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  • The Narrative Project

Second Annual Black Haven Film Festival 2021 Makes Space for Black Artists to tell Black Stories


September 20, 2021

CONTACT: Edwin Stubbs 973.223.0525


Tonight we are living Black art.” - Salwa Abdussabur (she/they), Black Haven Founder and Executive Director


New Haven, CT - The second annual Black Haven Film Festival attracted more than 160 in-person and virtual participants to Saturday’s hybrid event. The five one-minute films showcased expressed the year’s theme of “Blackness is Global” in dynamic and differing forms. The artists selected this year were Kolton Harris, who directed “Black Joy,” Karl D. Gray Jr., director of “Post[Humous] Pops & Live Son,” Jefferey Dobbs, director of “Synesth-Sense,” Gerald Lovelace, director of “This Day - A Musical Dance Concept,” and Brennan Maine, who created "Skin." The showcased films featured musical numbers, animation, and dramas. “Blackness and Black Identity is a global experience, rich with culture and generational storytelling that ornate who we are and where we have been. Our Blackness influences our art, ignites our activism and helps us imagine an afro-futuristic world,” said Salwa Abdussabur (she/they), Black Haven Founder and Executive Director and the emcee of Saturday’s festival. “Tonight we are living Black art.” The in-person side of the festival was held at 200 Dixwell Ave., New Haven, which is soon to become the ConnCAT Place in 2022. Virtually, the festival reel live premiered on youtube. Watch the virtual stream here. Brennan Maine, a multimedia artist, and first place winner of this year’s festival, described how they interpreted this year’s theme: “Although we are raised in different cultures, and the hues of our Blackness range, we are united in our experience. We can change the world's perception of our Blackness as something to celebrate and connect us rather than allow it to divide us… Blackness to me is power. I want to inspire people to explore their freedom of expression in any way that happens.” “Media, film, and theater in New Haven have long been co-opted by classism, elitism, and racism, which suffocates Black creatives and stifles their stories,'' said Isaiah Edwards (he/him), Black Haven Lead Festival Curator and Creative Partner. “We wanted to create a safe space where Black artists could showcase their work and be connected as a community” To learn more about these artists, visit for bios, contact information, and websites. Photos of the event, and the full stream of the festival, are available upon request.

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ABOUT BLACK HAVEN Black Haven is a collective of creatives and admins who activate art justice through movement-building events, initiatives, and programming. We aim to be a creative playground for culture creators to be uplifted in their visions where they are provided partnerships and resource equity. ABOUT BLACK INFINITY COLLECTIVE Black Infinity Collective is a Blackity-Black-led and centered freedom fighting, movement building, liberation organization that is guided by our ancestors who have shown us the way and is inspired by present-day leaders who have taken up the mantle. We are Black, Bold, and Boundless. Black Infinity Collective was formerly known as CTCORE-Organize Now!

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