about black filmmakers in Chicago needs to be put into context. The people he's describing are mostly people who have very little knowledge of the industry and have little or no technical ability. I've talked to some of those people and I couldn't believe that some of them actually thought showing their movie at a festival like Black Harvest was actually going to get them a major distribution deal.

    I went to Columbia College and like many people there I was encourage to relocate in order to make the most of my talents. The same thing happens to a lot of actors. They are encouraged to come to Chicago to get good training and they are encouraged to leave when they show true potential. It's just the nature of the business. You have to go where the deals are being made if you wan to be an industry player.

    There are a lot of talented black filmmakers in Chicago, but when they finish a project they will go directly to distributors in order to get paid. Others end up making television commercials or music videos. Most of the people that make it big in NY or LA are not originally from those places. The talent concentrates there because people want to make it big.

    I don't think the situation is going to change for most of the festivals that are currently in existence. I think it's going to take something new that deviates from the traditional festival format to shake things up.

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